Stevie Wonder thrills Glastonbury Festival

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News, at the Glastonbury Festival


Soul legend Stevie Wonder has helped the Glastonbury Festival celebrate its 40th anniversary with a crowd-pleasing set to close this year's event.

He brought festival founder Michael Eavis on to the main Pyramid Stage to help sing a version of Happy Birthday.

It brought the curtain down on the first totally dry festival since 2002.

Muse and Gorillaz topped the bill on the other nights, and dance act Orbital were joined by Doctor Who actor Matt Smith to play the show's theme tune.

Royal visit

Orbital returned 16 years after playing one of Glastonbury's most memorable sets, which is credited with turning the festival on to dance music.

This year's show will be remembered for the unusually sunny weather and the number of surprise guests.

U2 guitarist The Edge joined Muse, Kylie Minogue sang with Scissor Sisters, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood played an unannounced set and Lou Reed was among those on stage with Gorillaz on Friday.

Prince Charles also surprised fans when he went on a walkabout and trod the Pyramid Stage boards during the festival's first royal visit on Thursday.

The show on Mr Eavis's dairy farm in Pilton, Somerset, was hailed as a success by fans.

"The vibe has been brilliant," said Soraya Schofield, a photographer from nearby Axbridge.

Football screens

"The weather has been amazing - it could have been turned down just a notch, maybe a few more clouds would have been good."

Malcolm Ruddock, 59, from Street, Somerset, was among the 1,500 people at the first festival in 1970.

He was also one of the 177,500 fans at this year's show. "For me the anniversary was a special year," he said, describing Mr Eavis as "a pioneer".

"It's awesome to see the scale of everything these days."

Image caption,
The Edge joined Muse for Where The Streets Have No Name

The event is unrecognisable from its low-key origins, he said, but added: "To me, the essence of Glastonbury is still here.

"I go into [dance arena] The Glade or the Healing Fields and it reminds me of how it was then."

Other artists on stage on Sunday included flamboyant singer Paloma Faith, ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and reggae legends Toots and the Maytals.

Former Kinks singer Ray Davies performed and paid tribute to the group's bassist Pete Quaife, who died recently.

Earlier, Mr Eavis said he hoped U2 would make it to the event in the future after the band were forced to pull out this year.

They withdrew after Bono injured his back but The Edge joined Muse on Saturday to perform Where The Streets Have No Name.

Asked whether he would like U2 to appear in the future, Mr Eavis replied: "This is an ongoing conversation for next year."

He added The Edge "enjoyed the experience and he's had a taste of playing now so I'm sure the band are really keen to do it when it suits them".


But the band may be taking a break next summer and the festival is having a year off in 2012, Mr Eavis added.

"So who knows? It might be three years' time."

He said he had lined up three "really good" headliners next year, but would not say who they were.

Dehydration and sunburn accounted for most of the 3,000 cases seen by medical teams by 1100 BST on Sunday.

Two people died after suffering heart attacks on site on Friday night.

They were a 46-year-old man from London, who was in the dance tent, and a man in his 70s from East Sussex.

Crime was down on last year, with 345 reported offences by 0900 BST on Sunday, compared with 363 in 2009.

Many festival-goers watched England's World Cup defeat against Germany on Sunday.

Organisers were forced to find a second field to show the game on big screens after discussions with police.

An empty field outside the site was earmarked. The two designated football arenas accommodated 80,000 fans.

Opening the new field and providing toilets, screens and water cost £50,000, Mr Eavis said.

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