Tuesday 20 March 2018

Glastonbury 'a big family reunion'

Glastonbury Festival will feature The Rolling Stones
Glastonbury Festival will feature The Rolling Stones

The return of Glastonbury Festival after a year off feels like "a big family reunion", according to organiser Emily Eavis.

Headliners for this summer's event include The Rolling Stones - performing at their first-ever Glastonbury - Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons, who still plan to take to the stage despite their bassist's recent hospitalisation for a blood clot.

With just over a week to go until 135,000 music fans flood through the gates of the festival when the campsites open, the finishing touches are being made to the 900-acre site in Somerset that will play host to thousands of acts over a three-day period.

The last Glastonbury Festival was held in 2011, with a year's break for the Olympics and to allow the land to recover. Eavis, who runs Glastonbury with her father Michael, said she had to pinch herself when thinking of this year's star signing.

She said: "We still can't quite believe they're doing it. The Stones at Worthy Farm! We've always wanted them to come and play but with a band like that you never really expect it to happen. I still get a shiver thinking about the moment we got the call after all the waiting saying 'it's on'."

There had been a question mark over the appearance of indie folk group Mumford & Sons after bassist Ted Dwane fell ill last week. The most recent statement on the band's website said that Dwane is "on the road to a full recovery", but they were forced to cancel the rest of their planned North American tour.

Eavis said: "Yes, we're hoping that they'll be here, so fingers crossed and here's to a speedy recovery to Ted. I'm sure he and the band will get a heroes' welcome on the Sunday night when they come on stage."

Tickets for this year's festival, which cost £205 each, sold out in a record one hour and 40 minutes. Other highlights fans can expect are appearances from Primal Scream, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Smashing Pumpkins, Elvis Costello, The xx, Public Enemy, Professor Green and Dizzee Rascal.

As usual, the festival is also offering some more unusual acts alongside the chart toppers - with Sir Bruce Forsyth playing on the Avalon Stage on the Sunday, country star Kenny Rogers taking to the main Pyramid Stage the same day, and the Dalai Lama's Tibetan monks appearing on Thursday, the day before the main musical performances begin.

Also appearing on the Pyramid will be Rita Ora, Jake Bugg, Rufus Wainwright and festival veteran Billy Bragg. Big names on the Other Stage include Portishead - almost 20 years after they released their debut album Dummy - along with Mercury Prize-winners Alt-J and John Lydon's band PiL. The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes and Foals are on the bill.

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