Florence Welch welcomes ‘matriarchal experience’ at Hyde Park festival

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Florence Welch (Matt Crossick/PA)

Florence Welch thanked the women who have helped her throughout her career, as she welcomed thousands to the “matriarchal experience” of her Hyde Park headline show.

The red-haired songstress paid tribute to the women who have supported her over the last decade as Florence And The Machine headlined the British Summer Time (BST) festival.

Speaking to the tens of thousands-strong crowd, Welch spoke of her pride playing a festival that was “70% women”.

British Summer Time festival – London
The crowd watching Florence And The Machine performing (Matt Crossick/PA)

She said: “Unfortunately that’s still so rare in the festival circuit.”

“This festival was brought together by women.”

Her comments attracted cheers and whoops from the crowd, before she added: “Welcome to the matriarchy, its fun.

“Maybe we should try it in other places.”

Welch’s appearance at BST saw her headline the Hyde Park event in the fourth of five major concerts at the London park.

She appeared close to tears as she opened her “home town” show, and had the crowd singing along from the moment she opened with the track June.

Fans were treated to hits including Dog Days Are Over, You’ve Got The Love, and Cosmic Love – which she admitted was written “very hungover in Crystal Palace”.

Welch closed the main set with Some Kind Of Man and the 2009 hit Kiss With A Fist, both performed from within the crowd after the singer scaled the barrier.

British Summer Time festival – London
Florence Welch performs during the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park (Matt Crossick/PA)

She then returned to the stage for an encore, culminating in a crowd-strong singalong to Shake It Out.

The performance, which she said would be the “last London show for a little bit”, was held in the same month as the 10th anniversary of her debut album, Lungs.

The album, released in July 2009, sold more than three million copies worldwide.

The barefoot singer-songwriter 32, stopped repeatedly between tracks to thank fans for their support over the years.

She reminisced about “playing any pub that would have us, in south London, east London, north London.

“And now 10 years later we’re still here.”

British Summer Time festival – London
Matt Berninger of The National performs during the British Summer Time festival (Matt Crossick/PA)

Florence And The Machine were supported by American band The National, and Swedish singer songwriter Lykke Li on the Great Oak Stage on Saturday.

The final concert of the British Summer Time series will see Robbie Williams headline on Sunday evening, after Neil Young and Bob Dylan played on Friday.

Last weekend, Hyde Park was filled with hits after sets from Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and Celine Dion.

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