There was no backing down or hearts breaking as the Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time festival ended in style on Sunday night.

Tens of thousands of music fans kept partying to the end and went home delighted as the Hyde Park event was rounded off with vintage performances from rock royalty Stevie Nicks and then Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. There were also some great support acts to see.

Here are some highlights from the final day of this year’s BST:

Tyler Bryant

Despite being “the palest Texas boy ever” according to my American wife, Tyler Bryant rocked the festival and rocked it hard with his band The Shakedown.

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The guitar wizard and vocalist has been lauded as an axe great of the future and it’s easy to see why. He’s not very big in this country yet, not helped by there being a four-year wait since his debut album, but hopefully he’ll establish himself.

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The downside to his BST appearance, which came after supporting Gun N’ Roses and presumably hanging out with Slash, which can’t be a bad thing, was we were only treated to 30 minutes of his raucous, raw and very loud brand of rock and roll.

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Ward Thomas

Twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas, whose Cartwheels release last year became the first album by a British country act to reach number one on the UK album charts, were the top act on the festival’s second stage.

I got 10 minutes with them shortly before they performed, during which they told me it is “incredible to see how everyone is opening up to country in the UK”.

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They were very modest about their recent breakthrough, putting their success down in part at least to pop stars such as Pink and Lady Gaga dabbling in country, and for Taylor Swift helping to “make country music cool”.

The girls told me there is “so much great British homegrown country music that needs to be seen and heard”, pointing me in the direction of The Wandering Hearts, Catherine McGrath and The Shires.

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A big part of Ward Thomas’s appeal is how they steer clear of traditional country topics such as “cowboys, trucks and dirt roads” to give the music a more relatable British twist. That was evident in the Hampshire duo’s foot-tapping hand-clapping 45-minute set that included songs such as Town Called Ugley about a sat-nav nightmare and When It’s Not Me about village gossip.

Tom Petty

While the two acts I’ve mentioned were the ones I was personally most excited to see, most people were obviously there to see the veteran American rocker who was the headline act on the main stage.

I’ve never met a single person who has listed Tom Petty as one of their favourite artists but clearly the man has a legion of dedicated fans, going by the cheering and the singing that accompanied his two-hour performance.

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Playing in the UK for only the second time in nearly 20 years, Petty told the crowd it had “been too long” as he repeatedly reached into his extensive back-catalogue and pulled out gems such as I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin’ and Don’t Come Around Here No More.

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Walls was a request but not from a fan – “It’s requested by me, but that counts right?”

And after what felt like the longest introduction of band members in the history of gigs about halfway through, Petty presented “the honorary girl in the band” who was Stevie Nicks coming back on stage for a surprise performance of her song Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.

Nicks herself had a played a crowd-pleasing hour-plus set earlier in the night, also drawing from a vast archive of material that in her case included solo hits and Fleetwood Mac favourites.

Petty’s singing voice and musicianship seemed as strong as ever, and he seemed genuinely chuffed by the reaction he was getting, frequently thanking the audience in his slow warm drawl.


Thank you, London! #TPHB40 #London

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Everyone was sent home happy with You Wreck Me and American Girl, bringing the curtain down on BST which started with Phil Collins on June 30.

Over the past few years Glastonbury’s Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot has become a popular fixture. This year, between Petty, Nicks and Collins, BST has out-Glastonburyed Glasto with the icons it’s had on the Great Oak stage.

Hopefully there will be more of the same next year.