Mumford and Sons close Glastonbury festival

By Mark Savage
BBC News entertainment reporter

image captionMumford and Sons rounded off the festival in front of 80,000 people

Glastonbury is echoing to the sounds of folk-rock group Mumford and Sons, who closed the 2013 festival with their first-ever headline performance there.

"We came for a party," said frontman Marcus Mumford, as the band triggered a mass hoedown on Somerset's Worthy Farm.

An estimated 80,000 people watched the set. When they first played the festival in 2008, only 200 turned up.

The 90-minute performance ended with an all-star cover of A Little Help From My Friends.

This featured Vampire Weekend, The Vaccines and The Staves.

Earlier songs, including The Cave and I Will Wait - their only UK top 20 hit - saw the audience bounce in unison from the front of the Pyramid Stage to end of the fields.

The show caps the band's meteoric rise from west London to the global stage, with multiple Grammy awards, US album sales of four million and appearances with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

Mumford, 26, said he felt the band had done "nothing special" to earn the prestigious Glastonbury slot, and put their success down to the audience.

"We truly feel you got us here. Thank you so much."

In contrast to The Rolling Stones' bullish set the night before, the Londoners had appeared on stage quietly, playing the slow-burning Lovers' Eyes on a pitch-black stage.

But the band's otherwise ebullient set embodied the Glastonbury spirit - generous, warm-hearted and inclusive.

It carried further emotional weight as it marked the band's return to the stage after bass player Ted Dwane had surgery for a blood clot on his brain this month.

They said they would have pulled out of the headline slot if their 28-year-old bass player had not made a full recovery.

"Was the show ever in doubt? I think it's fair to say it was," keyboard player Ben Lovett told the BBC.

"Nothing was more important than Ted's health," said Lovett.

media captionLizo Mzimba said fans were not left disappointed by the band's performance

This year's 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 The Proclaimers, dance act Chase and Status, pop star Rita Ora and disco pioneers Chic.

Sunday's line-up included Vampire Weekend, Smashing Pumpkins, Jessie Ware, Bobby Womack and Sir Bruce Forsyth.

The turn-out for Sir Bruce was so large that security officers shut down the Avalon field for 20 minutes, as hundreds of fans clamoured to see the Generation Game star.

He emerged on the Avalon Stage to the Strictly Come Dancing theme and introduced himself as "The Rolling Stones Two", before playing a set of music hall standards, including Gershwin's Funny Face.

image captionSir Bruce is one of the oldest performers ever at Glastonbury

"He's a legend," said Victoria, an audience member from New Zealand. "I thought I'd be able to get front row but I'm stuck out in the back and can't see him."

"You're seeing one man who's got multiple skills all coalesced into one perfect presenter," said Taylor, a young, tattooed fan from Middlesbrough. "Everyone wants to be like this guy. To be that energetic when you're about 107 is just inspirational."

An emotional Sir Bruce later told the BBC the experience was "something I will treasure forever".

The 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.

The 74-year-old struggled initially. He attempted to get the crowd to sing along to Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town, only to discover they didn't know the words.

image captionRogers is also making his Glastonbury debut

"They sang that better in Morocco," he scolded. "And they don't even speak English in Morocco."

But the set regained momentum when he played The Gambler and Islands In The Stream. So much so that he sang them both again.

Rogers, who is the seventh-biggest selling artist in US history, also lent his support to Mumford and Sons.

"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," he told the BBC.

"It's great to hear a group like that be so successful."

The mass exodus from Glastonbury began on Sunday, with coaches leaving throughout the night.

Although the festival took a year off in 2012, it will return next year. Organiser Michael Eavis said the headliners had already been booked.

"There aren't many left," he said, "There were maybe a dozen headliner potentials so we're running out of headliners but we got the last three for next year."

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