Volodymyr Zelenskyy rallies Glastonbury festival crowd to Ukrainian cause

Ukraine's president urges festivalgoers to put 'pressure on politicians' around the world

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy finished his Glastonbury message by saying 'Slava Ukraini', which means "glory to Ukraine" in English. PA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The UK's legendary Glastonbury music festival got under way with an impassioned video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he described the event as the “greatest concentration of freedom” and called for the world to “spread the truth” about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“We will not let Russia's war stop us,” he said.

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

He exhorted festivalgoers to put “pressure on politicians” around the world.

“Time is priceless and every day is measured in human lives. The more people join us in defending freedom and truth, the sooner Russia's war against Ukraine will end. Prove that freedom always wins!”

He finished his message by saying “Slava Ukraini”, which means “glory to Ukraine” in English, prompting loud and rolling cheers and applause from those gathered at the stage in Worthy Farm, Somerset.

Mr Zelenskyy also called on people to visit his United24 charity platform, which collects donations to aid Ukraine's response to the Russian invasion.

The message was played on Glastonbury's Other Stage before a performance by the Libertines during which lead singer Pete Doherty led the crowd in a chant of Mr Zelenskyy's name to the tune of the The White Stripe's Seven Nation Army.

At the same time, Ziggy Marley opened the Pyramid Stage with a set paying tribute to his father, the late reggae pioneer Bob Marley.

The singer and guitarist, 53, played a number of his father's hits, including I Shot The Sheriff, Jamming and Is This Love, before closing with One Love.

Performing against a backdrop of photos of his father, who died in May 1981 aged 36 from skin cancer, Ziggy told the crowd: “It is good to be here. Today, my friends, I am here on behalf of my father.”

It came before Billie Eilish will make history when she takes to the Pyramid Stage on Friday night as Glastonbury Festival's youngest ever solo headliner.

The Grammy-winning singer, 20, will perform alongside her brother and co-writer, Finneas O'Connell.

Glastonbury 2022 - in pictures

Updated: June 24, 2022, 2:11 PM