The world of organised pyromania
Tales From The Strummerville Campfire

Come along, sit down by the flames and get warmed up with these stories of campfire camaraderie from the people behind Strummerville.

Aaaah, campfires. No festival would be complete without the smell of dioxin being released into the air from burning plastic cups.

For some slightly more environmentally friendly warmth, however, the Strummerville charity, set up in memory of Clash legend Joe Strummer, offers a corner of comfort to all who find them at Glastonbury and Endorse It In Dorset.

We caught up with Charity Director Trish Whelan, and campfire host and musician Beans on Toast, a.k.a. Jay, for an insight into the world of organised pyromania.

Trish: Joe’s campfires started off backstage at Glastonbury. They were all pretty riotous, that’s all I’ll say. He was always so kind to people, so the whole idea of the campfire is that people can come and sit and get warm physically and through warm energy.
We’ve got four really great fire keepers, and they’re all old friends of Joe’s. I’ve got a strong team who really know how to keep it going and safe. Not doing ketamine’s a help with that!

Jay: As the charity’s grown, so has the fire. We started putting music on there two years ago. Last year, as we’re always up late, it seemed a good idea to do sunrise sessions, with the PA turned on as the sun started to rise.

The Agitator was booked. He’s a fantastic musician with some serious things to say, however if you catch him at that time, his words were a little ‘jumbled in his jaw’, shall we say. He ended up pulling the plug on himself, with him and his drummer running off into the distance…

Trish: There’s a lot of laughing that goes on. We had Bombay Bicycle Club come and play for us last year and they seemed really moody. Our sound engineer accidentally on purpose gave their bass to the Mystery Jets, who came on afterwards and smacked it, and BBC had to hang around and wait to get their bass back afterwards. They chilled out in the end.

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