Glastonbury 2009 - Strummerville

Billy Bragg keeps the memory of Joe Strummer alive...
Strummerville fire
Welcome to Strummerville: The Joe Strummer foundation for new music; a charity that aims to help create opportunities for aspiring musicians.

Strummerville will again be hosting the biggest campfire at Glastonbury 2009, situated perfectly near the commemorative stone, devoted to Joe Strummer in the Arcadia field. There will be many acoustic performances happening around the campfire from Strummerville’s supported new talent. A guest appearance from Billy Bragg and friends Johnny Neeson and Leon Walker on the Saturday should definitely attract a huge crowd.

Strummerville supports the work of Billy Bragg’s charity, Jail Guitar Doors, an independent initiative which provides instruments to those who are using music as a means to help with their rehabilitation process whilst in prison. Founded by Bragg, the name is taken from The Clash’s 1978 single ‘Clash City Rockers’.

"It's great that Strummerville are hosting a performance by Jonny and Leon. I named my music in prisons initiative Jail Guitar Doors in memory of Joe Strummer, and the people at Strummerville have been very supportive of our work since the off. Inviting the lads to play at Glastonbury Festival is very much in keeping with the work that Joe did. The voice of ex-prisoners is rarely heard in a society that locks more people up every year and both Jonny and Leon draw on their life experiences to write powerful songs.

"I'm here this year not to play but to support Jonny and Leon when they play the Strummerville stage. I set up my Jail Guitar Doors initiative - providing musical instruments to prisons in the UK for rehabilitation - in the name of Joe Strummer and The Clash and it's really fitting that they are playing Strummerville in that tradition."
– Billy Bragg

"This is my first first time at Glastonbury and I'm really looking forward to playing for Strummervile on Saturday night, with Billy (Bragg) coming up to support us and maybe play with us. This has been a great journey. Jail Guitar Doors has given me self confidence and a belief in myself to be a great performer." - Leon Walker, released from HMP Dartmoor two months ago

"I'm also a Glastonbury first timer. I can't believe the size of the place. It's been a really liberating experience so far. There's no doubt that I wouldnt be here if is wasn't for Jail Guitar Doors and Billy." - Jonny Neeson, released from HMP Guys Marsh last year. He has already supported many artists including Dirty Pretty Things and is currently working on a single with Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.).

With anticipation of very big acts (possibly including Glasto’s headliners!) to perform round the campfire, the surprise will definitely be something to look forward to over the weekend.

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Words: Chloe Gillard

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