Glastonbury: Zelensky addresses crowed as Libertines kick off festival

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Glastonbury: Zelensky addresses crowed as Libertines kick off festival
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shown to the crowd at the Other Stage during the Glastonbury FestivalImage source, PA Media
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"We will not let Russia's war stop us," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the crowd

The Glastonbury Festival has opened with a video message from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

In a pre-taped message, Mr Zelensky asked for support during the ongoing Russian invasion.

"We will not let Russia's war stop us," he told the crowd at The Other Stage before the Libertines began their set.

"That is why we turn to you for support. I ask you to share this video with everyone whose freedom is under attack."

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He asked festival-goes to "help Ukrainians who are forced to flee their homes" by putting "pressure on politicians" around the world.

"The more people who join us in defending freedom and the truth, the sooner Russia's war will end," he said.

Libertines singer and guitarist Pete Doherty later led the audience in a chant of Zelensky's name, over the riff to The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.

The band played to thousands of fans as they opened the first full day of music at Glastonbury.

Led by Doherty and Carl Barat, they launched straight into Up The Bracket, before reeling off hits like Vertigo, The Ha Ha Wall and Gunga Din.

Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of The Libertines at GlastonburyImage source, Samir Hussein
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The Libertines played hits including Vertigo, Up The Bracket and The Ha Ha Wall (Pete Doherty and Carl Barat pictured)
Pete Doherty at GlastonburyImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Doherty led the audience in a chant of Zelensky's name, over the riff to The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army

The Libertines are the first act to play one of the festival's main stages since 2019, after two years of Covid-related cancellations.

Other acts on the bill on Friday include Sam Fender, Phoebe Bridgers and main stage headliner Billie Eilish.

Rock group Wolf Alice are making a last-minute dash to the festival after their flight from Los Angeles got cancelled on Wednesday night.

After appealing to fans for the loan of a private jet, they finally made it to London by catching a connecting flight from Seattle.

Crowd at a previous Glastonbury festivalImage source, Dave J Hogan
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Music fans have returned to Glastonbury for the first time since 2019

Thee group, whose latest album Blue Weekend was nominated for the 2021 Mercury Pirze, are bound to receive a hero's welcome if they make it for their slot on the Pyramid Stage just before teatime.

Several Ukrainian artists are expected to play the festival this year, including Kalush Orchestra, who won this year's Eurovision Song Contest in May.

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