Glastonbury 2013: Rolling Stones coverage row resolved as BBC to broadcast an hour of their set

 

Music fans will be able to watch an hour of The Rolling Stones' headline set at Glastonbury on TV after a compromise was reached in a row over coverage of the set.

The band, playing for 90 minutes on the Saturday night of the music festival, had reportedly initially limited the BBC to broadcasting four songs from their show. Urgent talks were then held between the parties.

Speaking as he gears up for next week's opening of the Somerset festival, now in its 43rd year, organiser Michael Eavis said: "I think they're all friends now.

"They're going to be playing for about an hour for the TV.

"I think Mick Jagger wanted to play to the people here, rather than a TV show."

Only those at the festival will see the band's final half hour, with fireworks set to light up the sky over the Worthy Farm site.

Fans can expect a spectacular show, with 90 minutes between the end of the previous set on the Pyramid Stage - by Primal Scream - and the arrival of The Rolling Stones to allow for their set to be built.

Mr Eavis admitted that they could even be too popular.

"With the whole Stones thing, there might be a problem with the size of the crowd so it's slightly worrying for me, in a way," he said.

The Pyramid area has been extended to allow for the thousands of fans expected for the band's set in a bid to avoid any problems with overcrowding, Mr Eavis added.

It is also hoped that festivalgoers will spread themselves out across the site to see other acts to dilute the situation with top acts performing at the same time.

"I'll be in there myself," he said. "I'd love to see the Stones. It's taken a long time to get them to come and play.

"Everyone wants to see the Stones, basically."

Mr Eavis admitted that while it had taken years to get the band to play, it was likely to be their "first and last" appearance at the festival.

What he described as "even better" than having the veteran rockers performing at his Worthy Farm site was the expected appearance of another festival rarity - the sun.

"We're particularly excited because the forecast is fantastic from Tuesday," said Mr Eavis. "It's going to be a mini heatwave, can you believe it?

"I'm thrilled. The whole thing can get really nasty very quickly with the cold rain and mud."

He advised festivalgoers to pack sunscreen, with sunshine expected for the duration of the festival.

"It's going to be so hot - it might even be too hot," he added.

There are just days to go before 135,000 music fans flood through the gates of the 900-acre site when the campsites open.

Asked if fans could expect any surprises during this summer's event, Mr Eavis joked: "The real surprise at the moment is the weather."

He said he was pleased with all of this year's signings, describing Friday night headliners Arctic Monkeys as "one of the most original English bands we've had for years", adding: "I'm a big fan of them."

Sunday night's headliners are due to be Mumford & Sons, who still plan to take to the stage despite their bassist's recent spell in hospital for treatment for a blood clot.

French chart-toppers Daft Punk were rumoured to be playing but Mr Eavis said they would not be, despite efforts to arrange an appearance - unless daughter Emily, co-organiser of the event, was keeping it a secret from him.

Asked what he was looking forward to about this year's show, Mr Eavis said: "Just about everything. There are millions of things going on.

"It's growing so much every year and is getting bigger and better. The quality of entertainment across the site this year is unsurpassed.

"I've never been so excited in all these years. We've got the weather, we've got the line-up - it's going to be unusually good."

Finishing touches are being made to this year's festival, with hundreds of workers preparing the site.

Mr Eavis's 350 cows have been installed in the so-called "moo-tel" and there are nearly 70,000 toilet rolls stacked up in one of his barns.

Despite the event not even having started, plans are already under way for the 2014 festival.

Mr Eavis remained tight-lipped about any possible headliners for next year, however.

"We did one festival, and 43 years later we're still here. I can't believe I haven't got out of it yet," he joked.

During the festival Mr Eavis may well be found at the underground piano bar, currently being built into the side of a hill.

The bar, a favourite of his, is part of the south-east area of the site which he particularly enjoys cultivating and has been branded "the naughty corner" for its reputation for late-night fun.

Mr Eavis joked that he sees the Park area cultivated by Emily as a "rival" for his pet project - but that it was unclear who was currently winning.

Glastonbury Festival opens its gates next Wednesday, with the main bands playing from Friday.

The official Glastonbury 2013 app from festival partner EE, which includes set times, news and interactive maps, will feature live streams of the BBC's coverage over the weekend.

EE is installing a 4G network, the first at a UK festival, and providing hundreds of free phone charging points.

PA

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