LONDON, UK, 25 June 2015
The Dalai Lama will address revellers at the Glastonbury music festival in Britain on Sunday with a message of “compassion, non-violence and the oneness of humanity”, his office said Thursday.
“We’re honoured to welcome the Dalai Lama to Glastonbury 2015,” Emily Eavis, the festival’s organiser, said in a statement.
“He will be talking in the Green Fields and exploring the farm this Sunday as part of his trip to the UK. What a special moment for the festival!” she said.
Around 135,000 paying ticket holders are expected to attend the five-day Glastonbury gathering, one of the world’s biggest music festivals which began in 1970.
“The key themes throughout this visit will be the promotion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of compassion, non-violence and the oneness of humanity,” the organisers of the trip said.
The visit to Britain comes ahead of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, which he marked last Sunday with prayers and celebrations in his hometown in exile.
The Tibetan spiritual leader will also speak to supporters in the British army base town of Aldershot, which is also in southern England, at the invitation of the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK).
Aldershot has a large Nepalese Buddhist community made up mainly of serving and retired Gurkha soldiers who serve in the British army and have been deployed to aid their homeland after a devastating earthquake.
The Dalai Lama already visited Aldershot in 2012.
“We know that the prayers that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will lead during the visit to the BCCUK will provide great solace to the family, relatives and friends of the victims of the earthquakes,” BCCUK chair Kaji Sherpa said in the statement.
A small protest is planned in Aldershot by members of the International Shugden Community, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism that reveres a deity denounced by the Dalai Lama since 1996. The community accuses the spiritual leader of religious persecution.