Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury: Dalai Lama warms up for Lionel Richie

Patti Smith and the Dalai Lama Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Dalai Lama said he admired punk poet Patti Smith's voice and movement

The Dalai Lama has appeared on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury alongside US singer Patti Smith.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader received a huge cheer from the crowd, who later sang him Happy Birthday.

After the Dalai Lama delivered a speech about happiness and Smith finished her visceral punk poetry, 1980s pop star Lionel Richie was next on the stage.

Richie, whose hits include All Night Long, Hello and Dancing on the Ceiling, was in the mid-afternoon "legend" slot.

One of the most hotly anticipated acts on the final day of the famously eclectic festival, he opened with his 1983 hit single Running With The Night.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Lionel Richie drew a huge crowd for his performance
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Richie is following the likes of Dolly Parton and Tom Jones in the Sunday afternoon slot

The sun came out for his appearance following rain earlier in the day, and the star said he had been warned about the festival's notorious weather.

"They said, 'When you get here it's going to be a lot of rain and mud,'" he told the crowd. "Well, you've got the mud."

Other artists sharing the main stage bill on Sunday include Paul Weller, Mercury Prize winners Alt-J and Irish singer-songwriter Hozier.

Rock veterans The Who will close the festival with a headline slot that has been brought forward by 30 minutes to 21:15 BST.

Singer Roger Daltrey said the band would "close this year's event with a bang" and take the audience on an "amazing journey" through their greatest hits.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Dalai Lama used a festival T-shirt to shelter from the rain

The Dalai Lama's Glastonbury visit came a week before his 80th birthday. He began with an hour-long speech in the festival's Peace Garden, near the sacred stone circle, where he praised the event as "a festival of people, not governments or politicians".

He also made a rare comment on the escalating conflict in the Middle East, saying: "A lot of problems we are experiencing are our own creations. Violence is being created this very moment in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria.

"Humans killing each other in the name of religious faith. Unthinkable. Carry the message of love and tolerance and forgiveness."

He then took part in a climate change debate before his Pyramid Stage appearance, during which Patti Smith presented him with a birthday cake and led the crowd in its rendition of Happy Birthday.

The Dalai Lama said he was an admirer of the veteran singer-songwriter and her band.

"I very much appreciate those singers and musicians - most of you with white hair," he said. "That voice and physical action looks very beautiful.

"That gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, I should be more like you."

Other artists playing on Sunday include The Chemical Brothers, Ryan Adams and Charli XCX.

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Media captionWest's performance divided opinions, as Lizo Mzimba reports

On Saturday, the main stage was headlined by US rapper Kanye West to a mixed response.

He appeared alone under a vast, mobile lighting rig consisting of hundreds of bright white lights; playing hits including Stronger, Power, Gold Digger and, appropriately, All Of The Lights.

At the end of the set, he declared himself "the greatest living rock star on the planet," prompting much derision on social media.

"I really do think he's a rock star," pop star Charli XCX told the BBC. "I liked his minimal approach and when you watch that set, it's hit after hit after hit."

One person who missed West's performance was festival founder Michael Eavis.

"I'm not a fan of that kind of music," he said. "Although I chose Jay-Z originally of course."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michael Eavis denied reports that he was recently taken ill

Jay-Z was the festival's first hip-hop headliner in 2008. But since then, Eavis has handed over responsibility for the line-up to his daughter Emily.

Instead of watching Kanye West, Michael Eavis was on stage with 1960s pop veterans The Moody Blues on the Acoustic Stage.

"I was on stage for the last song," he said. "I sang there with the band - what a privilege. And I went up later in the night to the underground piano bar and I sang Goodnight Irene."

However Eavis did watch Friday's headliners, Florence and the Machine. "Wasn't she good? I thought she put heart and soul into it," he said.

Florence made another appearance in the early hours of Sunday, surprising revellers at the NYC Downlow club, The Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, 79-year-old Michael Eavis also scotched reports that he had been taken ill shortly before the festival, after falling off his bicycle.

"It's all rubbish," he said. "I never fell off the bike, I didn't faint and I'm not ill. Right?"

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