Silence reigns at Glastonbury to honour victims
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.