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Relive Glastonbury Festival 2011!

Highlights in news, pictures & video from Glastonbury 2011

Strummerville: a flicker of The Clash frontman at Glastonbury

Chris Eustace heads up to sing around the campfire

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Photographer:Sara Bowrey

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Chris Eustace | 24 June 2011

Meanwhile, on a small stage in the corner, 'Lovers’ Rock' blares out of the speakers as Bastille, aka South London singer/songwriter Dan Smith and his band, are setting up, ready to kick off a weekend of intimate live performances.

Towards the back of this little enclave is Joe Strummer's memorial stone, laid in 2003 after his untimely death in December 2002. One of Glastonbury's biggest friends, supporters and characters, he famously would hold court around a huge campfire every year, drawing so many people in that it became known as 'Strummerville'. As more and more people show up as the sun goes down, you realise Joe's silhouette is being projected onto the trees above the stone. Maybe it's the cider, but it feels like his spirit is here.

The spirit of Joe Strummer IS here though - Strummerville is a foundation, set up in his memory, to help struggling musicians, as well as help people using the power of music. As Joe himself took the journey from busker to world famous recording artist, now his legacy helps others to try and do the same. Trish Whelan of the charity explains: "We give people access to music. If they want to make records, we have a recording studio. The festival is the highlight of our calendar - we bring our favourite bands down to play, and then we’re honoured and blessed to have guests from other stages."

Bastille, The Joker And The Thief, Benjamin Folke Thomas and Molotov Jukebox, all acts featured on the Strummerville website, are playing here tonight. With Glastonbury Emerging Talent Winners Treetop Flyers here too, there's a feeling here that we'll be seeing some of these artists on bigger Glastonbury stages in years to come.

There's also more established acts set to play over the weekend, such as Beans On Toast, Sound Of Rum, Emmy The Great and The King Blues, as well as some 'secret special guests' on Saturday. With guests in previous years including Frank Turner, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Drums, you never know who might pitch up, just don't expect any superstar egos to be too welcome: "Joe was a big believer in the campfire as a way of bringing people together - no hierarchy, no bullshit, you can't act like a dickhead. Everyone's the same" says organiser Trish.

While the campfire's under-the-radar status is, Trish confirms, "deliberate, to make it more special", music-lovers, foodies and lovers of freebies all have reasons to come and pay homage: not only is the food there being cooked by a Masterchef semi-finalist, there's free CDs, featuring some of the bands playing the stage this year, plus badges and stickers to be had at the stall on the way in, plus any donation, big or small, essentially goes to helping out another potentially amazing artist or musical project.

If you're here, don't miss the opportunity to come and sit round the campfire and take it all in. If not, as you make a mental note to book those 2013 tickets, make another one to get yourself up here.


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