Glastonbury crowd chanted ‘We love you Michael we do’ to festival founder

Crowds in Glastonbury chanted “We Love You Michael We Do” around the Williams Green Stage, as festival founder Michael Eavis played with his band to a packed audience.

On Thursday evening, when 86-year-old Avis sang hits like You’re Always on My Mind and Frank Sinatra’s My Way and read songs from a music stand with six-person backing, he sang and swayed.

Avis thanked the crowd and left the stage to thunderous applause before boarding the Land Rover, with even more cheers as festival-goers passed on the street outside the venue.

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Crowds watch Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis performing with his band at William’s Green Tent during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset (UE Moc/PA).

His performance came amid warnings from the Glastonbury festival to avoid Williams Green Stage, where he was performing for “a few hours” because it was “too busy”.

On Thursday, it was announced that Sir Paul McCartney would warm up for festivities at Worthy Farms with a performance at the Somerset music venue the night before his Glastonbury headline set.

The surprise gig starring the 80-year-old ex-Beatle sold out tickets for “first come first served” in less than an hour.

The Cheese and Cereal entertainment venue in Frome, Somerset will host Sir Paul on Fridays from 5pm.

On its website, it said: “24 hours from now Paul McCartney will be performing live, here in Frome, at Cheese and Cereal.

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“What an incredible opportunity to see Paul warm up to his Glastonbury headlining performance this weekend.

“What a wonderful feast… we’re told it won’t even be his usual set so it must be an afternoon full of wonderful surprises.”

When Sir Paul takes the stage this weekend, just a week after celebrating his 80th birthday, he will become Glastonbury Festival’s oldest solo lead ever.

The festival would return with the former Beatle as the Saturday Night Headliner, topping the Pyramid Stage bill for the second time after performing in 2004.

This year’s musical offering also includes headliners Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar, with Diana Ross filling the Sunday Teatime Legends slot.

On Thursday, Glastonbury co-organizer Emily Avis thanked the festivals for their commitment to attending the ceremony, saying she feels “the best people in the world come here”.

The 42-year-old was speaking a day after the festival opened its gates for the first time in three years, when it was canceled twice during the coronavirus pandemic.

Avis told the festival’s on-site newspaper, the Glastonbury Free Press: “We offered a refund, but very few people picked us up on it.

“The commitment that people have shown us is not taken lightly and means a lot.

“I really think the best people in the world come here.

“Bands always say that this audience is the most generous, respectful and up-for-it crowd.

“So I want to say thank you to all those who have supported and supported us over the last three years.

“And now I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful time.”

Avis said the cancellation of Glastonbury in 2020 and 2021 was “a very sad and quite painful thing to go through”.

She continued: “Especially when you cancel and you really don’t know when you’ll be back.

“But there is no escape from the pandemic – everyone has been hit by it to some extent.

“And after all, it is just a festival; Big things were going on in the world. But what a wonderful thing it is to be able to open the door again and bring people together for the purpose of pure bliss. ,

More than 200,000 people are attending this year at Glastonbury’s nearly 800-acre (3.2 million square metre) site in Pilton, Somerset, according to figures shared by the festival.

Worth Farms has sold 138,000 tickets in total and includes 67,000 employees, and the venue includes 500 marquees, 100 performance stages and 101 bars, as well as a “secret one”.

The festival raises over £2 million per year for charity to 500 causes.

After speaking earlier about the money lost as a result of the cancellation, she said: “We have definitely gone through some financial struggles.

“It’s been very hairy.

“People forget that we are still an independent festival.

“It has been a long road for us for the last two years, but the important thing is that we are back.

“And it feels great to be able to focus on exciting things again.”

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The festival is held at Worthy Farm in Somerset (Eui Mok/Pa)

The Meteorological Department had predicted a change in sunny weather with thunderstorms.

And last-minute changes to the Glastonbury line-up include the ouster of rocker Terry Reid from his Sunday afternoon slot on the acoustic stage.

He will be replaced by Squeeze’s lead vocalist and guitarist Glenn Tilbrook.

Wolf Ellis, who performed at Pyramid Stage on Friday, tweeted early Thursday morning that he was stuck in Los Angeles due to the cancellation of his flight.

In a tweet to British Airways, he wrote: “@British_Airways Have to take us from LA to England anyway our flight has been canceled before we are due to play Glastonbury on Friday afternoon :(.”

A reply from the airline asked for the message and they would “see what we can do for you”.

The band also tweeted: “Has anyone got a private jet in LA?” Adding: “Our flights were canceled and we need to go to Glastonbury, not kidding.”

On Friday, the band was asked on Twitter if they had made it home, and they said: “We are now looking forward to a flight to Seattle where we can go straight from there to ldn.”