x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Festival organisers go all out for Morrissey

At the Belgian music festival Lokerse, there will be a meat-free zone on the day the famous vegetarian Morrissey performs.

They say influence is everything, and when you can dictate the eating habits of a whole festival's worth of people, you know you've got some serious clout. But then the former Smiths frontman, Morrissey, probably realised that already.

The organisers of the Belgian music festival Lokerse were so keen to secure him as a headline act that they agreed to his demand to ban the sale of meat from the site on August 4 (the day that he is due to perform). This is a bold and potentially unpopular move from a festival that is well-known for serving up horsemeat sausages and snails. While officials at Lokerse have been quick to assert that one meat-free day in 10 is a "healthy break for all", those who can't cope without a burger fix will be pleased to learn that food stalls outside the designated ground will be allowed to continue selling wares for the carnivorous.

Morrissey is renowned for being a devoted animal-rights activist and has never shied away from voicing his strongly held opinions on the subject. In 1985 The Smiths' second album Meat Is Murder promoted vegetarianism in ardent fashion and in 2009, while performing at California's Coachella festival, Morrissey took offence when the aroma of barbecued meat permeated the air. He was so disgusted that he left the stage, after declaring that he could "smell burning flesh". At least there will be no such problem this time.