| PILTON, England, June 27
PILTON, England, June 27 Kaiser Chiefs kicked
off three days of music at the Glastonbury Festival on Friday,
with lead singer Ricky Wilson singing "I predict a riot" to a
good natured crowd made even more amenable by a halt in the
The British band were the surprise opener at the event at
Worthy Farm in rural southwest England, which is as famous for
its mud as for its line up.
"Glastonbury we are honoured to kick off your weekend of
fun," Wilson told revellers.
The festival started in 1970, when hippies paid one pound to
see acts including Marc Bolan, with free milk from the farm
This year, more than 120,000 tickets priced at 215 pounds
($370) sold out in hours to people keen to hear live music from
hundreds of bands and experience the other entertainment,
including comedy, theatre and circus acts.
More than 125,000 people were on the site by Friday
lunchtime, festival organisers said.
Blondie, the U.S. band that has been going for 40 years,
almost as long as the festival, attracted a huge crowd on the
Other Stage on Friday afternoon to hear hits like "Atomic" and
"Hanging on the Telephone".
"Glastonbury, nothing like it in the world," lead singer
Debbie Harry told fans, adding the almost obligatory reference
to the weather: "It's my wet dream."
The appearance of the sun from behind storm clouds was
greeted as enthusiastically as Blondie's most popular songs by
the rubber boot-shod audience.
Heavy rain fell earlier on Friday, and further showers were
forecast for the remainder of the day and Saturday.
Other acts appearing at Britain's biggest music festival on
Friday included singers Lily Allen and Paolo Nutini, U.S
electronic musician Skrillex, and Manchester band Elbow, which
is sure to lead a mass singalong to "One Day Like This", an
anthem used by British television as the backing track for
Topping the bill is Canada's Arcade Fire, while Saturday's
headliner Metallica has generated controversy among some fans
who say heavy metal has no place at Glastonbury.
The festival's 78-year-old founder, Michael Eavis, has
defended the choice, telling the BBC that he is really looking
forward to seeing them.
($1 = 0.5880 British Pounds)
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)