Billy Bragg makes welcome return to Dorset trade union festival

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Culture
The crowd at the 2014 Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival stand in solidarity with Palestine. Pic © Tim Lezard

The crowd at the 2014 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival stands in solidarity with Palestine. Pic © Tim Lezard

Billy Bragg makes a welcome return to this year’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival.

Organised by the South West TUC, the event runs from July 17th to 19th in Dorset, with Bragg sharing the main stage on Sunday afternoon with 2-Tone legends The Beat, folk singers Seth Lakeman and Naomi Bedford, along with socialist R & B favourites Thee Faction.

Speakers on the Sunday include TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, TUC president Leslie Manasseh, Angela Eagle MP and Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.

Jonny and The Baptists, Dana Immanuel and Irish punks Neck play in the marquee on Saturday night, with all-female indie ban The Tuts, Chris T-T and the Hoodrats and Curtls Eller’s American Circus performing on Friday night.

Organiser Nigel Costley said: “With the General Election in the balance, we’re keeping our power dry over the debates but, whoever’s in power come May, we’ll have our usual range of top class speakers, discussing issues relevant to working people.

“We’re encouraging people to check our website for up-to-date information about the speakers as and when we add them.”

The event remembers the six farmworkers who, in 1834, were transported to Australia after forming a trade union to campaign for a pay rise.

* Tickets for the Festival go on sale on April 1st. Rally Day is free, with a weekend camping pass costing £45 for adults and £5 for children.

More details here.

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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