Temperatures soar as Glastonbury celebrates 40th birthday

26th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Glastonbury Festival sweltered in soaring temperatures Saturday with headline performances due from local boys and rock superstars Muse -- and even possibly Kylie.

With temperatures touching 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), the site in Somerset, south west England, was hotter than both Mexico and Rio de Janeiro.

Over the 40 years since it was first staged, the world-famous festival has developed a reputation for rain and mud but on this anniversary year the biggest irritant was the giant dust cloud which hung over the site.

Not that more than 170,000 revellers seemed to care, with singer/songwriter Kate Nash, electro-dance duo Pet Shop Boys and funk pioneer George Clinton all on hand to entertain the huge crowds.

After Friday's storming set by Gorillaz, which was littered with guest stars including rocker Lou Reed and rapper Snoop Dogg, new rumours surfaced of a possible appearance by pop princess Kylie Minogue with the Scissor Sisters.

The Australian pulled out of a scheduled appearance in 2005 due after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but was expected to play with the camp American outfit during their main stage appearance on Saturday night.

The day kicked off on the Park Stage with a set by I Blame Coco, fronted by Coco Sumner, daughter of Police superstar Sting.

"I think it's a brilliant festival," the 19-year-old told AFP after her set. "This is my third Glastonbury and it's a great day, I've been looking forward to it for a long time."

She added: "I left from Bristol at six o'clock this morning but we were so excited we weren't aware of the early start."

At the other end of the spectrum was London-based photographer Max Whitaker who was at the second ever festival in 1971, when the headliners were Traffic and David Bowie.

"It was very shambolic and there were no facilities, there were just trenches for going to the loo," Whitaker recalled. "Nobody had tents, there were just sleeping bags, but I slept in my car.

"You couldn't even find the place, but we'd just had Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival, it was the spirit of the time."

He added: "I came back five years ago and it nearly killed me, I was terrified. It's very commercialised but I was very impressed and still think it retains its communal spirit."

© 2010 AFP

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