Labour MP Gareth Thomas believes that Glastonbury could be held in an outer London borough in 2023, if it wins a European Capital of Culture bid.
Could the Glastonbury Festival one day be moving to London? An idea to temporarily relocate the legendary festival has been floated by Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who has suggested that the British capital would host it for one year in 2023 if London won the bid for European Capital of Culture.
Thomas, the MP for Harrow West, is campaigning to be selected as the party’s mayoral candidate. He suggested that Epping Forest or Hackney Marshes could be considered as one-off site for the festival, according to a report by The Independent.
He would push for a special edition of Glastonbury as part of a series of “pop-up” arts and culture events throughout London, even the outskirts, during 2023, if he were elected as Mayor.
Kanye West performing his much-discussed headline slot at Glastonbury 2015
“The next opportunity for a European city to be capital of culture is 2023,” he said. “Bidding starts in 2017, meaning the new mayor would have six to 12 months to pull the bid together.”
“London is already well-served by major cultural institutions in the centre, but outer London has had a lot more pressure on arts funding and arts venues. There is a huge amount of artistic talent in London,” Thomas continued. “And as part of the overall bid why not bring Glastonbury to London for one year to help anchor the year of arts and culture. We know the mud of Glastonbury is high quality – the mud of outer London is even more refined than Glastonbury.”
Thomas is standing against Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Diane Abbott, David Lammy and Christian Wolmar for the Labour candidacy. He hopes to be able to persuade Michael Eavis, the founder and co-organiser of the festival, to go along with the idea.
This report comes a few weeks after Eavis, who runs Glastonbury with the assistance of his daughter Emily, admitted to Sky News that the festival may have to move site in the future as the process of gaining permission to use surrounding land is becoming increasingly complicated.