Sun replaces mud as Glastonbury parties hard at 40

GANGSTA rapper Snoop Dogg put Glastonbury Festival’s hippie reputation behind it once and for all yesterday with an aggressive, foul-mouthed performance which delighted revellers on the opening day of the festival.

In 1970, when organiser Michael Eavis first opened his farm to festival-goers, it was all long hair and free love, but since Jay-Z’s headline slot two years ago the Glasto crowd has embraced hip hop. And Snoop Dogg did not disappoint.

This year’s festival has seen something of a rarity — blazing sun and soaring temperatures.

And forecasters are predicting more of the same for the rest of the festival.

Earlier revellers at the Pyramid Stage were treated to the rather more sedate musings of country legend Willie Nelson who raced through a plethora of hits.

Thousands packed the front of the stage to sing along in what has proved to be one of Glastonbury’s more unlikely success stories.

He was cheered on from backstage by Rolf Harris, who himself attracted a huge crowd when he kicked off proceedings.

Cartoon rockers Gorillaz headlined the main stage after stepping in at the last minute to replace U2 as Bono had to undergo back surgery.

So far there have been 163 reported crimes on site and 47 arrests. More than 1,000 people have been treated in the medical tent — most for sun stroke.

Over on the Other Stage, another big crowd sang every word of Florence And The Machine’s triumphant set.

Lead singer Florence Welch, 23, ripped through her back catalogue — which is already proving impressive even though the band only formed three years ago.

Welch, wearing an indecently tiny white outfit, said: “This is my fourth Glastonbury in a row and I started singing in the Tea Tent at breakfast so it is great to be back again.”

But she added: “We won’t be back next year though — well, maybe we will.”

On the Pyramid Stage, Dizzee Rascal — real name Dylan Kwabena Mills — whipped the swelling crowd into a frenzy with his British take on traditional rap music.

Hits Bonkers, Dirtee Disco and Holiday, coupled with a glowing sunset over Worthy Farm, provided the soundtrack for a day which seemingly passed without a hitch.

During the encore, Welch joined him on stage for their mash-up You Got the Dirtee Love, sparking the massed thousands into a frenzy.

Even before Gorillaz came on stage the crowd had enjoyed a baking hot day and plenty of alcohol.

But spirits remained high as the massed thousands waited for their cartoon heroes. One rather vocal section of the audience managed to run through many of the band’s hits before Albarn and his band had even set foot on stage.

One of the Gorillaz fans leading the chorus, Tariq Mohood, 25, from London, said: “To be honest, I was over the moon when U2 pulled out – Gorillaz are a much better band.

“Me and my mates have loved them since they first started so it is great to be seeing them.”

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox