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 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.

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

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."

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.

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 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.

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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