Glastonbury returning for first time in three years – with oldest and youngest headline acts ever

Glastonbury will feature its oldest and youngest headliners as the festival returns this week for the first time in three years.

Billie Eilish, 20, will become the youngest-ever solo headliner when she takes to the Pyramid Stage on Friday night. Meanwhile, Sir Paul McCartney, 80, will close out the festival as the oldest-ever solo headliner on Sunday evening.

A fan of The Beatles and Linkin Park, Eilish began writing songs at the age of 11.

Sir Paul’s performance will mark more than 60 years of music-making, with his set due to be full of hits from his time in the Beatles and Wings, as well as some of his best-known solo material.

Read more: The full Glastonbury line-up

Sir Paul last performed at Glastonbury in 2004
Sir Paul last performed at Glastonbury in 2004

He is expected to attract an especially large crowd and could rival those of The Rolling Stones in 2013 and Adele in 2016.

The Somerset festival is finally celebrating its 50th year after the COVID pandemic forced organisers to cancel it twice.

More on Glastonbury

But revellers face difficulties arriving at the site in Pilton.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Network Rail and 13 train operators will walk out on 21, 23, and 25 June in the biggest outbreak of such industrial action in a generation.

People are due to start arriving at the festival site on Wednesday 22 June – right in the middle of the planned strikes.

Great Western Railway, which operates the route between London Paddington and Castle Cary close to the festival, has said it “plans to maintain timetabled trains” throughout the course of the week.

National Express, the official coach partner for the event, has warned demand for travel is high with a significant increase in inquiries and bookings around the days of the strike.

Festival goers will be greeted by warmer weather

A warm start to the weekend

Those who do successfully make it to Worthy Farm will be greeted by warm weather on Wednesday and Thursday before temperatures drop over the weekend.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “On Wednesday there will be highs of around 24C (75F) and high UV levels throughout, so a bit of a warm start to the festival.

“It will be similar again on Thursday. It will stay dry with sunshine throughout the day and temperatures a little bit higher so 25C or 26C (77F to 79F) possibly and high UV levels.”

From Friday there will be an increased risk of showers, with temperatures around 20C (68F).

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY JUNE 20 Undated handout photo issued by WaterAid of a postcard created by Ringo Starr, launching at Glastonbury festival, as part of WaterAid's Climate Fight campaign which will be officially launched at Glastonbury festival, featuring designs created by music stars to celebrate the power of water. Issue date: Monday June 20, 2022.

Ringo Starr launches Glastonbury campaign

Sir Paul won’t be the only Beatle with a presence at the famous festival, with Sir Ringo Starr joining a host of musicians as part of a campaign to send postcards to the prime minister urging action on climate change.

WaterAid’s Climate Fight campaign will be officially launched at Glastonbury, and the postcards feature designs created by music stars to celebrate the power of water.

Festivalgoers can send a postcard to Boris Johnson and another to themselves as a reminder of how they can play their own part.

Sir Ringo, a long-term WaterAid supporter, designed a postcard showing him at a tap that has run dry.

The former Beatle said: “We all share one world, and we need to come together to protect it, and each other, as we face the threat of climate change.”

Read more: Levels of illegal drugs high enough to harm wildlife found in river running through site

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine sings their song "Stefania" again after winning the Eurovision Song Contest

Ukrainian bands bring anti-war message

Glastonbury will also play host to a number of Ukrainian acts this year, amid Russia’s invasion of their country.

Kyiv folk quartet DakhaBrakha will perform on Sunday afternoon on the Pyramid stage.

The group, who combine the musical styles of several local ethnic groups, have described themselves as “ambassadors of free Ukraine” and have long used their performances to voice their opposition to war and the policies of Vladimir Putin.

Go_A will open the John Peel stage on Saturday with a performance of electronic folk music and soaring vocal melodies.

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The group, which formed in 2012, represented Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 with the anthemic dance track Shum, placing fifth.

Band member Ihor Didenchuk is also a member of Kalush Orchestra, which triumphed during the contest this year.

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