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Sun sets on historic Glastonbury festival

01 july 2013, 10:01
0
Headline band Mumford and Sons. ©AFP
Headline band Mumford and Sons. ©AFP
Folk-rockers Mumford and Sons on Sunday put a recent health scare behind them to bring down the curtain on a historic weekend for Britain's famous Glastonbury Festival, AFP reports.

The band delivered an energetic set on the main Pyramid Stage despite bassist Ted Dwane having undergone brain surgery to remove a blood clot less than three weeks ago.

Keyboard player Ben Lovett earlier said the band would not have played "if we didn't think we could do a great job."

Fans and members of the Vaccines and Vampire Weekend joined the band for a last-song sing-along of Beatles classic "With A Little Help From My Friends", a day after fellow 1960s icons The Rolling Stones finally graced the Worthy Farm stage.

Farmer and organiser Michael Eavis said their performance was "the high spot of 43 years of Glastonbury", telling the BBC: "They finally did it, and it was fantastic. My God, did they deliver."

Sunday's line-up traditionally showcases the festival's eclectic tastes, and this year was no exception with country legend Kenny Rogers warming up the main stage crowd on his Glastonbury debut.

Veteran British entertainer Bruce Forsyth, 85, also attracted a huge crowd to his afternoon show in the Avalon tent.

Other acts to perform on a sun-baked day in southwest England included soul legend Bobby Womack and Australian goth-rocker Nick Cave.

Avon and Somerset Police said crime was dramatically down on 2011's figures, the last time the event was held.

They made 154 arrests, but said there had been no major incidents.

Eavis first organised the festival in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died. That year, fans who came to see acts including Marc Bolan and Al Stewart paid one pound each for entry and received free milk from the farm.

The festival was held intermittently in the 1970s, but it wasn't until the 1990s that it really began to acquire its current status.

A headline spot can catapult bands to superstardom: legendary performances from Radiohead in 1997, Coldplay in 2002 and Muse in 2004 elevated these bands to their current heights.

The festival remains Britain's most popular celebration of music and the performing arts, selling out months in advance even though summer rain storms often transforms it into a mudbath.

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