Glastonbury To "Become More Political"

Claims Michael Eavis...
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Glastonbury could be set to re-claim its roots as a hotbed of political dissent, Michael Eavis has claimed.

Glastonbury was founded in the era of the counter culture, when radical politics mingled with pop music. Retaining an outlaw aura, recent instalments have seen the atmosphere of the event change somewhat.

Often seen as being much more middle class, critics often Glastonbury as losing its radical edge. However speaking to The Guardian, organiser Michael Eavis has claimed that the festival could become a "sounding board of political discontent" this week.

The organiser lamented increasing apathy, but explained that rising anger against government cuts could be expressed at this weekend's event. "I think it (the festival) could well become more political. We've always been a sounding board for lots of unrest… If people are really faced with dire circumstances, that will get them angry and motivated, and that's the way we're heading at the moment."

Continuing, Michael Eavis placed politics at the centre of Glastonbury. "It (politics) gives Glastonbury soul and gives it back its purpose. As a Methodist, I place these values very highly, and recently I've been lamenting a bit of a decline."

"Tickets are good value, but not everyone can afford them. I hate to admit it, but the political platform has been reducing. The overriding reason people come now is to have a good time."

Glastonbury was forced to introduce a series of safety measures during the 90s, in part to keep certain elements outside of the festival gates. A riot in 1990 turned Worthy Farm into a battleground, as New Age travellers battled with police across a violent, politically charged weekend.

Now one of the safest festivals to attend in the country, Glastonbury intends to reinvigorate political debate through the introduction of the radical Left Field alongside the environmentally inclined Green Field.

Meanwhile, protest group Art Uncut have decided to protest against the inclusion of U2 on the bill. The band recently shifted their headquarters to escape an Irish tax bill, and could face criticism during their set on the Pyramid Stage.

Glastonbury runs between June 22nd - 26th.

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