Paul McCartney, who has just turned 80, will be the oldest headliner at the Glastonbury Festival when it returns this week Photo: AFP/File
entertainment

McCartney to headline return of legendary Glastonbury music fest

12 Comments
By James PHEBY

More than 200,000 music fans and megastars Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar descend on the English countryside this week as Glastonbury Festival returns after a three-year hiatus.

The coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to cancel the last two years' events, and those going this year face an arduous journey battling three days of major rail strikes across the country.

Doors open at Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on Wednesday, with acts on the main stages beginning on Friday.

Planned walk-outs by train staff, including on Thursday and Saturday, threaten disruption for those heading to the remote site.

Ticket holders will also be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, hoping that current predictions for a largely dry event hold true and that the site does not turn into a mud bath.

Headliners on the main Pyramid Stage include former Beatle McCartney, U.S. singer Eilish and rapper Lamar.

Other big-name performers on the bill are soul legend Diana Ross, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde and electro-pop duo Pet Shop Boys.

Dairy farmer Michael Eavis first organized the festival in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died, and fans who came to see acts including Marc Bolan and Al Stewart paid £1 each for entry and received free milk from the farm.

The festival was held intermittently in the 1970s and it wasn't until the 1990s that it really began to acquire its current status.

Glastonbury was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, but those plans were put on hold by the pandemic.

A virtual event was held last year, with Coldplay performing from the site, but it was marred by technical issues.

Despite being firmly in middle age, the festival still has huge cultural power and moments of controversy.

A successful headline spot can catapult bands to superstardom.

Legendary performances from Radiohead in 1997, Coldplay in 2002 and Muse in 2004 helped elevate them to their current heights.

There was controversy in 2008 when rapper Jay-Z was given a headline slot, but the doubts were dispelled after he delivered one of the most memorable sets ever.

The festival has had its darker moments, with 235 people arrested in 1990 after travellers started fighting with police.

Integral to the festival's development was the late Arabella Churchill, granddaughter of Winston Churchill, who set up and then ran the Theatre and Circus fields.

As a result, the festival developed a diverse reputation and the 900-acre (360-hectare) site now encompasses various thematic areas.

McCartney, who turned 80 on Saturday, will becomes the oldest headliner to play at the festival when he performs the coveted Saturday night slot.

Other acts include Oasis star Noel Gallagher, U.S. pop-rockers Haim, electro pioneer Herbie Hancock and veteran Australian indie band Crowded House.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


12 Comments
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Eighty years old, still FAB and heading this famous fest. Sir Paul stands out above the others playing this week but make no mistake - there's some other terrific acts to catch as well. And how old are Diana Ross and Robert Plant, they ain't spring chickens themselves but probably can still deliver too.

Wish I was there, esp. with Noel Gallagher (saw him 4 years ago, great show), electro pioneer Herbie Hancock (Rockit!), Crowded House and Pet Shop Boys.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

These Westerners musician/band come to play at Fuji, earn huge yen, get more recognized, grab Japanese girls but Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury or any other big music festivals (Except Babymetal)

There are lot of Great Japanese bands who can Rock the West. Band such as Envy, Yogee New Waves, The Birthday, etc.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

When I'm eightyyyy-fourrrr!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

These Westerners musician/band come to play at Fuji, earn huge yen, get more recognized, grab Japanese girls but Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury or any other big music festivals (Except Babymetal)

Market forces. Make music that is popular overseas, and you'll be invited everywhere. It's not my cup of tea, but look at the success of Korean music these days. Japan could do the same if they wanted.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury

I just had a look and saw that Kikagaku Moyo is playing at Glastonbury this year. There may be others. If you want to play at Glastonbury, you have to make music that the Glastonbury audience wants to listen to.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Amazing performer - and Macca has certainly found the fountain of youth. He does not look older than 45. No way is he 80! Lucky for the punters at Glastonbury getting to see him rock!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Fighto!Today  11:11 am JST

Amazing performer - and Macca has certainly found the fountain of youth. He does not look older than 45. No way is he 80! Lucky for the punters at Glastonbury getting to see him rock!

And he might still outrock some of these newer band on the list, and show them what it's all about. After all, sir Paul is FAB.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There's some other veteran rock acts with some serious cred and mileage there as well. Crowded House has been around for over 35 years now, Herbie Hancock has been on the scene for over 50 years now, Pet Shop Boys since the 80s. Noel G was always the brains behind Oasis in the first place. But will some other acts like say Billie Eilish even be remembered 30 years from now? Or Haim? Dunno.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

dont forget your UA flag ...man...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These Westerners musician/band come to play at Fuji, earn huge yen, get more recognized, grab Japanese girls but Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury or any other big music festivals (Except Babymetal)

Plenty of Japanese bands have played at Glastonbury and Reading.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

These Westerners musician/band come to play at Fuji, earn huge yen, get more recognized, grab Japanese girls but Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury or any other big music festivals (Except Babymetal)

Oh boo hoo

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Zia and EstebanJune 22  08:17 pm JST

These Westerners musician/band come to play at Fuji, earn huge yen, get more recognized, grab Japanese girls but Japanese bands are never invited to play at Glastonbury or any other big music festivals (Except Babymetal)

Oh boo hoo

There are some great J-rock bands out there like Acid Mothers Temple, Shonen Knife, Boris. Real good innovative rock bands from Japan. I don't mean those 'J-pop' acts either. And Babymetal? That stuff is for the kiddies, and the pervs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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