‘Corbyn’s going on stage with 808 State?!’: Glastonbury dos and don’ts for Jezza

Jeremy Corbyn will be playing the hits at this year’s Glastonbury festival.

For fans of 80s classics such as Ban the Bomb and Let’s Think Sensibly About Building a More Just Society, it’s set to be a misty-eyed reunion as the Labour leader dusts off the tweed and signature Brian-Johnson-from-AC/DC cap to speak in the Left Field.

Politicians turning up at Glastonbury to look more human is a long and occasionally glorious British tradition (even David Cameron’s one-time guru Steve Hilton has been going for 20 years, and once described the place as “a carnival of entrepreneurship”), but it brings with it a dark side. Should the Labour leader decide to hang around beyond his allocated slot, many potential media pitfalls await. So we’re offering Jeremy a short list of dos and don’ts.

• Get everyone behind you by going on the Pyramid stage to present someone with a birthday cake. Even if it isn’t their birthday – as was the case with the Dalai Lama and Patti Smith last year.

• Wear a fancy-dress disguise because you’re “too famous” to walk around without one. Always seems to work for Lily Allen.

• Get a mural of yourself installed in Shangri-La. The hillside fun zone has previously put up posters of festival founder Michael Eavis as a communist leader, so the shift to Corbyn-worship would be as seamless as Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un.

• Start some exciting rumours about your own presence on site. With its terrible mobile reception, Glastonbury thrives on celebrity broken-telephone. Corbyn’s going on stage with 808 State for their secret set on the Dance East stage? No way. He’s walking round the site disguised as a potted shrimp? And he’s been seen arm-in-arm with Diane Abbott, who is dressed as thousand island dressing? Brilliant. Corbyn’s died in his tent? Less good, but after the “Jacko’s dead” stuff in 2009, it would certainly feel plausible, and may make people pre-emptively nostalgic for your regime.


• Fail to do up your top button while singing the national anthem, while high on GHB, in the Green Fields, at 3am.

• Take up any offers of glamping. When the weather takes a turn, no one wants to know that you’re sleeping slightly dry and vaguely warm. The flipside of Glasto’s egalitarianism is an intense class envy.

• End up in the gay 80s New York S&M-themed Block9. Corbyn being ground by two beefy blokes in leather chaps? The tabloids would run it on the front page every day for the next four years.

• Be pictured dancing with a policeman – that’s Notting Hill carnival, Jez.

• Get talking to Alex Turner or Adele about soaking the rich.

• Get Matt Bellamy of Muse started on shadowy global capitalist conspiracy theories.

• Ask Grimes what’s on her ring.

• Go with Tom Watson to see any bands. Last time Drenge played Glastonbury, the Labour deputy leader had such a nu-grunge epiphany that he quit Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet with a shirty letter hymning the duo.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Gavin Haynes, for The Guardian on Monday 4th April 2016 18.22 Europe/London

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