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Hour of Stones' Glasto set for TV

Music fans will be able to watch an hour of The Rolling Stones' headline set at Glastonbury on TV after a compromise was reached in a row over coverage of the set.

The band, playing for two hours and 15 minutes on the Saturday night of the music festival, had reportedly initially limited the BBC to broadcasting four songs from their show. Urgent talks were then held between the parties.

Speaking as he gears up for next week's opening of the Somerset festival, now in its 43rd year, organiser Michael Eavis said: "I think they're all friends now. They're going to be playing for about an hour for the TV. I think Mick Jagger wanted to play to the people here, rather than a TV show."

Only those at the festival will see the band's finale, with fireworks set to light up the sky over the Worthy Farm site.

Fans can expect a spectacular show, with 90 minutes between the end of the previous set on the Pyramid Stage - by Primal Scream - and the arrival of The Rolling Stones to allow for their set to be built.

Mr Eavis admitted that they could even be too popular. "With the whole Stones thing, there might be a problem with the size of the crowd so it's slightly worrying for me, in a way," he said. The Pyramid area has been extended to allow for the thousands of fans expected for the band's set in a bid to avoid any problems with overcrowding, Mr Eavis added. It is also hoped that festivalgoers will spread themselves out across the site to see other acts to dilute the situation with top acts performing at the same time.

He said: "I'll be in there myself. I'd love to see the Stones. It's taken a long time to get them to come and play. Everyone wants to see the Stones, basically."

There are just days to go before 135,000 music fans flood through the gates of the 900-acre site when the campsites open. Asked if fans could expect any surprises during this summer's event, Mr Eavis joked: "The real surprise at the moment is the weather."

He said he was pleased with all of this year's signings, describing Friday-night headliners Arctic Monkeys as "one of the most original English bands we've had for years", adding: "I'm a big fan of them."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We're confident that we'll be able to deliver fantastic coverage of this year's amazing Glastonbury line-up. The discussions with artists are absolutely business as usual. Our conversations with The Rolling Stones have been extremely constructive and are ongoing."


From Belfast Telegraph