Banksy claims migrant boat artwork in crowd at Glastonbury

30 June 2024, 19:49 | Updated: 1 July 2024, 09:48

Banksy has claimed responsibility for a migrant boat artwork that appeared above the crowds during a set at Glastonbury.

The inflatable boat was filled with dummies designed to look like migrants attempting to cross the Channel.

It was hoisted above the crowd and passed around by festival-goers during Idles' performance on the Other Stage at Worthy Farm on Friday night.

The boat appeared again during rapper Little Simz's set as she performed on the Pyramid stage on Saturday.

Banksy later posted a video of the boat on his Instagram page - appearing to confirm it was his work.

It emerged as the Bristol-based band the Idles sang the lyrics: "My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant", according to The Guardian.

The art installation drew criticism from government ministers after Rishi Sunak made "stopping the boats" one of his five priorities.

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Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Small boats crossings are deadly and have cost the lives of too many people.

"Festival-goers cosplaying as migrants, and celebrating the actions of people smugglers, while they party is awful. Whatever your political views, this isn't something we should trivialise."

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Times Radio: "I was really saddened by it, actually.

"If you look at what happens with men, women, children being shoved on to those dinghies - the criminal gangs only fill them half with petrol, so they run out halfway across the English Channel and start to sink, endangering people's lives.

"I don't think this is a sort of thing to joke around with at Glastonbury."

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