Lionel Richie’s performance has drawn the biggest crowd of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with at least 100,000 people estimated to have watched the singer.
The Pyramid Stage field at Worthy Farm was packed to see Lionel Richie playing hits like Dancing on the Ceiling, Hello and Say You Say Me.
This year’s festival closed with The Who performing their hits on the Pyramid Stage as part of a world tour that has been billed as their last.
Paul Weller and Patti Smith also played and the Dalai Lama visited the site.
The 177,000 festivalgoers are now making their way home from the Somerset site.
Lionel Richie’s performance in the festival’s traditional Sunday afternoon “legend” slot will be remembered as one of this year’s highlights.
Organizers suggested the field could have been near its 120,000 capacity when the star played.
Lionel Richie’s set included hits like All Night Long, We Are The World, Easy and Three Times A Lady.
Fans chanted the singer’s name and the security guards in front of the stage had even learned a dance that they performed when Lionel Richie played Dancing on the Ceiling.
After that song, the singer looked disbelievingly at the size of the crowd and repeated: “What the hell is going on?”
Lionel Richie was following in the footsteps of stars like Dolly Parton, Tom Jones and Neil Diamond, who have taken the Sunday afternoon slot in the past.
At the end of the night, The Who brought the festival to a close with a greatest hits set that included rock classics like Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Riley and Won’t Get Fooled Again.
They also took a dig at Kanye West’s claim, made during his Saturday headline slot, to be the world’s greatest rock star.
The Who’s Glastonbury appearance was part of a world tour to mark their 50th anniversary, which singer Roger Daltrey has described as “the beginning of the long goodbye”.
Elsewhere at the festival, dance favorites The Chemical Brothers ended proceedings on a high on the Other Stage, while there were also appearances by Ryan Adams, art-pop auteur FKA Twigs and FFS – a group made from merging Franz Ferdinand and Sparks.
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.
Surprises among the 190 acts include country star Kenny Rogers, who is among the figures playing the main Pyramid Stage.
Also appearing on the Pyramid will be Rita Ora, Jake Bugg, Rufus Wainwright and festival veteran Billy Bragg.
Names on the Other Stage include Portishead – almost 20 years after they released their debut album Dummy – along with Smashing Pumpkins, Mercury Prize-winners Alt-J and John Lydon’s band PiL. The XX, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes and Foals are included on the bill.
Elsewhere on the huge site in Somerset will be performances by 1970s disco pioneers Chic, Tom Tom Club, rap stalwarts Public Enemy, Dinosaur Jr., The Horrors and Johnny Marr.
Glastonbury 2013 is already a sell-out but there will be some resales next month.