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Politics Returns to Prime Spot

22nd February 2011

Speaking on the official festival website, Emily Eavis has revealed that the Leftfield tent will return to it's previous place, bringing politics and activism back into the core of the site amid an increasingly charged political atmosphere in the UK.

The tent's return to a prime location may help dispel some recent questions over the festival's traditionally strong support for activist causes.

In 2009, some festival goers expressed surprise that the Leftfield - which had been regular fixture mixing talks and bands - would not be appearing at that year's festival. Several sources claimed that a disagreement over finances between the festival organisers and the Leftfield organisation, then led by Battersea and Wandsworth TUC, had led to the absence that year.

In the following year, The Workers Beer Company - founded by the same union - saw its near-exclusive bar franchise at Glastonbury slashed in a shake up of the alcohol concession, most of which raises money for good causes.

Leftfield's position on the festival site was taken by the commercially backed Queens Head venue, involving Q Magazine. At the same time however, Michael Eavis worked behind the scenes with Billy Bragg to reinstate Leftfield.

When it returned in 2010, some Leftfield supporters felt that it's location in 2010 was a sign of weakening support for activist causes, despite other initiatives such as the introduction of Climate Camp elsewhere on site. Bragg however stated "Glastonbury is the original activist festival - it has always had that political edge".

The move this year will reunite the Leftfield tent with the iconic Leftfield tower, with "The Bard of Barking" again leading the set up. As a flavour of what might be in store for 2011: last year's up included "This is a Banker's Crisis", and "Beating the BNP", as well as a range of artists including Carl Barat and Paul Heaton.

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Article (C) GlastoEarth 2011. Photo by The Glastonbury Leftfield, Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Licence.