The Labour Party organised this event and promised “a festival of political ideas, with music, art, workshops and conversations.” I arranged for the MU to sponsor the headline act on the second ‘Solidarity’ stage and booked the marvellous She Drew the Gun from Liverpool.
Upon arrival on the White Hart Lane site at 9.30am, it was clear significant effort and investment had been made in staging and the overall festival site set-up. The MU logo was visible on many of the advertising hoardings and general signage. I secured an AAA pass, which gave me access to the complete backstage area where I met the majority of the artists performing. These included: Jermain Jackman; Levi Roots; Declan McKenna; Rae Morris; the Magic Numbers; Reverend & the Makers; Eddie Izzard, Maeve Mackinnon and Sam Fender. Robb Johnson was acting as MC and is a keen MU supporter. Clean Bandit were headlining and Grace Chatto agreed to be profiled in The Musician during 2018. I also met backstage: Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, David Lammy, Kate Osamor, Jennie Formby, Owen Jones, Shelly Asquith, Martin Smith and Tim Lezard.
Photographer Jonathan Stewart captured a large portfolio of the artists performing and his onstage access ensured the Union – and perhaps many of the artists – will benefit from a valuable series of festival related shots. She Drew the Gun gave a compelling performance to an encouraging crowd at the Solidarity stage and I took the microphone to promote the MU from that stage during the afternoon and at the end of their set.
Grace Goodwin, drummer with our sponsored band, said on Twitter after the event: “Had a great time at Labour Live and was treated so well as a musician with a dressing room, catering and help with all my gear! This is not the norm for all gigs so props to @UKLabour and @WeAreTheMU for treating musicians well!”