Dalai Lama Addresses Glastonbury Music Festival

Olivier Adam

The exiled Tibetan leader praised the Pope's recent comments on climate change before Patti Smith and attendees sang "Happy Birthday" ahead of his 80th birthday.

Kanye West may well have assumed he was the most prominent name on the lineup of the just-finished edition of Britain's Glastonbury music festival. His on-stage claim of being the "biggest rock star on the planet" was no doubt supported by news that his entourage was so huge that its members were given their own viewing platform for the singer’s Saturday concert, and that other acts were forced to trim down their guest lists to accommodate him.

But a slightly more humble figure emerged as one of the weekend’s most talked about attendees.

The Dalai Lama, who celebrates his 80th birthday on Monday, spoke on a Sunday panel at the festival, discussing global warming and endorsing the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change.

“It is not sufficient to just express views, we must set a timetable for change in the next two to four years,” he said on climate change. He also called on the U.S. and Russia to scrap their nuclear weapons, and slammed Russian president Vladimir Putin for threatening to increase his stockpile of warheads.

Later on Sunday, the exiled Tibetan leader was welcomed on the festival’s main stage during Patti Smith’s afternoon set. He was presented with a special cake as the singer urged the crowd to join her in a rendition of "Happy Birthday."

The 2015 edition of the festival  which saw guests including Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne  closed later that day with a set from The Who.

 

 

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