Si­lence reigns at Glas­ton­bury to hon­our victims

Sunday Star-Times - - WORLD - PA, The Times Reuters, The Times

Bri­tain’s Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val fell silent for a minute yes­ter­day in mem­ory of the victims of re­cent ter­ror at­tacks and the dev­as­tat­ing Gren­fell Tower fire, be­fore Ha­cienda Classical eased rev­ellers into the first day of mu­sic at the world’s big­gest green­field fes­ti­val.

Peter Hook, the bass player from Manch­ester bands Joy Di­vi­sion and New Or­der, led the crowd on the main Pyra­mid Stage in re­flect­ing on ‘‘our hopes and our prayers for life, love and free­dom, the things we are here to cel­e­brate’’.

Se­cu­rity has been stepped up at Wor­thy Farm in Som­er­set, south­west Eng­land, af­ter a sui­cide bomb­ing at an Ari­ana Grande con­cert in Manch­ester killed 22 peo­ple last month, and af­ter three re­cent at­tacks in Lon­don.

Fes­ti­val­go­ers have taken the ex­tra checks in their stride, more con­cerned about cop­ing with the hottest June in Eng­land for four decades, which has slowed ac­tiv­ity at the site to a crawl.

‘‘Cor­byn­ma­nia’’ has swept through Glas­ton­bury this year, and for the first time in the event’s his­tory a po­lit­i­cal leader’s name is be­ing chanted by the crowds.

The Bri­tish Labour leader ad­dressed thou­sands of peo­ple from the Pyra­mid Stage yes­ter­day, in­tro­duc­ing Amer­i­can rap su­per­group Run the Jewels, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween El-P and Killer Mike. The lat­ter en­dorsed and cam­paigned with Bernie San­ders dur­ing the United States pres­i­den­tial pri­maries last year, and the duo have been in­tro­duced on stage by San­ders.

As thou­sands of ticket hold­ers queued, a chant of ‘‘Oooh, Jeremy Cor­byn’’, to the tune of the White Stripes’ song Seven Na­tion Army, spread through the crowd.

The chant has be­come the an­them to this year’s fes­ti­val. Matt Swift, 20, from Portsmouth, said: ‘‘It was all I could hear last night.’’ Home­made signs and ban­ners across the site also bear the Labour leader’s face.

The fes­ti­val has a long his­tory of left­ist po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment, and Cor­byn has been em­braced by Michael Eavis, the fes­ti­val founder, and his daugh­ter and co-or­gan­iser Emily, who called him the ‘‘hero of the hour’’.

Mean­while, actor Johnny Depp yes­ter­day apol­o­gised for jok­ing at Glas­ton­bury about as­sas­si­nat­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, say­ing his re­marks were in ‘‘poor taste’’.

The Pi­rates of the Caribbean star was at a screen­ing of his 2004 film The Lib­er­tine when dis­cus­sion turned to the topic of Trump. Depp pon­dered how long it had been since an actor had killed a US pres­i­dent.

His re­marks drew re­bukes from Trump sup­port­ers, and the White House de­scribed them as ‘‘sad’’.

Depp said his re­marks were not in­tended ma­li­ciously. ‘‘I was only try­ing to amuse, not to harm any­one.’’


Peo­ple at the Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val ob­serve a minute’s si­lence for the victims of re­cent ter­ror at­tacks and the Gren­fell Tower fire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.