Glastonbury will showcase its oldest and youngest headliners as the festival returns this week for the first time in three years.
Billie Eilish, 20, will become the youngest solo headliner when she takes to the Pyramid Stage on Friday night. Meanwhile, 80-year-old Sir Paul McCartney will close the festival as the longest-serving solo headliner in history on Sunday night.
A fan of The Beatles and Linkin Park, Eilish started writing songs at the age of 11.
Sir Paul’s performance will mark over 60 years of musical creation, with his set set to be full of hits from his time in the Beatles and Wings, as well as some of his best-known solo tracks.
Read more: The full Glastonbury lineup
It should attract a particularly large crowd and could rival those of the Rolling Stones in 2013 and Adele in 2016.
The Somerset festival is finally turning 50 after the COVID pandemic forced organizers to cancel it twice.
But revelers are having trouble getting to the Pilton site.
Members of Network Rail’s rail, maritime and transport union and 13 rail operators will stand down on June 21, 23 and 25 in the the largest outbreak of industrial action of its kind in a generation.
People are due to start arriving at the festival site on Wednesday June 22 – right in the middle of the planned strikes.
Great Western Railway, which operates the route between London Paddington and Castle Cary near the festival, said it “plans to keep trains scheduled” throughout the week.
National Express, the official coach partner of the event, warned travel demand was high with a significant increase in inquiries and bookings around strike days.
A warm start to the weekend
Those who manage to make it to Worthy Farm will be greeted with warm weather on Wednesday and Thursday before temperatures drop over the weekend.
A Met Office spokesman said: “On Wednesday there will be highs of around 24C (75F) and high UV levels throughout, so a bit of a warm start to the festival.
“It will be similar again on Thursday. It will remain dry with sun all day and temperatures a little higher, so 25C or 26C (77F to 79F) possibly and high UV levels.”
From Friday there will be an increased chance of showers, with temperatures around 20C (68F).
Ringo Starr launches Glastonbury campaign
Sir Paul won’t be the only Beatle to attend the famous festival, with Sir Ringo Starr joining a host of musicians as part of a campaign to send postcards to the Prime Minister calling for action on climate change.
WaterAid’s Climate Fight campaign will officially launch at Glastonbury, and the postcards feature designs created by music stars to celebrate the power of water.
Festival-goers can send a postcard to Boris Johnson and another to themselves to remind themselves of how they can play their own part.
Sir Ringo, a long-time WaterAid supporter, designed a postcard showing him in front of a tap that has dried up.
The former Beatle said: “We all share a world, and we must come together to protect it and each other from the threat of climate change.”
Read more: Levels of illegal drugs high enough to harm wildlife found in the river that runs through the site
Ukrainian groups bring anti-war message
Glastonbury will also host a number of Ukrainian acts this year, amid Russia’s invasion of their country.
The folk quartet of Kyiv DakhaBrakha will perform Sunday afternoon on the stage of the Pyramid.
The group, which combines the musical styles of several local ethnic groups, describes itself as “the ambassadors of free Ukraine” and has long used its performances to express its opposition to the war and the policies of Vladimir Putin.
Go_A will open the John Peel Stage on Saturday with a performance of electronic folk music and haunting vocal melodies.
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The group, which formed in 2012, represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 with the dance song anthem Shum, placing fifth.
Band member Ihor Didenchuk is also a member of the Kalush Orchestra, which triumphed in the competition this year.