Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is due to appear on stage at the Glastonbury Festival. The Labor politician was revealed as part of the Left Field Stage line-up poster at the Somerset event later this year.
The world-renowned performing arts festival will return in June after a two-year hiatus. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it’s back in full force this year as over 200,000 people descend on Worthy Farm in Pilton to watch performances by Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Diana Ross and more. But the festival is not all about music, and the Left Field stage will host debates on a number of topics, including politics and environmental and social issues.
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Mr Burnham, who also served in Gordon Brown’s Labor cabinet as Chief Secretary, Culture Secretary and Health Secretary, will take part in a debate titled State of the Nation: Politics in Crisis Saturday, June 25. The Left Field Stage is organized by political activist and musician Billy Bragg.
Mr Bragg said: “So much has happened in the three years since we last met under the Left Field marquee. We have assembled an incredible roster of activists and artists committed to make sense of it all.
“Whether you want radical perspectives or great music, come to Left Field to recharge your activism in these trying times.” For his debate, Mr Burnham will be joined by political activist Frances Foley, Labor politician Mete Coban, Labor journalist, comedian, writer and adviser Shaista Aziz and Guardian columnist John Harris.
The Left Field Stage will also celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Glastonbury Festival this year. Speaking about the history of the scene, festival founder Michael Eavis said: “The Worker’s Beer Company and I started the Left Field Tent, following our tradition of campaigning for the CND and helping the miners who were totally destroyed by Maggie in the eighties.
“And before that, there was a huge surge of interest in the green movement’s efforts to clean up our country when eco-warriors arrived here in all their glory in the 1970s.Luckily for all of us, Billy and Juliet have now taken over.
“Their passion and integrity are needed to lead the left field tent to fight for change and give our poorest half a chance at a decent, happy and worthwhile life.”