Michael Eavis has led the tributes to Glastonbury‘s longtime commercial director Robert Richards, who has died at the age of 65.
Richards passed away on Wednesday (January 12) at Guy’s Hospital in London after a short illness, the festival confirmed in a statement yesterday (January 13).
Richards worked for Glastonbury for over 30 years, which began when he was involved in setting up the information and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament campaigning stalls.
He later became responsible for managing Glastonbury’s partnerships, large commercial deals and sponsorship in his role as commercial director. Richards also helped secure the license for the festival to continue in 2014, and produced Julien Temple’s 2006 Glastonbury film.
Speaking to See Tickets about his role back in 2015, Richards remarked: “We have world-class people working at the event, but what makes it so special is the commitment the area organisers and their teams bring to each of their parts of the festival. It’s the best party in the world.”Glastonbury Festival in 2019 (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
In his written tribute to Richards, Eavis noted that, alongside his work at the festival, “Robert helped me personally with projects in Pilton village, particularly the big social housing project and the village shop”.
“He was also Chairman of the Glastonbury Town Fund Board, which raised £24 million for the town in 2021,” the Glastonbury founder added.
“I am personally very sad and upset to lose this remarkable man who I will find difficult to replace.
“Now that the fever of life and his days are over, may God give his soul the rest it deserves. Thank you, Robert.”
Further tributes to Richards have been posted on social media since the news of his death was announced this week – you can see a selection of those below.
Glastonbury Festival is set to return this year from June 22-26 after its 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.