November 23, 2009 / 1:18 PM / 9 years ago

U2 to headline UK's Glastonbury Festival

Lead singer Bono of the rock band U2 performs during a concert at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LONDON (Reuters) - Irish rock band U2 are to headline next year’s Glastonbury Festival on the 40th anniversary of the world’s biggest green field arts and music event.

The band are set to appear on June 25, the opening night of the festival for a one-off performance during their tour of the United States.

“The band is really looking forward to it,” manager Paul McGuinness said on U2’s website.

Glastonbury organizer Michael Eavis said he had been trying for years to persuade the group to perform and was delighted they had agreed to play their first festival since the 1980s.

“The 26-year-old rumor has finally come true,” Eavis said on the festival’s website.

“At last, the biggest band in the world are going to play the best festival in the world. Nothing could be better for our 40th anniversary party.”

The three-day festival, which takes place on Eavis’s farm in southwest England and attracts some 150,000 revelers, has already sold out.

What started as a hippy haven in 1970 and became famed for fans partying in mud because heavy rain often turned the site into a quagmire, has now become a highlight of Britain’s musical calendar.

Last year, acts included Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and British band Blur.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison

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