Social skirmishes: Charities and the summer’s festivals

Rosie and Mr Warlock may have passed the flush of youth but we do like to get down with the kids and go to a festival or two over the summer. Problem is you keep running into work.

Glastonbury is the mother of all festivals and this year I will be reminded of work by homelessness charity Shelter sponsoring the John Peel stage. Turns out that Mr Peel was “a committed Shelter supporter throughout his life” so the stage will feature various bands from the north-west that sound the same while raising cash for the homeless. And they have even sorted out recycling the tents and wellington boots this year – another first.

There’s also the Oxfam shop, which will be raising money to build schools and water tanks (tempting fate given Glastonbury’s relationship with the rain). “Oxfam is working for a cleaner, greener, fairer Glastonbury Festival 2008″, which as a colleague from Somerset once said to me “It’s alright for you townies, you don’t get 100,000 people turning up to shit in your village once a year. How green is that?”

Other festivals highlights include the White Stuff Surf Relief Festival 2008, which “aims to and provide opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled children under the age of 18 to experience the sport of surfing”. Set up after the Tsunami in 2005, the surfers united have gone out to spread the good news about surfing and helping people. While at Wireless inLondon, ActionAid will be shouting out in tune to the music “Bollocks to Poverty”. It also has its own chill out area “complete with giant Jenga” and “Bollocks to Poverty” freebies. That’s the spirit.

Suffolk’s Latitude festival will feature several BBC Radio 4 prgrasmmes such as Just a Minute, Loose Ends, Poetry Please, The Now Show all in the cause of raising money for charity.

And apparently a pro-life group is turning up at festivals warning about the dangers of drugs, rock and roll and sex in unplanned conception. Have any of them ever tried it while being very drunk/out of it, incredibly damp and cramped in a small tent – it’s the perfect contraceptive.

So you just can’t get away from social care.

We might stay at home instead and slump in the garden.




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