Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury: Lionel Richie draws festival's biggest crowd

Lionel Richie Image copyright EPA
Image caption Lionel Richie looked like he was struggling to believe the size of the crowd

Lionel Richie has drawn the biggest crowd of this year's Glastonbury Festival, with at least 100,000 people estimated to have watched the singer.

The Pyramid Stage field was packed to see the star play hits like Dancing on the Ceiling, Hello and Say You Say Me.

The event then closed with rock legends The Who performing their hits on the Pyramid Stage as part of a world tour that has been billed as their last.

Paul Weller and Patti Smith also played and the Dalai Lama visited the site.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was introduced on the main stage by Patti Smith after earlier delivering a speech in the Peace Garden.

The 177,000 festivalgoers are now making their way home from the Somerset site.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Who played classic hits like Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Paul Weller's set took in his days in The Jam as well as his solo career

Richie's performance in the festival's traditional Sunday afternoon "legend" slot will be remembered as one of this year's highlights.

Organisers suggested the field could have been near its 120,000 capacity when he played.

His set included hits like All Night Long, We Are The World, Easy and Three Times A Lady.

Fans chanted the star's name and the security guards in front of the stage had even learned a dance that they performed when he played Dancing on the Ceiling.

After that song, Richie looked disbelievingly at the size of the crowd and repeated: "What the hell is going on?"

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The 'legend' slot has become one of Glastonbury's annual highlights

Richie was following in the footsteps of stars like Dolly Parton, Tom Jones and Neil Diamond, who have taken the Sunday afternoon slot in the past.

At the end of the night, The Who brought the festival to a close with a greatest hits set that included rock classics like Pinball Wizard, Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again.

They also took a dig at Kanye West's claim, made during his Saturday headline slot, to be the world's greatest rock star.

The band's Glastonbury appearance was part of a world tour to mark their 50th anniversary, which singer Roger Daltrey has described as "the beginning of the long goodbye".

Elsewhere at the festival, dance favourites The Chemical Brothers ended proceedings on a high on the Other Stage, while there were also appearances by US singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, art-pop auteur FKA Twigs and FFS - a group made from merging Franz Ferdinand and Sparks.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Dalai Lama said he admired punk poet Patti Smith's voice and movement
Image copyright AP
Image caption The Dalai Lama used a festival T-shirt to shelter from the rain

Earlier, fans gave an enthusiastic reception to the Dalai Lama after he joined Patti Smith during her Pyramid Stage performance.

She presented him with a cake in advance of his 80th birthday on 6 July and led a rendition of Happy Birthday.

The Dalai Lama said he was an admirer of Patti Smith and her band. "I very much appreciate those singers and musicians - most of you with white hair," he said. "That voice and physical action looks very beautiful.

"That gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, I should be more like you."

Related Topics

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites