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Glastonbury getaway after Ed Sheeran closes festival

3 min

Pilton (United Kingdom) (AFP)

Tens of thousands of revellers were making the great getaway from Glastonbury on Monday after Ed Sheeran closed the world's biggest greenfield music festival.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter's performance on Sunday ended three days of music from some of the world's biggest acts at the celebrated fest, which drew an estimated 175,000 people this year.

Playing Glastonbury -- which is held on a farm in southwest England -- was "a dream of mine", Sheeran said, after performing with just his guitar.

"But I never thought I would even get to the point where I was playing this stage, let alone headlining it."

Radiohead topped the bill on Friday while the Foo Fighters headlined on Saturday.

Highlights on Sunday included Nile Rodgers and Chic, who brought some 1980s magic with disco hits such as "Everybody Dance", "I Want Your Love" and "Upside Down".

And many were dazzled by Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the Bee Gee brothers, who reeled off hit after hit.

He donned a tight-fitting gold jacket that the exuberant crowd had tossed on the sage to him after chanting "Barry, wear the jacket! Barry, wear the jacket!". He wore it while playing hit song "Tragedy".

Meanwhile The Killers played a surprise set on the John Peel Stage -- the fourth-biggest -- 10 years after they headlined the festival.

Other top acts on the bill during the festival included included Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher, Kaiser Chiefs, Emeli Sande, Status Quo, Goldfrapp, The Pretenders, The Jacksons, Dizzee Rascal, Alison Moyet and Kiefer Sutherland.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn got a rapturous welcome from tens of thousands of revellers in a speech that focused on his pacifist, environmentalist and anti-racist policies.

- Litter-picking marathon -

Getting out of Glastonbury, can be a taxing and time-consuming ordeal.

"Take your time leaving the site today and please listen to all cops, stewards and security -- we all want you to get home safe and sound," the festival advised.

A litter-picking crew of up to 800 will begin to clear the vast site of rubbish on Monday, with tractors dragging magnetic strips across the fields.

It could take up to six weeks to convert the site back into a functioning dairy farm.

Glastonbury has a fallow year every five years, and so the next festival will be in 2019.

"The farm needs a rest. So does the village and the wildlife," organiser Michael Eavis said.

Glastonbury started off as a loss-maker in 1970, with 1,500 people paying one pound to watch Marc Bolan top the bill, with free milk from the farm to tempt music-loving hippies.

The festival celebrates its 50th year in 2020.

"We're already booking acts for that one," Eavis said.

"Half a century. It's an incredible feat, actually. We've been through so many struggles to get here."

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