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Glastonbury date for Dalai Lama

Published 25/06/2015

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Glastonbury on Sunday
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Glastonbury on Sunday

After months of speculation the Dalai Lama has confirmed he will make an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival this weekend.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader will speak on Sunday where he will promote his message of "compassion, non-violence and the oneness of humanity", his representatives said.

Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the festival and daughter of founder Michael Eavis, said it was a "special moment" for the festival, which opened its gates yesterday.

"We're honoured to welcome the Dalai Lama to Glastonbury 2015,"she said.

"He will be talking in the Green Fields and exploring the farm this Sunday as part of his trip to the UK. What a special moment for the Festival."

Rumours that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate would talk at the festival emerged in January after a diary entry about the visit reportedly appeared on his website but was swiftly removed.

He will speak at the festival's Green Field, a 60 acre site billed as an area of peaceful retreat, as part of a four day visit to the UK during which he will also attend the Buddhist Community Centre UK in Aldershot.

The festival opened its gates to ticket-holders yesterday morning, who have so far been greeted with sunshine and temperatures of 22C (71.6F), with similar highs expected for the rest of the event.

However, showers are expected to pour down on campers tomorrow just as the first bands take to the stage.

Today seasoned Indie artist Jarvis Cocker gave some words of reassurance to headline act Florence And The Machine, who has been promoted to the top spot on the Pyramid stage tomorrow night after the Foo Fighters were forced to pull out.

Recalling his own experience of stepping in to replace the Stone Roses' headline slot in 1995 with his band Pulp, he told Florence "no one is bigger than Glastonbury".

In an interview with the Glastonbury Free Press, the festival's newspaper printed on site, he said: "That was a major realisation: when you're getting ready for a big performance you can get too caught up in yourself and lose sight of the bigger picture."

In a light-hearted reference to Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl injuring himself on stage, forcing the band to cancel their performance, he said: "Please don't break a leg. Please do have a fantastic show."

Up to 90% of the 135,000 ticket-holders are believed to have arrived yesterday, with many flocking to the site's banks to watch the first glorious sunset.

Founder Michael Eavis told the paper: "Driving along that ridge, seeing the whole valley so full of energy and beauty and creativity, I was speechless. Ït's better than it's ever been, it really is. Even after all these years, to be stunned to silence, isn't that incredible?"

Avon and Somerset Police arrested 10 people overnight for drug offences and thefts from tents, a spokesman said.

Police officers have been seen walking around the festival site offering crime prevention advice and taking the occasional selfie with campers.

Some officers are on horseback and bikes in order to navigate the 1,000 acres site.

Singer-turned-activist Charlotte Church will welcome punk rock protesters Pussy Riot to Glastonbury tomorrow.

Organisers announced that Church, who has been vocal in the anti-austerity movement since the Tory Government won last month's election, will introduce the Russian feminist group's appearance.

Pussy Riot have received worldwide attention for their protests against Russian president Vladimir Putin's regime, which has seen some members sent to jail.

The festival guide lists their slot as "Pussy Riot in Conversation" at midday.

Tomorrow will see the music stages launch in to action from 11am, kicking off with a suprise act on the Other stage.

Florence and the Machine will now headline on the famous Pyramid stage, after Foo Fighters were forced to bow out when lead singer David Grohl broke his leg.

Other star acts performing tomorrow include Mark Ronson, The Proclaimers, Rudimental and Mary J Blige.

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