Old-timers to the fore as Bowie and Bacharach top the bill at Glastonbury

Following the ancient saw that the old ones are the best ones, this year's Glastonbury festival may well be dominated by artists who could have headlined the first mudlark back in 1970.

Following the ancient saw that the old ones are the best ones, this year's Glastonbury festival may well be dominated by artists who could have headlined the first mudlark back in 1970.

David Bowie, US country star Willie Nelson and lounge legend Burt Bacharach were among the acts announced yesterday for the 22nd festival, to be staged next month at its traditional home, Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset.

The three artists, who have a combined age of 191, will all appear on the main stage on the final day, bringing the curtain down on three days of music, dance and performing arts that organisers are promising will be the biggest yet.

The best selling pop act of last year, Travis, will headline on Saturday evening, a slot that traditionally brings out the extremes in the band of the moment. Oasis played a famously lacklustre set in 1996, while Pulp and Radiohead were generally thought to have triumphed in succeeding years.

Travis had a hit last year with Why Does It Always Rain on Me?, so the band at least has the material to cope with adverse weather of the sort that has blighted two of the last three festivals.

Among other highlights on the main stages are the Chemical Brothers, making their third appearance at the festival in as many years, best-selling dance act Basement Jaxx, and Moby, who will get the chance to prove his ambient sound works as well in a field as on the car adverts that feature his work.

Elsewhere on the seven stages around the 800 acre site, the mix is more ecclectic. The jazz stage will feature reggae great Horace Andy, Gil Scott Heron, and Roni Size's Reprazent. Kate Rusby, Hank Williams III, and jazz guitarist Ronnie Jordan will play on the accoustic stage. The Avalon field will feature veteran psychedelicists Gong, as well as Rolf Harris.

New this year is the Glade, an area reserved for mellower dance music than that found elsewhere on the site. "It's going to be magical," said a spokesman.

As well as music the festival features a full programme of cabaret, comedy and circus acts, and a giant screen. Since the festival coincides with the Euro 2000 quarter-finals, the screen will show all the matches.

Some 100,000 people are expected to attend, paying £89 each (including camping). Festival organisers say: "The long-term weather forecast is good and there are more toilets than ever."

The Guardian is sponsoring this year's event, and free mini-guides, the official, hang-round-your-neck guide containing listings, essential information and a map, will be available on site.

The line-up


Chemical Brothers, Moby, Eagle Eye Cherry, Cypress Hill, Moloko, Nitin Sawnhey, The The, Reprazent, The Bluetones


Travis, Pet Shop Boys, Ocean Colour Scene, Leftfield, Asian Dub Foundation, John Martyn, Elastica, Ladysmith Black Mambazo


David Bowie, Basement Jaxx, Burt Bacharach, Willie Nelson, Happy Mondays, Embrace, Horace Andy, Gil Scott Heron, St Etienne


Paul Kelso

The GuardianTramp

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