LABOUR’S conference will once again play host to a festival of radical politics and culture, campaigning left-wing organisation Momentum announced yesterday.
The group said its The World Transformed event, which launched at the party conference in Liverpool last year, would return to a spread of nine venues in Brighton in September.
Speakers and performers at the festival, which will run from September 23 to 26, will include shadow chancellor John McDonnell, DJ collective Horse Meat Disco, film-maker Ken Loach and MPs Laura Pidcock and Lisa Nandy.
There will also be appearances from World War II veteran and author Harry Leslie Smith, shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti and Mercury Prize-nominated jazz and hip-hop artist Soweto Kinch.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The World Transformed has shown itself to be a powerful new space on the Labour Party conference fringe for people to debate policies, exchange ideas and expand our political horizon with arts, music and culture.
“Events like these complement the main conference, open up politics and help develop a strong campaigning movement to elect a Labour government for the many not the few.”
Last year’s festival, for which the Morning Star was a media partner, attracted over 5,000 visitors to the Black-E venue in Liverpool.
Some critics of Mr Corbyn’s leadership attacked the event for being held as a “rival conference” — in spite of the history of fringe meetings at all parties’ annual delegate gatherings.
Some leftwingers also raised concerns that the festival distracted from the task of winning votes on the conference floor, where last year the left suffered a number of setbacks.
Conservative MP George Freeman recently attracted ridicule when he proposed an invitation-only Glastonbury-style music festival for Conservatives.
The World Transformed organiser Anastasia Palikeras said that, in contrast, “our city-wide festival will be open to the public, attract thousands of visitors and span nine venues across Brighton.”
She added: “The World Transformed will be a chance to celebrate Labour’s extraordinary electoral comeback, while also debating the ideas that will shape the future of Britain and seriously considering what a Corbyn-led government could achieve.”