"HIS enthusiasm and dedication led to what we have now – thank you so much Bill."

Bill Harkin, who designed the first Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, has passed away.

In 1970, Mr Harkin, then an architect for British Leyland, met Andrew Kerr during a walk up the Glastonbury Tor.

Their conversation would lead to the festival we all know now.

They discussed the spirituality of the area and the need for people to look towards a new way of life.

Kerr, who was looking to host a free festival alongside Arabella Churchill, and Mr Harkin settled on the idea of a pyramid-shaped stage at the heart of that festival.

All they needed was a site, and that is where Michael Eavis came in...

"Bill Harkin first came to Glastonbury towards the end of 1970," he said. "He was delivering products to the health shops in the town and decided to walk up the Tor where he met Andrew Kerr.

"They both became aware of very powerful feelings of spirituality and agreed the need for a new age of looking at life towards a utopian society.

"After more intense discussions these conversations led to the idea of a large music festival with a pyramid as centre stage.

"That’s when they came to me for a suitable site."

As they outlined the vision for what became the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre, Mr Eavis took some convincing.


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"I liked the idea but was slightly wary of the reality, although was captivated by their childlike excitement," he went on.

"Bill was a top-flight architect working for British Leyland car launches at the time but he soon became caught up with the festival to be named Glastonbury Fair, and came up with the very first pyramid at Worthy Farm."

That first pyramid, built using metal sheeting bought from Taunton Cattle Market, was a mainstay at Worthy Farm until 1980, when it was replaced with a more permanent structure made from telegraph poles and MoD sheeting.

However, that burned down in 1994, with the pyramid stage we all know now not erected until 2000.

Yeovil Express: NOW: The current incarnation of the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm. PICTURE: Paul Jones
NOW: The current incarnation of the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm. PICTURE: Paul Jones

But it is Bill and Andrew's first vision that is at the heart of the stage.

"His enthusiasm and dedication led to what we have now – thank you so much Bill," Mr Eavis added.

"In more recent years he was involved with the design of the structures at the Eden Project, first in Cornwall and now across the world.

"An inspirational life well lived – and simply loved by us all."