Veteran performers wow crowds on final day of Glastonbury

Kenny Rogers knows when to hold 'em, when to fold em' and when to walk away from touring overseas.
Kenny Rogers knows when to hold ‘em, when to fold em’ and when to walk away from touring overseas. He has said Glastonbury was the last of his non U.S. touring.

An octogenarian entertainer and a veteran country music singer had fans of all tastes and ages roaring on the final afternoon of the Glastonbury music festival on Sunday.

The sun beat down on the sprawling 900 acre farm in southwest England that this year showcased the Rolling Stones and Arctic Monkeys and features British folk rockers Mumford & Sons on Sunday, playing to up to 150,000 music fans.

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis is known for bringing eclectic and surprising acts to the venue, which this year has 2,000 acts performing across 58 stages.

In the lead-up to Sunday’s headline slot, crowds flocked to see 85-year-old British TV presenter and all-round entertainer Bruce Forsyth or country music’s Kenny Rogers.

“It’s not usually my bag but he’s great,” said Kevin Watt, a 32 year-old computer games tester, as he watched Rogers play hits including “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

The average age of ticket buyers has gone up to 36 since Eavis first invited 1,500 hippies to a festival on his farm in 1970, and the lineup reflects the range of ages.

Forsyth said: “I’ll try to do a program that will suit every one of you,” before impersonating Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger to chants of “We love you, Bruce!” from the crowd.

“I grew up with Bruce Forsyth,” said Jane Douglass, 50, a dance teacher from Buckinghamshire. “He was in my living room every Saturday night when I was growing up and now he’s in the living room every Saturday night for my kids.”

It is the first time that Mumford & Sons headlined at the world’s best known music festival and it marks their return to the stage after bassist Ted Dwane underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot on the brain this month.

“After our set, I will make my annual trip up to the stone circle where I hope to kick back, reflect on the weekend and maybe even catch the sunrise,” wrote keyboard player Ben Lovett on the band’s website.

The main headline act was the Rolling Stones who played on Saturday to more than 100,000 fans, in a two and a quarter-hour Glastonbury debut topped with fireworks.

Festival organizers said the event had run smoothly despite rain on the first day temporarily turning the site into a mudpit and proving too much for British rapper Wiley who headed home, complaining about the weather, before his Saturday slot.

But the rain stopped on Friday and festival-goers dispensed with their waterproofs.

A team of about 300 police were on duty at the site but reported a 30 percent drop in crime since the last Glastonbury festival held in 2011.


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