Glastonbury braced for Stones debut as festival sees reduction in crime

Anticipation is building at Glastonbury today ahead of legendary rockers The Rolling Stones’ debut at the festival.

Glastonbury braced for Stones debut as festival sees reduction in crime

Anticipation is building at Glastonbury today ahead of legendary rockers The Rolling Stones’ debut at the festival.

Worthy Farm has become awash with Stones t-shirts and masks as tens of thousands of people prepare to watch them headline on the Pyramid Stage, and the sun has even come out for the occasion.

The viewing area has even been extended to allow for the crowds expected to be in place for the start of their set at 9.30pm, with festival organiser Michael Eavis saying he was worried the band could prove to be too popular.

Public Enemy and Chase & Status are performing on other stages at the same time - but for many of the 135,000 ticket holders, the Stones are the main draw of the entire weekend.

Fans are busy guessing who the band’s special guests will be – with bets placed on Bruce Springsteen and Adele – and the meaning of the giant mechanical phoenix on top of the stage.

Chris Kneller, 25, a Formula One design engineer from Maidstone, Kent, said: “It’s going to be one of those classic Glastonbury moments. There’s a bit of anticipation because of the massive bird on the Pyramid – there’s never been anything on it before.

“It got pretty bad with Arctic Monkeys there last night, so I can’t imagine how crowded it will get though.”

Adam Robinson, a 25-year-old personal trainer from Ipswich, said: “It’s probably the only time we’ll ever see the Stones.

“I know the festival organisers have been trying to get hold of them for a long time, so there will be a brilliant atmosphere.

“I predict there will be a massive singalong.”

Victoria Hamilton, 25, from Swansea, wearing a t-shirt showing the Stones in their 60s heyday, said: “I don’t know how they do it at their age.

“I’d love it if Adele came on with them.”

David Knight, 56, from Glastonbury, is looking forward to seeing Sir Mick Jagger perform for the fourth time.

“It’s going to be pretty amazing to have them here,” he said. “It’s the biggest festival in the world and the world’s greatest rock and roll band. I think they go together very well.”

Sir Mick’s brother also lives in Glastonbury and could well be among the audience, along with Jade and Elizabeth Jagger.

Celebrities including Wayne and Colleen Rooney and Kate Moss are expected to be watching the 2hr 15min set, the first hour of which will be televised on the BBC.

Guitarist Keith Richards said this week that the band was “destined” to make an appearance at Glastonbury, despite turning down a slot for many years, and declared: ”It had to be done.“

In an interview about the performance posted online, guitarist Richards said: “It’s almost like you’re finally destined to play Glastonbury.

“I mean there were many years when we were offered it and turned it down. I look upon it as a culmination of our British heritage really. It had to be done and it’s gonna be done, and we’ll see what happens, you know.”

Temperatures are set to reach 20C on site today, according to Meteogroup forecaster James Wilby.

He said: “When the Stones come on at 9.30pm it will be mild, about 15C. There’ll be sunny spells during the day but there are fair amounts of cloud around.”

Festival goers are in their shorts and sunglasses for the day – though many, perhaps having expected the rain that fell earlier in the week to continue, seem to have been caught out by the sunny conditions, with sunburned faces seen around the site.

Police said they are pleased crime levels have fallen from the last festival, in 2011.

There have been 160 crimes committed, compared with 228 at the same point in 2011, a reduction of 29.8%.

So far there have been 89 thefts from tents, which is down by around 10%, and 42 drugs offences, down a third on the previous festival.

Cressida Bonas, the on-off girlfriend of Prince Harry, was spotted being driven away from the Park Stage area, amid rumours Harry was also present.

Celebrities seen backstage today included actors Billie Piper and Laurence Fox.

Laura Mvula brought a summery vibe to the Pyramid Stage in the afternoon, sampling reggae classic One Love to the delight of the crowds.

She told them it felt like performing in a garden, adding: “This is my first Glastonbury – wow.”

The Pyramid stage also saw performances from Ben Howard and Glastonbury stalwart Billy Bragg, while Azealia Banks and Dry The River performed on the Other Stage.

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