Belfast Telegraph

Festival site returning to nature

A major clean-up operation to turn the 1,000 acre setting of Glastonbury Festival back in to a farm has started.

The final campers are leaving after the festival was closed last night by 60s rock and roll band The Who.

Debris left by 135,000 ticket-holders is strewn across the fields of Worthy Farm in Somerset, which has been home to a population bigger than Oxford and Reading for the past five days.

An army of around 800 litter-pickers will begin the pain-staking task of collecting the rubbish tomorrow after all bleary-eyed campers have left the site.

Drivers faced congested roads as they made their getaway from the small village, with many enduring two hour queues to get off site.

It has been a particularly diverse and controversial year for the festival, with a last-minute cancellation from the Foo Fighters, a stage invasion during Kanye West's headline performance and a visit from Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

But founder of the festival Michael Eavis today said it "was the best one yet".

"There's absolutely no doubt about it", he added.

Meanwhile Avon and Somerset Police said it recorded one of the lowest crime figures it has seen in recent years, with 216 crimes reported compared to 246 last year and 75 arrests mainly for thefts from tents and drugs offences.

Police officers were a surprise hit at the festival with some donning glitter, fairy wings and fancy dress hats for seflies with campers tweeted by the force.

Inspector Jim Goddard who policed the festival, said: "It was a very, very positive festival for us with low crime figures. The photos of officers on Twitter, probably including me, show the great feeling of what it's like to be here.

"Engaging with the public like that helps us to spread our crime prevention messages better."

Last night The Who closed the final day of Glastonbury Festival in true rock and roll style, trashing the stage and swearing at backstage staff.

The band fronted by guitarist Pete Townshend and lead singer Roger Daltrey stormed the stage opening with their signature tune Who Are You? before Daltrey pulled over a plastic screen and knocked over microphones so they could hear the drums better.

Earlier yesterday, Lionel Richie pulled in huge crowds with his upbeat show, which had the audience singing and dancing along to his hit songs.

The soul singer grinned in astonishment, telling the audience: "This is unbelievable. I'm intimidated because you know the words better than I do."

The weather has been just as extreme as the performances this year, regularly switching from sunshine to downpours but campers were grateful to have dry weather today as they packed up their tents.

Ambulance staff said the muddy fields were responsible for causing dislocations and fractures as campers battled through the slippery fields and pathways while others suffered from heat stroke and burns.

This year the famous Pyramid stage also hosted headliners Florence + The Machine on Friday and Kanye West on Saturday.

Mr Eavis said he was relieved to hear positive reviews of West's show, after his daughter Emily received death threats for the booking, but admitted he did not watch the set himself.

West's expletive-filled performance saw comedian Lee Nelson invade the stage minutes into his set and the rapper elevated above the crowd.

Ofcom received 44 complaints about West's language during the set, broadcast by the BBC.

While Mr Eavis called Florence Welch "the lady of the night" and was spotted dancing along to The Who last night.

The Dalai Lama made his first appearance at the festival, where crowds spontaneously sang "happy birthday" to the exiled Tibetan leader to mark his 80th birthday.

Celebrities spotted soaking up the diverse Glastonbury atmosphere included Lewis Hamilton, Cara Delevingne, Chris Martin, Bradley Cooper, Adele and One Direction members Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.


From Belfast Telegraph