Elton John photo - WP-1687701658965
Elton John. Image Credit: Washington Post

Elton John is set to close out Britain’s legendary Glastonbury Festival on June 25, bringing down the curtain on the five-day annual spectacle with what has been billed as his final UK performance.

The 76-year-old pop superstar is winding down a glittering live career with a global farewell tour, playing his last concerts in the United States in May ahead of a final gig in Stockholm on July 8.

The singer-songwriter has said he “couldn’t be more excited” to make his debut at Glastonbury, Britain’s best-known music festival hosted on a farm in southwest England for five decades.

He will take to the main Pyramid Stage on June 25 night, with fans eagerly awaiting the identity of four “collaborators” set to join him who have yet to be announced.

His manager David Furnish revealed earlier this week that the four different guests will feature, promising the show would differ from the global icon’s sets on his marathon Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour over recent years.

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“This one is very special. It is not just another day in the office,” Furnish told Sky News.

He also revealed John will not stop making music after the tour ends next month, and will start work on a new studio album later this year.

John caps days of big-name performances in front of more than 200,000 fans at Glastonbury, including veteran US rockers Guns N’Roses making their debut at the long-running festival in the coveted Saturday night headline slot.

Eclectic ethos

They rocked through their extensive catalogue during a two-hour-plus set playing hit tracks including ‘Knockin On Heaven’s Door’, ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ and ‘November Rain’.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, whose band played a so-called secret slot on June 23, joined them onstage to help play a special rendition of ‘Paradise City’.

Other acts playing this year included UK indie giants Arctic Monkeys, singer Lizzo, rapper Lil Nas X, post-punk icon Blondie and “rickroller” Rick Astley, highlighting Glastonbury’s eclectic ethos.

Dairy farmer Michael Eavis first organised the festival in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died, and fans who came to see acts including Marc Bolan and Al Stewart paid £1 each for entry and received free milk from the farm.

It was held intermittently in the 1970s and it wasn’t until the 1990s that it really began to acquire its current cult status.

While able to draw the biggest performers from every genre and generation, it is equally known for hosting thousands of small acts and leftfield events across the huge Worthy Farm site, as well as for often rainy and muddy conditions.

That has not proved a problem this year, with Britain in the midst of a prolonged dry period leaving much of the country scorched.

More than 100,000 standard tickets for this year’s festival sold out in just over an hour, despite the price rising to £335 ($427) this year.

Attendees dragging tents and rucksacks began flocking to the site on June 20, ahead of gates opening the following day.