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15 May 2018

Why is the line-up at Labour’s music festival so bad?

Jeremy Corbyn has been endorsed by a glittering line-up of musicians, but Labour’s one-day festival is low on star power.

By Stephen Bush

Why is Labour’s one day music festival so bad? Jeremy Corbyn and his party racked up an astonishing array of endorsements from talented and exciting musicians during the election, but the most exciting star due to play at LabourLive – designed as a thank you to party activists for their work in the general election – are the Magic Numbers, a band whose ability to pull in major crowds has waned in recent years.

As Kevin Schofield reports over at PoliticsHome, the result has been a festival that is struggling to sell tickets. It’s strange as Corbyn’s musical supporters include artists as talented and varied as Stormzy, Enter Shikari, and Lily Allen.

The problem is that Corbynites in Labour HQ were split on the issue. Some were passionately excited by the scheme, while others thought it was a waste of time. The compromise measure was to run a festival but without any money to book acts, which meant that the biggest names had to politely decline.

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