Glastonbury returns, and guess Who will star as a headline act

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The Independent Online

Glastonbury is set to return with a vengeance after it emerged that The Who and "the biggest rock band in the world" - believed to be the Red Hot Chili Peppers - were lined up for this year's festival.

The event, which returns in June after last year's festival was cancelled, promises to be one of the biggest yet after The Who's guitarist, Pete Townshend, confirmed the band would be one of the three headline acts.

Michael Eavis, the organiser, said he had been pleasantly surprised when he heard Townshend, in an interview this week on Xfm, reveal the band would be appearing at the festival.

Townshend had quipped that The Who's appearance on Sunday 24 June would depend on "whether or not they give me enough space to park my tent".

Heavy hints had already been dropped by the band about their appearance - Townshend had said it was his wish that they should finish their first world tour, begun last June, at the festival. In a posting on his website just before the band's first show in Leeds, Townshend wrote: "Tonight is the first show after an exhausting rehearsal schedule and kicks off a tour that will last slightly over a year if I get my wish to end it next year at Glastonbury. Now that will be the show to watch. We should be warmed up by then."

Meanwhile, the mystery behind the group which was called the "biggest band in the world" by Mr Eavis, who said he had been contacted by them to discuss the line-up for Glastonbury, could finally be solved. It is believed that the group in question is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

But Mr Eavis, who would not confirm the band's identity, said they would have to play a non-headlining act on the Pyramid stage. "It had gone public that Kylie [Minogue] was not doing her slot. The band phoned up and said would we make them an offer and that they would be around that weekend as they were going to be in Europe. I couldn't offer them a headline slot because they were filled. We tried to persuade them to do two or three on the bill under headliners. We are now waiting for them to respond.

"I can't say who they were, but it wasn't U2 or Radiohead," said Mr Eavis.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who have sold 60 million records worldwide and are often referred to as the "biggest rock band in the world", are scheduled to play a show in Paris on 6 July, as part of the European leg of their worldwide tour.

The Arctic Monkeys have also confirmed their appearance at the festival, which starts on 22 June. The Sheffield indie group whose debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history last year, will headline the main stage.

"They're a fantastic band and will be one of headline acts. I saw them a few years ago at the Brixton Academy and it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. Everyone went ape," said Mr Eavis. On the New Musical Express website, the group responded playfully by saying: "If Michael Eavis said it, we must be playing."

Mr Eavis also confirmed that the quirky Icelandic performer, Bjork, would perform at this year's event. He added that the line-up was "absolutely full to the gunnels and that there was "no space left" for extra performers.

Tickets, priced at £150, will go on sale on 1 April following a pre-registration period in February.

In an effort to cut out touting, tickets for the three-day festival will this year feature a picture of the person buying a ticket.

The site was recently expanded to accommodate 137,500 music lovers - an increase of 25,000 on the previous event.

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