By Mark Savage
BBC music correspondent

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Sir Paul last headlined Glastonbury in 2004

Sir Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Fender, Olivia Rodrigo, Foals and Wolf Alice will all play the Glastonbury Festival when it returns this summer.

More than 80 acts have been added to the line-up, alongside previously-announced headliner Billie Eilish.

Sir Paul will top the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 25 June, exactly one week after he turns 80.

He last played in 2004, and was due to headline the 2020 festival before Covid forced organisers to cancel.

“When he finally confirmed, we were beyond [excited],” organiser Emily Eavis told the BBC.

“For us, having Paul McCartney is obviously a dream, a huge moment in our history. It means the world getting Paul McCartney to Glastonbury.”

Eavis also announced that proceeds from the event would go towards the Red Cross Ukraine appeal, as well as the festival’s regular charities, WaterAid, Oxfam and Greenpeace.

The former Beatle will become festival’s oldest ever headliner when he plays this summer; while Friday night’s star attraction, Billie Eilish, will be the youngest.

The 20-year-old will also be Glastonbury’s first female headliner since 2016 – although Taylor Swift was booked to play in 2020 before it was cancelled.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Kendrick Lamar is expected to play new material during his Sunday night headline set

Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar will close the festival on Sunday night, fresh from his performance at this year’s Super Bowl.

The Compton MC is thought to be working on the long-awaited follow-up to his 2017 album Damn, although a rumoured new single failed to materialise last month.

Other acts announced on Friday morning included Brit Award-winner Little Simz, Mercury Prize-winner Arlo Parks, Nigerian star Burna Boy, former headliners Skunk Anansie, pop legends Pet Shop Boys and festival favourites Elbow.

There will also be debut appearances from Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Pheobe Bridgers, TLC, Wet Leg and jazz icon Herbie Hancock.

And Motown legend Diana Ross will play the coveted “legends slot” on Sunday afternoon.

The first tranche of announcements keeps Glastonbury’s commitment to gender parity, with female artists or female-fronted bands accounting for 47 of the 89 acts.

Hundreds more artists will be revealed over the coming weeks, with the full-line up confirmed in May.

‘So excited to be back’

This year’s Glastonbury will be the first since 2019, when Stormzy, The Killers and The Cure were the headliners.

The following year would have been the festival’s 50th anniversary, but organisers called off the celebration because the pandemic made it impossible to build the 900-acre site and host 200,000 fans.

In 2021, the festival was replaced by a technically-flawed live stream featuring performances from Coldplay, Wolf Alice, Damon Albarn and Jorja Smith.

Announcing the 2022 line-up, Eavis said she was “so excited to be back after such a long break”.

“We’ve never had two years without a Glastonbury festival before – and it really feels like we all need it, to be honest.

“Everywhere I go, people come up and they tell me the stories of how they’ve been waiting. This is the biggest build-up ever.”

The festival has already sold out, with the majority of tickets rolled over from 2020.

Sir Paul’s last appearance on the Pyramid Stage came after a day of heavy rain that left fans soaked to the skin.

But his arrival was greeted with an almighty cheer, and he responded with a joyous, two-and-a-half hour greatest hits set – opening with Wings classic Jet and racing through 22 Beatles songs including Helter Skelter, Back In The USSR and Yesterday.

“Spare a thought for Michael Eavis. He could live to host a hundred more Glastos and he’d never top this,” wrote the NME in its review.

“And pity us poor punters, oblivious to the fact we are sinking in mud and soaked to the skin, because every gig we go to from now will fall short of this.”

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Sir Paul’s 2004 set at Glastonbury won an NME Award for musical event of the year

Incredibly, after playing more than 3,000 concerts, Glastonbury was the star’s first ever festival. He later recalled looking out over the the flags, banners and bedraggled fans and thinking it looked “like the Battle of Agincourt”.

He closed the show with The End, the final song on The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. But it was the all-together-now chorus of Hey Jude that made a lasting impression, echoing around Worthy Farm until the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Paul won the day for me,” festival founder Michael Eavis said after the concert. “He hugged and kissed me afterwards but I should have kissed him.”

Sir Paul later told Clash magazine: “It was a good night for us. It was a blast, and the audience seemed to love it. It was like, ‘Yeah man! People have come together!’ Very uplifting.”

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