Saturday, June 25, 2005


We're slightly rallied by the news that Bob Geldof is going to pitch up to give Glastonbury a lecture about Africa, not because the apparent plan to get everyone in the field to hold hands is appealing, but because it's a bit of a nice tradition - we remember our first Glastonbury was interrupted, briefly, by David Icke popping up to ask us to be careful about litter or somesuch; his slot had a massive build up promising it was going to be something very significant, and so it was slightly dispiriting to discover his big moment was just about putting cans and bottles into black sacks. Mind you, this was before he was the son of God, so maybe he just didn't have the material back then.

The hand-holding in the name of progress seems to be an attempt to recreate the slightly disappointing spirit of Hands Across America and the Jimmy Saville endorsed British version (we have precious memories of Saville, live on Andy Kershaw's Radio One Sunday afternoon arts show, expressing his desire to smash himself into a million pieces, to fly above the country and see all the hand holding; clearly not simply smoking cigars, then).

We're sure it's all meant well, but it's a dangerous combination of the self-importance that sometimes surrounds Glasto with the monster ego that is at the heart of Live 8; if those two forces fuse this afternoon all the hand-holding in the world won't save you as Geldof and Eavis merge into a giant ImportoEgoBeast, sixteen feet high and made of girders and conviction, marching towards Gleneagles and crushing all thoughts of difference of opinions under its enormous feet, each the size of The Sun's famous double-decker bus.

They will be filmed from the air to "show people around the world people at Glastonbury are concerned about the issue", Mr Eavis said.

Mr Eavis added the festival had been supporting similar campaigns for a decade and "we've been doing this for so long that we've got to finish the job". Geldof asked to appear to "talk about his favourite subject, the Africa problem", Mr Eavis said. "He'll get us all worked up."

Run for your lives! It's starting! The ImportoEgoBeast is rising.

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