Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury 2011: U2 finally make festival debut

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Media captionAs U2 took to the stage a balloon decorated with the message "U Pay Your Tax 2" was removed from the Glastonbury crowd

U2 have made their first appearance at the Glastonbury music festival, as the headline act on Friday night.

The band played a greatest hits set that included Where The Streets Have No Name, One, With Or Without You and Beautiful Day.

They also played on as protest group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with "U Pay Your Tax 2".

Coldplay will headline the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, with US star Beyonce closing the event on Sunday.

Dorian Lynskey, writing for the Guardian, called the rain-sodden performance a "charged and memorable set" that showed off the band's "formidable showmanship".

Nick Hasted in the Independent gave a more mixed review, saying Bono "remains an uncharismatic performer".

Scuffles broke out when the protest balloon was removed by festival security, although many of those in the 50,000 crowd were probably unaware of the minor incident.

Security staff sought to stop the protest by about 30 people at the end of U2's opening song Even Better Than the Real Thing.

The band, who have interrupted a tour of the US to fly in for their performance, have been accused by Art Uncut of dodging tax in Ireland.

But the band's manager Paul McGuinness has said it is "fully compliant" with Irish tax rules and that U2 "is a global business and it pays taxes globally".

Lead singer Bono said their first festival gig in more than 20 years was an emotional experience: "We haven't played to people who are not our audience for a very long time, so it was just overwhelming for our band."

Wayne and Coleen Rooney were among VIPs in the crowd watching U2 perform

Beyonce, also making her festival debut, will headline the main Pyramid Stage on Sunday - three years after her husband Jay-Z became the first hip-hop artist to top the bill.

Morrissey was cheered by many when he called Prime Minister David Cameron a "silly twit" for opposing a ban on wild animals in circuses.

Wet conditions have left the site in Somerset muddy, with predictions of more rain to come.

Image caption U2 rattled through a greatest hits set to the delight of a large crowd

Lorries carrying large bales have been laying down hay over some of the worst-affected areas.

Tom Dods, from London, said: "We arrived on Wednesday, it was pretty torrential.

"We did get a window to put up our tent but it was a bit of a grumpy start."

More rain is expected later and on Saturday but sunshine is forecast for Sunday.

Last year's event saw some of the hottest and driest conditions in Glastonbury's history.

Police made more than 30 arrests in the days leading up to the start of the festival, the majority drug related.

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