The long-awaited referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) will clash with Glastonbury Festival, prompting festival-goers with an over-inflated sense of importance to accuse the authorities of conspiring to prevent them from voting.
Music lovers have said it’s “totally ridiculous” that the two events should take place at the same time, apparently posing a major dilemma for them on whether to attend Glastonbury or vote. But Members of Parliament have dismissed the idea of a conspiracy, saying they’re far more worried about the effect that the Euro 2016 football tournament will have on turnout.
Some ticket holders have demanded that electoral laws be changed to allow them to vote onsite, apparently not sufficiently engaged with the democratic system to know that they can simply apply for a postal vote.
— Michael Cooper (@MichaelCooper09) February 21, 2016
— Justin Galbraith (@juzzathehut) February 20, 2016
It seems totally ridiculous to have the #EUreferendum over the Glastonbury weekend…
— Tom Clark (@TomClarkMusic) February 20, 2016
So the #EUreferendum vote is going to be when me and approx 175,000 other people are at Glastonbury Festival. This is a conspiracy surely?!
— Helen Jaques (@helenjaques) February 20, 2016
— Jack Mowatt (@Penguin111193) February 20, 2016
The Electoral Commission has confirmed that it will not be possible to set up a polling station onsite, while Glastonbury Festival has helpfully Tweeted information on how to apply for a postal vote.
— Glastonbury Festival (@GlastoFest) February 20, 2016
— Martha Davis (@marthahelen15) February 20, 2016
A spokesman for Electoral Commission explained: “As similar to other elections, each person would have to vote in their local area and if they want to vote in person, they would have to vote at the polling station they have been assigned.
“It wouldn’t be possible to turn-up to just any polling station and vote because the local authority wouldn’t have the voter on their local electoral register and therefore would be unable to check if you were entitled to vote.”
Members of Parliament, meanwhile, have assured the public that there is no conspiracy to keep festival-goers from voting – saying that the government simply isn’t capable of such an intrigue.
Labour MP Kate Hoey said: “[I am] surprised they think Glastonbury is full of young people! Thought it was full of ageing hippies! Those who care about their country whether they are pro or against the EU will have taken the opportunity to have a postal vote.
“I am more worried about all those people following Northern Ireland, Wales and England’s footballing fortunes in France that week.”
A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.