The Conservative Party are organising a one-day festival after seeing the response to Jeremy Corbyn’s Glastonbury appearance earlier this year.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman is credited with the idea, the aim of which is said to be increasing the party’s grassroots support.
“Why should the left have all the fun at festivals?” Freeman tweeted in July, along various photos of festival tents, flags and food trucks. “We need a cultural revival of grassroots Conservatism: DM me to join #ConservativeIdeasFest”.
Now, the Financial Times reports he has raised £25,000 for the event, which will be held in September. Freeman said he had also had “some wonderful offers of help of sponsorship and venues” and the idea for a right wing festival “seems to have struck a chord”.
He likened the one-day festival to a “cross between Hay-on-Wye and the Latitude festival” and described it as a reaction to the “increasingly corporate, expensive and exclusive” Tory party conference.
Freeman’s event will be invitation-only, with only between 150 to 200 people to attend. He said it would be like a “first rave, you’ll remember who you brought.”
“Aim isn’t Glastonbury (!) More like grassroots #PoliticsFest: Big Tent. Philosophy. Culture,” he added on Twitter.
— George Freeman (@GeorgeFreemanMP) August 5, 2017
The FT cites the party’s membership as having fallen to 150,000 members, which is less than a third of the Labour Party’s current number.