Mumford and Sons have closed this year’s Glastonbury festival, with their first ever headline set on the Pyramid Stage.
The band began in the dark, playing the slow-burning Lovers’ Eyes, which opens with a lone vocal over feedback.
The lights came up for second song I Will Wait – their only UK top 20 hit – and the crowd erupted.
“We came for a party,” frontman Marcus Mumford said.
The set was the band’s first since bass player Ted Dwane had surgery for a blood clot on his brain this month.
They closed their set by playing the Joe Cocker version of A Little Help From My Friends, for which they were joined on stage by Vampire Weekend, The Vaccines and folk singers The Staves.
This year’s Glastonbury Festival has seen 180,000 people descend on Michael Eavis’s Somerset farmstead.
The music has catered to a wide range of tastes with sets from artists such as Laura Mvula, Chase and Status, Rita Ora and Elvis Costello.
Sunday’s line-up included Vampire Weekend, Smashing Pumpkins, Jessie Ware, Bobby Womack and Sir Bruce Forsyth.
Avon and Somerset Police said crime at this year’s festival has dropped dramatically since the last event in 2011.
Crime levels were 33% lower than in 2011, with 220 reported crimes, including drug offences and thefts from tents, since gates to the campsites opened on Wednesday.
Police added that there were no major incidents on site and a total of 154 arrests have been made.
Mumford and Sons’ had said they would have pulled out of the headline slot if their 28-year-old bass player had not made a full recovery.
The band were hit by the news of Ted Dwane’s condition while they were on tour in the US earlier in June. He had been taken to hospital after being described as “feeling unwell” for several days.
His illness forced the band to cancel the remainder of their North American Summer Stampede tour and threw their first headliner slot at Worthy Farm into doubt.
“Nothing was more important than Ted’s health,” said Ben Lovett.
After leaving hospital, Ted Dwane posted a picture of himself bearing surgery scars on the band’s website, accompanied by the caption: “Bear with a sore head!”
Mumford and Sons have closed this year’s Glastonbury festival, with their first ever headline set on the Pyramid Stage
The band took to a stage still vibrating from the barnstorming set from Saturday night’s closing act – The Rolling Stones.
The veteran rockers received five-star reviews in most of the Sunday papers.
Some fans in the audience, however, felt the sound was too quiet and there were scattered chants of “turn it up” during the band’s performance.
Mumford and Sons were among those watching the gig, as they had with Friday night headliners the Arctic Monkeys.
Ben Lovett said the shows had made him worry that his banjo-brandishing band did not have quite enough hits to fill their show.
“We’ve only got two albums, so we’ve got to write more,” he laughed.
“But we’re match fit. We wouldn’t perform if we didn’t think we could do a great job.
“We’re confident and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Grammy and Brit-winning band are the biggest stars of the nu-folk scene which emerged from West London five years ago.
Their contemporaries Noah And The Whale, who played on The Other Stage on Saturday, said the headline slot was a coming-of-age moment.
“It’s funny,” said frontman Charlie Fink.
“Every time things get a bit bigger, you think <<I can’t believe it’s got to this stage>> and then something else happens.
“But I think it’s amazing. It’s crazy everything that’s happened to people we know and that genre of music.”
Another oldie making his debut was 85-year-old Bruce Forsyth, who emerged on the Avalon Stage to the Strictly Come Dancing theme and introduced himself as “The Rolling Stones 2”, before playing a set of music hall standards, including Gershwin’s Funny Face.
The turn-out for Sir Bruce Forsyth was so large that security officers shut down the Avalon field for 20 minutes, as hundreds of fans spilled out of the tent into the field beyond.
The notorious Sunday afternoon “Glastonbury legend” slot – which has played host to the likes of Shirley Bassey and Johnny Cash – was filled by country star Kenny Rogers.
“I was told it was a special slot but I don’t always believe everything my manager says when he’s trying to get me to do something,” admitted the singer.
Kenny Rogers added he was unsure whether the Glastonbury audience would be familiar with hits such as The Gambler, Coward Of The County and Islands In The Stream.
“But I think any time you get that number of people together, percentage-wise I should have enough people who know my music to carry the rest of them.
“I’m convinced now that my audience falls into two categories: Either born since 1980 and their parents played my music as child abuse, or they were born before 1960, and can no longer remember the 60s.”
The 74-year-old, who is the seventh-biggest-selling artist in US history, also said he was hoping to see Mumford and Sons.
“I saw them on a Country Music Television show in the States, and I thought they were excellent.
“You know, my first 10 years, I played upright bass and sang in a jazz group – so I can really appreciate what they’re doing melody-wise and time-wise.
“It’s great to hear a group like that be so successful.”
Glastonbury Festival has survived riots, fires, mud swamps in its action-packed 43-year-history.
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.
From humble hippyfest to music megabrand – Glastonbury has exploded into one of the world’s biggest and best-loved festivals.
It has survived riots, fires, mud swamps and the wrath of the local council throughout the years, to become an institution on the British summer calendar.
When Michael Eavis, a Somerset farmer, organized the first festival in 1970, he was inspired by the psychedelic delights of the Bath Blues Festival. In an attempt to create an even better event, Michael Eavis combined typical pop festival culture with a more traditional fair and harvest-type event.
The festival takes place in south west England at Worthy Farm between the small villages of Pilton and Pylle in Somerset, six miles east of Glastonbury, overlooked by the Glastonbury Tor in the “Vale of Avalon”. The area has a number of legends and spiritual traditions, and is a “New Age” site of interest: ley lines are considered to converge on the Tor. The nearest town to the festival site is Shepton Mallet, three miles north east, but there continues to be interaction between the people espousing alternative lifestyles living in Glastonbury and the festival. The farm is situated between the A361 and A37 roads.
Michael Eavis stated that he decided to host the first festival, then called Pilton Festival, after seeing an open air Led Zeppelin concert at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music 1970; fourteen people invested everything they had to build the stage.
At the first Glastonbury in September 1970, around 1,500 people paid just £1 ($1.5) to see Marc Bolan and T-Rex headline the event, accompanied by free milk; just one detail that marks Glastonbury’s individuality from its start.
The first festival was influenced by hippie ethics and the free festival movement. The festival retains vestiges of this tradition such as the Green Fields area which includes the Green Futures and Healing Field. After the 1970s the festival took place almost every year and grew in size, with the number of attendees sometimes being swollen by gate-crashers.
A second festival was organized a year later, but this time the date was moved to coincide with the Summer Solstice in June. The first Pyramid Stage was built on the Glastonbury Stonehenge leyline for the event, which added a cosmic, mythical allure to the festival.
It was funded, in Michael Eavis’s words, by “rich hippies”, who wanted to ensure no one would miss out on the delights of Glastonbury simply because they could not afford to get in. That year, David Bowie played in front of 12,000 people, who had not paid a penny for the privilege. Characteristically, this festival came with only three rules: no alcohol sales, vegetarian food only, and no amplified music past midnight.
However, not everyone was happy with the new invasion of free-spirited souls descending on the rural communities surrounding Michael Eavis’s farm.
Glastonbury Festival has survived riots, fires, mud swamps in its action-packed 43-year-history
Some complained that they wandered around with seeming disregard for locals, with claims of people wearing nothing but a top hat at times. Michael Eavis also became increasingly concerned about the impact it was having on his livestock and business, so he vowed to end it for good. But it could not be stopped, and after a six-year break, an “impromptu” event was held in 1978, after 500 travellers arrived from Stonehenge for a virtually unplanned event. The stage was inventively powered by an electric motor in a caravan with the cable running to the stage.
The following year, the Glastonbury Fayre – as it was then known – returned as a three-day festival, but continued to lose the organizers money. In order to save the event, Michael Eavis persuaded the Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to help run the festival in exchange for any profits: £20,000 was raised, with tickets at only £8.
A new permanent pyramid stage was built, which would double up as a cow shed for the rest of the year, as the festival’s organization was stepped up. The event was to be a turning point in Glastonbury’s colorful history as it made a profit for the first time, which was handed over to a grateful CND.
The situation was not totally fixed though. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Michael Eavis faced yet more challenges from unwanted revellers and his fed-up neighbors, which again threatened to end the event.
However, the performers were ever more interesting, with people such as Van Morrison, The Smiths, The Pixies and The Cure making the event increasingly popular. For the first time in the festival’s history, he had to apply for a license from the local Mendip Council to stage the festival after a change in the law in 1983. Refused permission in 1986, 1987 and 1989, Michael Eavis took the authority to court and won each time.
Since 1981, the festival has been organized by Michael Eavis, through his company Glastonbury Festivals Ltd.
In 1990, on the festival’s 20th anniversary, travellers rioted with security staff after attempting to loot the empty site. Police made 235 arrests and the festival had to be cancelled the following year.
Nevertheless, it returned in 1992, having learned some tough lessons, and went from strength to strength – attracting bigger names and bigger crowds. The Pyramid Stage burned down in 1994, but a replacement stage was quickly provided by a local company as the event was televised for the first time. By 1997, tickets were £75, with 90,000 revellers.
In more recent years, the festival site turned into a giant mudbath in 1997, 1998 and 2005 – thanks to torrential rain and thunderstorms.
A £1 million “superfence” was finally erected in 2002 to beat the fence-jumpers and to boost security. After a one-year hiatus, 2007’s festival returned with new security features.
More than 140,000 people supplied ID photos for their tickets in an attempt to kill off the touts, who had grown rich off the booming demand for black market tickets. The festival failed to sell out in 2008 – which some put down to the fear of poor weather and a controversial line-up. But the brand bounced back in recent years and has repeatedly sold out with weeks to spare.
In 2010, Glastonbury celebrated its 40th year, a milestone dampened only by England’s painful World Cup defeat on the Sunday. Glastonbury has grown staggeringly over the years, with a huge range of performers making it the diverse and renowned institution it is today.
Glastonbury 2012 has been cancelled due to a lack of Portaloos and police officers caused by the London Olympics.
Michael Eavis ran the festival with his wife Jean until her death in 1999, and is now assisted by his daughter Emily Eavis. Since 2002, Festival Republic (a company consisting of both Live Nation and MCD) has taken on the job of managing the logistics and security of the festival through a 40% stake in the festival management company. Each year a company, joint owned by Glastonbury Festivals Ltd and Festival Republic, is created to run the festival, with profits going to the parent companies. Glastonbury Festivals Ltd donates most of their profits to charities, including donations to local charity and community groups and paying for the purchase and restoration of the Tithe Barn in Pilton.
Most people who stay at Glastonbury Festival camp in a tent. There are many different camping areas, each with its own atmosphere. Limekilns and Hitchin Hill Ground are quieter camping areas, whereas Pennard Hill Ground is a lively campsite. Cockmill Meadow is a family campsite and Wicket Ground was introduced in 2011 as a second family-only campsite. A disabled campsite is also available in Spring Ground. Campsite accommodation is provided in the cost of a standard entry ticket but festival-goers must bring their own tents.
Campervans, caravans and trailer tents are not allowed into the main festival site. However the purchase of a campervan ticket in addition to the main ticket allows access to fields just outside the boundary fence; and the cost includes access for the campervan or towing vehicle and the caravan; the car, or other vehicle used to tow the caravan, may be parked alongside it but sleeping is only authorized in the campervan/caravan and connected awning, not in the accompanying vehicle. One additional tent may accompany the caravan/campervan if space within the plot allows. Some people choose to bring or hire a motorhome, though drivers of larger vehicles or motorhomes may have to purchase a second campervan ticket if they cannot fit within the defined plot. The 2009 festival saw changes to the campervan fields; commercial vehicles were no longer classed as “campervans”, all campervans had to have a fitted sleeping area and either washing or cooking facilities, and caravans and trailer tents were allowed back at the festival. Prior to this only campervans were allowed on site, caravans and trailers being banned in the early 1990s after a number were stuck in the mud and abandoned.
Prince Harry attended this year’s Glastonbury Festival and managed to sneak into the UK’s biggest music event unnoticed to party with friends until the early hours.
The festival’s organizer Michael Eavis said today he had chatted with Prince Harry last night and recommended he stayed to sample the nightlife.
Prince Harry’s on-off girlfriend Cressida Bonas was pictured enjoying the sunshine at the Worthy Farm site in Somerset yesterday, but the prince managed to evade photographers as he partied the night away.
Michael Eavis, 77, said Prince Harry had watched the Rolling Stones performing at the Pyramid Stage last night and also enjoyed music at the Park and John Peel stages.
The organizer said: “Prince Harry was great actually. I recommended that he should go on into the night, because the nightlife is what Glastonbury is all about. At three o’clock in the afternoon, you don’t get it.
“I told him to get his taxi driver to come back at five o’clock in the morning and do you know what? He lasted until four in the morning.
“His friends were all having a great time. He didn’t want to make a formal thing of being here.”
Glastonbury Festival has attracted celebrities including Kate Moss, Wayne and Colleen Rooney and Katherine Jenkins over the weekend.
Backstage today, actress Sienna Miller, singer Florence Welch and presenter Dermot O’Leary were spotted.
Michael Eavis said he did not join Prince Harry for a pint of cider as he abstains from drinking from two months before the festival until after everyone has left the site.
He added that the Rolling Stones had been the festival’s best-ever headline set and that their two-hour performance – complete with fireworks and a burning phoenix on top of the stage – was worth the wait.
He had tried to secure the band, celebrating their 50th anniversary, for years and said he was not sure how next year’s headliners, who have already been booked, would live up to the Stones.
“It was 43 years in the making, 50 years for them, and we’ve finally come together. We’re on the same page at last,” Michael Eavis said, on the third day of music at the festival.
Prince Harry attended this year’s Glastonbury Festival and managed to sneak into the UK’s biggest music event unnoticed to party with friends until the early hours
He said: “It’s the whole razzmatazz of the occasion – the two of us finally getting together at long last.
“I had to prove myself to them. We were a bunch of hippies; it’s hardly a Rolling Stones set up, is it?”
The capacity of the Pyramid area was expanded for the first time for the Stones, meaning a festival record of 100,000 people saw Mick Jagger strutting his stuff.
Mick Jagger led the band through their classics, starting with an energetic Jumpin’ Jack Flash and ending with a soulful You Can’t Always Get What You Want, before crowd-pleaser Satisfaction.
Sir Mick was said to have been concerned about sound quality ahead of the gig, but his fears were unfounded.
“Musically, they were absolutely brilliant,” said Michael Eavis, who claimed the band were number one in his top 10 of headliners, above Radiohead, U2 and Oasis.
“Mick Jagger’s energy leading that band with such a passion and so much style – he was absolutely amazing.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s quite remarkable to think he can go like that, at his age.
“I’m a bit older and I couldn’t keep going. His legs and his arms and his movement – he was going for it like his life depended on it.”
The mechanical phoenix created by Joe Rush, which came to life during Sympathy For The Devil, was a labor of love, with health and safety officials voicing concerns, Michael Eavis said.
He laughed as he claimed the ornate moving sculpture had cost almost the same as the Stones’ fee for their set.
Bands have already been booked for next year’s key Pyramid Stage headline slots. Asked if there were any veteran rockers on a par with the Stones, Michael Eavis smiled and said: “Ever so slightly, yeah.”
He joked that there were now very few acts left on his wish list, and pondering how many more festivals he will organize, said: “Another 10, do you think?”
Michael Eavis said the ticket holders, of which there were 135,000 this year, were what kept him going.
A BBC Two spokesman said its coverage of The Rolling Stones peaked at 2.5 million viewers, compared to the peak of 2.1 million for U2 who headlined on the Saturday night at the last Glastonbury Festival in 2011.
Other highlights of the weekend have included Friday night’s headline set from the Arctic Monkeys, Portishead on the Other Stage and an early morning performance from Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye.
Michael Eavis said he had particularly enjoyed Elvis Costello’s Saturday afternoon gig, and taking part in a karaoke session on the same day.
“It fills me with so much confidence because people love it so much,” he said.
“The people are so thrilled to be here. So that’s my energy, really.”
Police said crime at this year’s Glastonbury Festival has dropped dramatically from the last time the event was staged.
Avon and Somerset Police said crime levels were 33% lower than in 2011, with 220 reported crimes since gates to the campsites opened on Wednesday.
Those crimes included 61 drug offences and 106 thefts from tents. There were no major incidents on site and a total of 154 arrests have been made.
Inspector Shirley Eden said: “We are very pleased with how the festival has gone. It’s been a fantastic event, the atmosphere has been brilliant and crime is low.
“We would like to thank the majority of festival goers for their cooperation, good festival spirit and for being sensible with their property.”
The Rolling Stones made their Glastonbury debut at Pyramid Stage – 43 years after the festival first took place.
The band opened with Jumping Jack Flash, with Mick Jagger prowling the stage in a green sequinned jacket.
Mick Jagger thanked the fans and, after It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It), joked that organizers had “finally got round to asking us” to play.
They are set to play for two-and-a-half hours, with tens of thousands of fans stretching up the hill to Worthy Farm.
Organizers are expecting the festival’s biggest ever audience for a single act. The capacity for the main stage was increased to 100,000 this year.
Michael Eavis has been trying to book the band almost since the first Glastonbury in 1970. The Rolling Stones last had a UK number one single a year before that, with Honky Tonk Women.
An opening tape featuring Michael Eavis saying “we waited a long time”, and the familiar rhythm track of Sympathy For The Devil warmed up the crowd, who spontaneously broke into the familiar “whoo whoo” backing vocals.
“It’s great to be here doing this show, doing this festival,” said Mick Jagger after It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It).
“After all these years they finally got round to asking us,” he added.
Drummer Charlie Watts gave the joke a desultory cymbal crash.
And five songs into their set, Mick Jagger introduced a new song, written for a girl he claimed to have met at the festival last night.
An uptempo country-rock number, it featured the refrain “Waiting for my Glastonbury girl”.
After 90 minutes, Sympathy For The Devil got a full airing, as flares turned the sky red and the mechanical phoenix rose from atop the Pyramid stage.
Mick Jagger said: “We’ve been doing this for 50 years or something. And if this is the first time you’ve seen a band, please come again.”
Meanwhile, at the Acoustic tent, the Bootleg Beatles played a Stones riff and commented: “Sign of a good band – you’ve got to know when to split up.”
The Rolling Stones made their Glastonbury debut at Pyramid Stage
Earlier on Saturday, as the sun beamed down on Somerset’s Worthy Farm, familiar riffs from Stones hits Start Me Up and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction rang out from the festival’s main stage, as technicians prepared for the show at 21:30 BST.
Proceedings started with Malian musician Rokia Traore, whose upbeat blend of African roots, blues and jazz gave early risers a chance to dance off the fug of a late night.
A headliner at this year’s Womad festival, Rokia Traore was offered a Glastonbury slot as a gesture of solidarity with Mali, where Islamic militants have all but banned music in some areas.
Billy Bragg got into the spirit of the day by playing classic Stones track Dead Flowers during his set, while soul singer Laura Mvula welcomed the sun by breaking into a sing-a-long rendition of Bob Marley’s One Love.
She said the cover had been suggested by her musical director, Troy Miller “whose last appearance here was with Amy Winehouse, so he knows what he’s talking about”.
Laura Mvula, who only released her debut album Sing To The Moon in March, said stepping out on the festival’s main stage was overwhelming.
“Let me tell you something, there’s nothing like it. A sort of nervousness I’ve never experienced before.
“It was like a mental battle – the goal was to get through it and enjoy as many moments as possible”
Other acts on Saturday’s line-up include Elvis Costello, rap pioneers Public Enemy and psychedelic rockers Primal Scream.
Prince Harry was also rumored to have been spotted backstage at the John Peel tent, where the bill includes Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and electropop band Hurts.
The Rolling Stones, currently celebrating their 50th anniversary, have kept their plans for the festival a closely guarded secret.
“I’m not saying what we’re doing at Glastonbury,” Mick Jagger told Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday morning.
“I can’t tell you the set list.”
Guitarist Keith Richards was similarly cagey, but said he was excited by the prospect of the show.
“I’m looking forward to it because it is an iconic gig and it’s an iconic band and finally the two meet at last,” he told Radio 1’s Newsbeat.
“In a way it’s kind of weird that at last we’ve made it to Glastonbury. It’s like building Stonehenge right?”
Despite the press attention, Glastonbury is far from being the biggest show of the Stones’ career – they played to more than a million people on Rio’s Copacabana Beach in 2006.
For Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily, however, the appearance is an ambition achieved.
“It’s one of those things you thought might never happen,” said Emily Eavis.
“We were very pleased to get them.
“For my dad, it’s been a lifetime of really wanting them to play, so he’s really thrilled.”
Although The Rolling Stones drive a notoriously hard bargain when it comes to fees and ticket prices, Emily Eavis was adamant they had not received any special favors.
She said: “At Glastonbury we have a certain kind of deal which everybody gets, and everyone’s getting the same. So we’re very happy with that.”