Billy Bragg talks "real loss" of Glastonbury not taking place in 2021

25 January 2021, 11:38 | Updated: 25 January 2021, 12:45

Billy Bragg Performs At Whelans, Dublin in 2019
Billy Bragg Performs At Whelans, Dublin in 2019. Picture: Kieran Frost/Redferns/Getty

By Jenny Mensah

The singer-songwriter, poet and activist - who curates the festival's Left Field stage - has talked about the impact of the event being postponed again.

Billy Bragg has talked about the "loss" of Glastonbury Festival having to be cancelled for the second time running.

The poet, singer-songwriter and activist is one of the organisers at the Somerset festival, curating its famous Left Field stage for many years, but he admitted it was "a bit of a shock" to have it postponed for another year.

Asked on BBC News if he thought the announcement was inevitable, the artist replied: "I don’t think it was inevitable, but a lot of people in my profession... we’re constantly having things booked that are postponed. I mean I’ve got an Australian festival that’s happening this time next year that’s been postponed twice".

The 63-year-old added: "And it’s difficult to keep focusing on things. Glastonbury was one of those things where we thought ‘OK that’s a landmark there.' If we can get to Glasto then the rest of the summer for everybody else… 'cause Glasto is right at the start of the summer. It’s one of the earliest festivals.

"It’s the last weekend of June and it’s a real signal to the rest of the festival diaspora that things are going to happen again. So, losing it again for another year is a bit of a shock, but you know it’s a festival that does have a fallow year, so they can deal with that, but for all the people who go there and all the people who work as part of it, it’s a real loss..."

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However, the A New England singer is sure once the coronavirus pandemic has been controlled that festivals and live shows will be more important than ever.

He continued: "I think the thing is, once this ends we’ll want to get together and listen to music again, because there’s something you can get from gathering together as a crowd and listening to music that you love and having a good old sing. You can’t get that on the internet.

“I think once this is over, I think people will want to come back to gigs again, whether they’re small gigs, or whether it’s something like Glastonbury. It’s just a hope really that those venues and festivals are going to be there."

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Despite the bad news, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has talked about wanting to do "something smaller" to replace the festival in September.

On the same day the cancellation was announced, Eavis told LBC: "I would like to do something in September.

"I would like to do something smaller somewhere around the anniversary date of when we started, which was the 18th of September 1970.

"I would like to consider possibly doing something around that time."

Quizzed if the event would involve getting some of the big artists who would have performed at the festival this year, the Octogenarian replied: "Yes, but I do need to get reassurance from the ethics people."

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