Billy Bragg talks about his visit to Glastonbury in 2000 with Boris Johnson

Billy Bragg has said that Boris Johnson was “relatively harmless” when he famously brought the politician to Glastonbury in 2000, but warned that “you have to be careful who you take on celebrity positions”.

The folk singer, who organized the fest’s Left Field tent, said he has not been in touch with the prime minister since giving him a documentary tour of Glastonbury 22 years ago.

Speaking to Glastonbury Free Press, Bragg said: “I tell people it was just a bad trip and I don’t know how it ended on YouTube.

“I thought it was just some bad magic mushroom but it must have actually happened. In my defense, he was relatively harmless at the time.

“It just goes to show that you have to be careful who you take on celebrity positions. Then, he was that guy from Have I Got News for You.

“Everyone was really pleased to see him. I can’t imagine that he would have had a similar reaction if I walked around with him now.”

In the video, singer-songwriter Bragg welcomes Mr Johnson, who is wearing a cream suit with a blue shirt, when he arrives at the Castle Carey train station after missing his stop on the train – calling it “in a trance”. to be”.

While taking the politician to Glastonbury, the pair discuss the correct way to say Glastonbury before asking the punters on their arrival.

In the video, Mr Johnson is introduced to nude activists, and is heard saying: “I fully support your right to be naked.”

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He also visits the famous Stone Circle and delves into an economic discussion, branding the festival a “capitalist extravaganza”.

Bragg told the Glastonbury Free Press: “I think he is someone who has lived all his life without responsibility: professionally, personally or politically.

“Boris is someone who works with impunity and someone like this is downright dangerous to run the country.”

In 2016, Bragg reaffirmed his support for then-Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he called at a campaign event in London and defended the politician when he was facing negative attacks.


Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the crowd from the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in 2017 (UE Mok/PA)

A year later, Mr. Corbyn appeared on the Pyramid Stage in Glastonbury and was encouraged by a spirited speech to thousands of people.

The slogan “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” to the tune of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army was part of the enthusiastic reception he received, as he sought to build on the momentum generated by his party’s gains in the general election.

Asked whether current Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer would get the same response, Bragg said: “I don’t know if Keir is a festival kind of person.

“To some people it is a complete curse, the idea of ​​walking across a muddy field on a rainy June afternoon.”

The singer said that he thinks pop music still has the power to bring people together in a political sense.

He added: “Pop is no longer quite as central to the youth experience as I began with, but I still think it has been able to bring people together, recharge their activism politically and quell cynicism. Helps to remove

“For example, Taylor Swift pitting against Donald Trump in an election year.”

Bragg will play at left field from 9 p.m. after the Solidarity for Ukraine debate later in the day.