MICHAEL Eavis is to give 500 free Glastonbury 2019 tickets to trainee nurses - in an effort to attract more people to the profession.

He made the offer while speaking at Shepton Mallet Hospital's summer fete on Saturday, July 21.

The offer is open to trainee nurses in Somerset who have enrolled on a nursing courses in 2018.

Mr Eavis, 82, said he had been in touch with the chairman of the local trust, who told him there was 'a real problem with the lack of nurses being trained now'.

The festival organiser also took the time to thank the numerous doctors and nurses who had taken care of the local community for generations, citing their 'timeless work'.

Anyone meeting the criteria who wises to apply for a free ticket has to send in a copy of their 2018 graduation certificate and proof of work for the NHS.

This will then give Mr Eavis and the festival office a good idea of how many people have been accepted for training and will qualify for a ticket, a spokesman confirmed.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust temporarily closed inpatient beds at Shepton Mallet hospital in October 2017 citing a "shortage of registered nurses across Somerset."

Hayley Peters, the senior nurse for the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said in February 2018: "There are no more nurses in Somerset."