The UK's Glastonbury Festival is taking place this weekend, and among performers like Kanye West, Pharrell, and Florence and the Machine, there was another big name: the Dalai Lama. The 79-year-old Tenzin Gyatso appeared briefly on stage today before Lionel Richie's set to talk about happiness, peace, and the Middle East, according to the BBC.
A birthday celebration
Then, because that wasn't an odd enough mix of things happening all at once, Patti Smith came out on stage and presented the spiritual leader with a birthday cake, prompting the audience to sing "Happy Birthday." (The Dalai Lama's 80th birthday is on July 6th.)
The Dalai Lama also noted that he envied the spunk of aging musicians like Smith. "I very much appreciate those singers and musicians — most of you with white hair," he said, according to the BBC. "That gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, I should be more like you."
This was apparently a surprise visit — Glastonbury's organizers just announced it this morning — so my guess is the Dalai Lama really just wanted to see Belle and Sebastian live.
Such an honour to have the Dalai Lama here on Worthy Farm this morning. pic.twitter.com/6OZPN7iDoM— Glastonbury Festival (@GlastoFest) June 28, 2015