The Edge, Stevie Wonder light up 'magic' Glastonbury

27th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Stevie Wonder was set to close Glastonbury's 40th birthday celebrations Sunday after a sun-drenched weekend of music described by festival founder Michael Eavis as "total magic".

Surprise performances from Kylie and U2 guitarist "The Edge", who joined Muse on Saturday night, were to be followed by a headline act from soul icon Wonder on the final day, which once again sweltered in glorious sunshine.

"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."

On Saturday night fans were treated to surprise appearances by Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue and also by "The Edge", who joined headline act Muse on the main Pyramid Stage for classic 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.

The performance by "The Edge" competed with football talk in campsite conversation ahead of England's huge World Cup clash with Germany, which was to be shown on a huge screen here.

Two England fans were spotted in the Greenfields area of the site, which offers fortune-tellers and spiritual meditation, perhaps in search of divine inspiration.

Football supporters received a treat on the festival's second day when Liverpool band Lightning Seeds got the pre-match build-up into full swing with a storming rendition of their huge hit, and England anthem, "Three Lions."

For those in search of more cerebral nourishment, retired lawmaker and left-wing veteran Tony Benn was on hand to debate the day's political issues.

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.

Following local band Muse's headline set, 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.

Next door, the "Block 9" neighbourhood was constructed to look like a post-apocalyptic New York City with subway trains and smoking yellow taxis embedded half-way up huge edifices.

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 in need of sleep.

Not that anyone was complaining about the incessant sunshine, which rendered useless the wellies that have been the staple footwear ever since the epic rainstorms of the late 1990s and a storm in 2005 which washed away 300 tents.

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.

Eavis's assertion after every festival that it has been the best ever, despite the conditions, has become a running Glastonbury joke, but there did not appear to be many who disagreed with him this year.

© 2010 AFP

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