Culture

Sir Paul McCartney plays surprise pre-Glastonbury gig in Frome

Sir Paul McCartney delivered a surprise performance the night before his Glastonbury festival headline set, which had caused traffic congestion as fans tried to buy a coveted ticket.

The impromptu gig at the Cheese and Grain entertainment venue in Frome, Somerset, was announced on Thursday evening and sold out in under an hour.

McCartney will become Glastonbury’s oldest ever solo headline act when he takes to the stage on Saturday night, a week after celebrating his 80th birthday.

Sarah McDonald was among the fans with a £25 ticket for Friday’s performance with her family after she was first in the queue for tickets at the 800-capacity venue. She said: “We’re excited to see him – we’ve been listening to Paul McCartney all day.”

Jane Lamb stood opposite the venue holding a Beatles scrapbook she had made aged eight in the hope that the singer would come out and sign it after his show. The 68-year-old from Frome said: “This is one of four scrapbooks I made between the ages of eight and 10.

“I’m hoping if I don’t get to see him, at least I have this version of him. I didn’t manage to get tickets – I was close.”

Jane Lamb with her scrapbook
Jane Lamb with her scrapbook Photograph: Connie Evans/PA

Jackie and Martin Moss and their grandchildren were also among the crowds trying to catch a glimpse of the singer after missing out on tickets. The couple had attempted to buy tickets after the gig announcement on Thursday, but were caught in the traffic gridlock in the town.

Jackie said: “The roads were rammed, the place was gridlocked … The police had to arrive as you had to come in person and get tickets.”

The former Beatle is following in the footsteps of Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice playing at the Cheese and Grain before his Glastonbury headline set.

McCartney’s set on Saturday will be his second time topping the Glastonbury Pyramid Stage bill after a performance in 2004.

The music on offer at this year’s festival, which more than 200,000 people are expected to attend, also features headliners Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar, with Diana Ross filling the Sunday Teatime Legends slot.

It is the first Glastonbury festival since 2019 due to the pandemic.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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