he livestream for the virtual Glastonbury Festival was opened up for free viewing after thousands of people were initially unable to access the feed.

Fans reported getting messages saying they had entered an “invalid code” as the online gig began.

Driift Live, who organised the technical side of the event, apologised to those who could not get in and provided a free link allowing unpaid access.

Some fans complained they were unable to rewind the link meaning they had missed some of the earlier acts while others said they wanted a refund now anyone could access it for free.

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has apologised to fans after the technical fiasco.

She wrote on Twitter: “I am so sorry about the problems with the stream tonight. If you weren’t able to get on, I’m told that the new link is working.

“We will obviously make sure we show the whole film again from tomorrow too and give you the chance to catch up on any bits you missed.

“I really hope you can enjoy the rest of it tonight. And, again, I’m just so sorry to anyone who’s had issues.”

Among the acts playing were Coldplay, Haim, Kano, Damon Albarn and Wolf Alice with performances planned for around the famous site from the Stone Circle to the Pyramid Field.

The director of the event, titled Glastonbury presents Live at Worthy Farm, Paul Dugdale said he hoped it would “capture a bit of that Glastonbury spirit of the unknown”.

It is the second year the full festival has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dugdale, who has worked with acts from Adele to Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones, said he wanted to take the audience “on a bit of a journey”.

He said: “Glastonbury is an adventure, and you never quite know what’s around the corner and often the best parts of the festival are the parts you weren’t expecting, and that’s really fun.

“We start at seven… and we take people through the sunset and into the night as one continuous evening of filming. So it’s weird and wonderful, but hopefully captures a bit of that Glastonbury spirit of the unknown.”

Also on the bill were George Ezra and Roisin Murphy with festival co-founder Michael Eavis, 85, leading a spoken-word narration of the five-hour event with the help of PJ Harvey and Jarvis Cocker, plus Kate Tempest, George The Poet and Kurupt FM.

Wolf Alice were the first act to perform at 7pm before rapper Kano then DJ Honey Dijon featuring Murphy.

Emily Eavis said next year’s full Glastonbury Festival is “pretty much done”.

She said: “There’s still work going on with the line-up, but we have got a lot of artists on board for the next year. So we’re quite far down the road with that.”

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