Delingpole: Glastonbury Festival Cancelled Again. Where’s the Rebellion?

Revellers enjoy the performance of Scottish singer song-writer Lewis Capaldi at the Glasto
Getty Images

Glastonbury festival has been cancelled for the second year running because of Chinese Coronavirus. I find myself torn between despair and Schadenfreude.

The despair comes from seeing a viable business being driven to the wall by bad government policy. Festival founder Michael Eavis warned last year that the event “would seriously go bankrupt” if there were a second year’s cancellation.

Even if this disaster doesn’t come to pass, it will mean many millions of pounds lost to the hospitality and entertainment industry — everyone from the rock stars who would have headlined (last year it was going to be Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar) to the roadies and engineers to the people running the food and craft stalls and healing tents.

And let’s not forget the 200,000 punters, denied for a second year running the joys of a long weekend’s hedonism in the beautiful Somerset countryside. I love Glastonbury; I’m very fond of Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily (even though we don’t share the same politics); and I find it heartbreaking to see such a mighty institution — undoubtedly the world’s greatest music festival — wantonly driven to the brink of destruction.

But I feel a degree of Schadenfreude, too, for I count Glastonbury’s closure in part as a self-inflicted injury. I’ve been surveying my country this last twelve months, watching the people’s hysterical overreaction to Chinese coronavirus and  the way they’ve swallowed wholesale and unquestioningly everything the government’s propagandists tell them.

I’ve been wondering: where is the spirit of ’68? Where is the revolutionary urge to fight the system that you might have expected from Glastonbury’s rock n roll youth demographic? It’s virtually non-existant. The kids have let the oppressive state roll of them without putting up a fight.

The rock stars –barring a few notable exceptions such as Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Right Said Fred, Morrissey and the Stone Roses’ Ian Brown — have gone along with the Covid rules and regulations with barely a whisper of complaint.

The UK government — all the other governments too, come to that — would never have got away with all these endless lockdowns, the compulsory mask nonsense, and so on, if the rebellious youth had put up more resistance. But the rebellious youth didn’t. Instead, if anything, they were often more cowed and nervy and mask compliant than the older generation.

We get the future we deserve. Maybe the kids who didn’t rise up when they should have done will come to rue their failure one day.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.