PILTON, England (Reuters) - Pop princess Kylie Minogue and rockers Muse play the main stage at the giant Glastonbury music festival on Saturday, a day after headline act Gorillaz failed to live up to expectations.
Colombian singer Shakira is also on the Pyramid stage as the four-day festival passes halfway, with the Pet Shop Boys and Editors among those appearing at other venues across the sprawling site set on a picturesque farm in southwest England.
Around 150,000 revelers, most of them living in tents, are enjoying searing hot temperatures and a bewildering choice of music to suit every taste, and there is little sign of the rain that traditionally turns the event into a mud bath.
Bare chests, bikinis and outlandish costumes have replaced raincoats and rubber boots, and medical staff have dealt with an unusual number of incidents, most of them heat-related.
“This is my fourth year and the weather is just so much better,” said 17-year-old Luka Taraskevics, from Bath. “I didn’t even bother bringing my wellies. If anything may be it’s a bit too hot.”
But despite the feel good factor as Glastonbury celebrates its 40th birthday, the eagerly-awaited Friday night headline slot failed to impress, and the huge crowd began thinning out before Gorillaz had finished its set.
Led by Damon Albarn of Blur fame, who has starred at Glastonbury twice before, the group was drafted in at the last moment to replace U2, and its eclectic mix of styles and lack of recognizable sing-along anthems appeared to count against it.
“The site of Albarn’s greatest triumph is the venue for a humbling encounter with a crowd that demands more tunes than Gorillaz can provide,” the Guardian newspaper said in a review.
Rappers fared better, with Snoop Dogg and Dizzee Rascal whipping the crowds into a frenzy, and Radiohead, which was voted Glastonbury’s best headline act in a recent poll, pulled off a surprise when it appeared on the smaller Park stage.
London rapper Tinchy Stryder kicked off Saturday’s program, making a valiant attempt to reach an audience struggling to shrug off the effects of the night before.
Shakira appears in the evening, followed by Scissor Sisters who are expected to be joined by Minogue.
Muse round off Saturday with the headline slot, while less famous acts like Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus and The Phenomenal Handclap Band fill stages elsewhere.
In 1970, Glastonbury founder and dairy farmer Michael Eavis decided to hold a music event and booked the Kinks for 500 pounds ($750) but, when they failed to show, got Marc Bolan instead.
That year 1,500 people showed up when the event was known as the “Pilton Pop Festival”. They each paid one pound and were given free milk from Eavis’s Worthy Farm. This year the tickets cost 185 pounds.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; editing by Peter Graff