Stevie Wonder cheers up Glastonbury after football failure

28th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Motown legend Stevie Wonder made sure Glastonbury's 40th anniversary came to a joyful end on Sunday despite England's disheartening World Cup football defeat.

The American soul pioneer treated the audience at the British music festival to a greatest hits set, with "I Just Called To Say I Love You" and "Superstition" receiving a rapturous response from the huge crowd.

The 60-year-old singer helped to put festival-goers back into the party mood after some 80,000 of them had earlier watched as England's football team were crushed 4-1 by Germany, sending them out of the tournament.

On the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, Wonder promised a celebration honouring the life of "The King of Pop", before performing the star's song, "Human Nature".

Wonder brought to an end a sun-drenched weekend of music -- a contrast to the heavy rains that have so often plagued the festival in the past -- described by the event's founder Michael Eavis as "total magic".

"I've just had the best night of my life," said Eavis, a dairy farmer who has held the festival on his Somerset farm, southwest England, for 40 years. "I've never seen anything so splendid in all my life, it was total magic."

He added: "I'm 74 and was up until four o'clock this morning but I don't feel tired. I'm really proud of what we've created."

Revellers enjoyed one last sunny day of the festival Sunday, and were wowed by pop classics from Kinks legend Ray Davies and crunching guitars from former Guns N' Roses axeman Slash.

Other highlights of the weekend included surprise appearances on Saturday by Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue and U2 guitarist "The Edge".

The guitarist joined headline act Muse on the main Pyramid Stage for the classic U2 song "Where The Streets Have No Name".

Rock megastars U2 were meant to play on Friday but the Irish band had to pull out due to singer Bono's back injury.

Many revellers had been on site for over four days -- the gates opened Wednesday -- and by Sunday the sunshine, sambuca and Shangri-La late night activities began to show with many campers looking worse for wear.

Shangri-La is one of the many "neighbourhoods" which have been constructed in the 170,000-populated temporary city, all offering a different hedonistic or spiritual experience.

After the official music ended late Saturday night, many of the crowd headed to the site's far reaches where the "Block 9", "Arcadia" and "Unfair Ground" areas offered a surreal and debauched party environment.

Within Shangri-La, pleasure seekers were injected in the mouth by nurses administering tequila, treated to spas inside "Slumbarave", a pillow-fighting nightclub, and invited to trawl the temporary town's seedy alleyways.

And once revellers finally made it to bed, there was little rest as the searing sunshine made the tents furnace-like by nine o'clock in the morning, and unbearable for all but the most desperate for sleep.

There were few complaints about the sun, however, which rendered useless the wellies that have been the staple footwear at Glastonbury ever since epic rainstorms in the late 1990s and a storm in 2005 which washed away 300 tents.

But 2,955 people had been treated by the festival medical team by Sunday afternoon, most of them for sun stroke. Two people also died after suffering heart attacks on Friday night.

In addition, 112 arrests had been made, most of them for drugs offences.

After Stevie Wonder's set, the tent city will quickly disappear, the cows will return from their enforced vacation and the guests return to normality.

© 2010 AFP

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