PILTON, ENGLAND — This could be the last time, as Mick Jagger once sang. For the Rolling Stones, it was definitely a first.
The veteran rock rabble-rousers played Britain’s Glastonbury Festival on Saturday, their debut appearance at the country’s most prestigious rock music event.
Many of the 135,000 festival ticket-holders were expected to cram the space in front of the Pyramid Stage for the gig.
Jagger wouldn’t reveal details of the set list in a pre-show BBC radio interview, saying “it’s nice to have a bit of a surprise.”
Jagger, who turns 70 this month, also gave no clue about whether the band he started with Keith Richards in 1962 will ever call it quits. He said, “I’ve no idea,” before telling an interviewer that he’d probably continue as long as he was wanted.
The Stones turned down offers to play Glastonbury for years, but appeared to have embraced the down-to-earth spirit of the festival, held on a farm in southwest England. On Saturday, Jagger tweeted a picture of himself outside a yurt, a Mongolian-style felt tent where he reportedly spent the night.
Stones guitarist Keith Richards said the band was “destined to play Glastonbury.”
“I look upon it as a culmination of our British heritage really,” he said. “It had to be done and it’s going to be done, and we’ll see what happens, you know.”
The Glastonbury Festival was founded by Michael Eavis in 1970 on his Worthy Farm near Pilton, 120 miles (193 kilometers) southwest of London. It is famous for its eclectic lineup — and the mud that overwhelms the site in rainy years.
Other performers on Saturday included Elvis Costello and Primal Scream.
The three-day festival wrapped up Sunday with a headlining set from Mumford & Sons.