Glastonbury Festival hilltop EU flashmob undeterred by mud and rain


Rain and treacherously slippery mud could not deter Glastonbury campers from showing their solidarity with Europe in an EU flashmob.

Festival organiser Michael Eavis was a no-show despite spending the afternoon in the Greenpeace field, but more than 150 people did turn up to form a heart surrounded by the stars of the EU flag on the hill above the Park Stage on Sunday evening.

Folk band Seize The Day cut short their gig on the Greenpeace Stage to lead attendees up the hill, where, with bongos and a loudspeaker, they started a chant of, "You and me are human beings, everyone here is still European".

Proving they were as headstrong as they were socially-minded, the group continued with their plan to move to the giant Glastonbury sign at the top of the hill for a photograph, despite the mud leaving people desperately clinging to each other to stay upright and several making ungraceful - and painful-looking - skids to the floor.

Flashmob at Glastonbury

One of the organisers, Hannah Martin, 27, from Yorkshire, said there was no political aim to the stunt, but it was a gesture to show "support and understanding for how this (Leave vote) will affect people and their lives", which the Eavis' had been "really supportive" of.

She said: "There's always been a tradition at Glastonbury of things stirring up over the weekend and people doing something creative with it so we wanted to continue in that tradition.

"I want to make sure that important parts of the European Union are protected, like legislation on the environment, on pollution and cleaning rivers.

"We have to make sure we retain the best parts of the European Union and retain our ability to be welcoming, progressive and fight for people who are vulnerable."

Participant Toby Cann, 39, who has recently returned to Somerset after 10 years living in Switzerland and the Czech Republic, said the flashmob was a way of expressing his feelings "without falling into that trap of being reactive and aggressive and unpleasant, because that's what I feel has run this narrative and it's not okay".

He said: "People are being hounded by a fear there's not enough to go around. This (event) is about community, understanding, tolerance, it's about moving forward and thinking about a wider understanding of the world which isn't made by manifesting some barrier to our resources".

Flashmob at Glastonbury

Those who attended were adamant that some change had to come as a result of a backlash against the referendum.

Roisin Baird, 27, who was born in Glasgow but has lived in Canada for the last six years, said she was angry that "Westminster, who don't have our interests at all, yet again dictate the future of Scotland".

She said: "As a young person, I'm angry because it directly affects us so profoundly in terms of travelling and working and just being part of the European community.

"I think it's one of the biggest political disasters of the last 60 years in the UK."