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Thread: Labour Live

  1. #11
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    May 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bry Nylon View Post
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    From the Guardian...

    "Labour Live will be going ahead at White Hart Lane recreation ground on 16 June even if Len McCluskey has to rush in a one-member, one-free-ticket ruling. Have you got tickets, which were priced at £35? What do you mean: “It’s literally the first Saturday of the World Cup and – shoot me if you like – I’d rather watch France and then the Argies than John McDonnell”? That’s crazy talk.

    Admittedly, the event is perceived as having run into a few problems, not least the lineup. There was rather a lot of hype around Labour Live when it was announced, suggesting it would be the biggest and most slickly stage-managed political rally since any of the ones it’s tasteful to mention. Following Jeremy Corbyn’s very well-received appearance at Glastonbury last summer, it was expected that Labour could bring together some of the biggest entertainment properties in the Corbynverse – a sort of Infinity Rally featuring Stormzy and Lily Allen and whatnot.

    That was then. For whatever reason, Labour Live’s headliners are now the Magic Numbers (ask yer dad). Incredible, really, to think of the sheer volume of agents who have told their Corbyn-supporting clients that they are simply NOT doing this. I wonder what lies they have told? “No one but no one wants you to appear at this more than me, but the record company just won’t have it. It’s heartbreaking, but my hands are tied.”

    Still, Jermain Jackman will be there, and Hookworms, and Reverend and the Makers (again, your dad can help), and the gig will obviously feat. Jeremy Corbyn. So the situation could be a lot worse. The problem with anti-EU concert Bpop Live was all the booked artistes pulling out when they discovered it was an anti-EU concert. This will not be the case with Labour Live. Pretty sure that when my colleague Owen Jones says he is going to be somewhere, he honours his commitment – unlike East 17 or the two remaining members of 5ive, who binned off Bpop Live when it started to look like a shitter.

    Even so, there are whispers that Labour could be in for a big financial hit on the event, never mind the PR awks of a sparsely filled venue. To this end, none other than Unite boss McCluskey has had to step in to get the show back on track, which – creatively – feels akin to the moment Bob Geldof got promoter Bill Graham on board for the US side of Live Aid.

    Indeed, it’s a shame Labour Live can’t avail itself of someone with even a hundredth of the talent and soul of the legendary and extraordinary Graham, who always spoke with wistful power of the cultural moment of 70s rock, where the possibility of immense change felt real and within the grasp of a generation. Then again, instinct suggests there are – how to put this? – other aspects of contempo Labour discourse that would have put Graham right off association with them.

    Anyway, they have got Len instead, which in one sense isn’t weird – he already has form as a mood-music promoter. As for his strategy on this occasion, Unite announced a couple of weeks ago that it is giving away 1,000 tickets and would even organise free transport to the event. Since then, Labour HQ has made further offers of free tickets to constituency Labour parties, along with promises to lay on transport. And this week, the Labour party announced: “We’re offering a limited number of £10 tickets to under-27s. But you’ve got to be quick!”

    Of course you have. Like the saying goes: the early bird catches the people who bought early bird tickets. “Is there a process to try and reclaim costs?” one irked Labour supporter wondered on Twitter. “I’ve spent £70 on two tickets.”

    There isn’t, alas. As a Labour spokeswoman told the Observer last Sunday: “Labour Live is one of the ways we’re continuing to open up politics to a wider audience and spread Labour’s message about how we can build a society that works for the many, not the few.”

    It certainly works for the many who are being given free tickets – but arguably less so for the few who paid actual money for them. I hope the latter group of suckers learns their lesson: participating in capitalism always gets you screwed over, while waiting for a free handout builds a concert we can all be proud of. I also hope the person in charge of this eccentric ticketing process will be chief secretary to the Treasury within four years.

    So there you have it. We have not yet got to the stage of needing to put on a concert to save the concert, but there is a clear sense that the Labour press office would now literally rather talk about the realities of their Brexit position than Labour Live."
    According to Diane Abbot there are only 2000000 tickets left .

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