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Glastonbury announce first act for 2013 festival

Malian singer Rokia Traoré is first artist to be unveiled as festival organisers plan show of solidarity with the African country

Richard Johnson/NME
Pic: Richard Johnson/NME
Glastonbury has announced the first act for the 2013 festival.

Malian singer Rokia Traoré, who previously played Glastonbury in 2009, has officially been announced as the first act for this year's festival. Organisers also revealed that a singer from Mali will open the Pyramid Stage each day.

The move is intended as an act of solidarity with the people and musicians of the war-torn African country, where Islamists in the north have banned music, and organisers will also revamp other areas of the festival site to mark the link-up.

Festival co-organiser, Emily Eavis, told The Guardian: "We have a long tradition dating back to the '80s of African acts playing the festival. Given the situation in Mali at the moment, it felt particularly important to show some solidarity. We want to stay out of the politics, but if we can give musicians a platform we will always do that."

Meanwhile, Glastonbury Festival has launched its annual competition offering new bands the opportunity to win a slot on the festival's famous Pyramid Stage.

The annual Emerging Talent Competition has previously been won by bands including Scouting For Girls, Golden Silvers, Stornoway, The Subways and We Have Band. Treetop Flyers won the competition in 2011 before Glastonbury took a year off in 2012. There will be a live final in April at Worthy Farm, which will see bands battling it out to decide this year's winning act.

Tickets to Glastonbury 2013 sold out when they went on sale in October 2012. However, there will be a further resale in April to give those who missed out due to technical problems a further chance to buy.

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