The Rolling Stones are the 2013 headline act at the Glastonbury Festival, a Woodstock-like event that started in 1970 and has grown into the largest green field open-air music and performing arts festival in the world.
If the size of the crowds attending the Stones 50th anniversary reunion is an indication, the Glastonbury venue, Worthy Farm in Somerset, will be full to bursting. A typical audience for headline acts is 250,000. The weather could be a spoiler: downpours turn the farm into a bog, and veteran rock Mick Jagger has made it clear that he hates performing in the rain. It is believed to be the Stones first appearance at a British pop festival since 1976.
The band received rave reviews for their 50th anniversary performance at London's O2 arena in 2012.
Like Woodstock, the muddy three-day festival in a farm field in the northeast United States in 1969, which drew some half million young people from all over the country for sex, drugs and rock n'roll, Glastonbury has become a counterculture icon. It started the day after Jimi Hendrix died, and has seen most of the biggest acts of the last decades. David Bowie, who recently made a comeback recording, starred at the 1971 Glastonbury Festival. Joan Baez also performed at the 1971 festival. It was moved that year to coincide with the Summer Solstice.
The 2013 lineup at the multi-stage venue is eclectic, a mix of mainstream guitar rock, pop-rap and singer-songwriters, with Kenny Rogers in the traditional elder statesman slot, hip hop dancers.
Date written/update: 2013-03-01