The 2023 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts has concluded, leaving behind memories of epic performances and unforgettable moments.
The lineup featured incredible sets from the likes of Blondie, WizKid, Carly Rae Jepsen, Guns N' Roses, and Lana Del Rey, among others. The festival season is in full swing, and Glastonbury, known for its status as UK festival royalty, lived up to its reputation with headline performances by Arctic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses, and Elton John that will be etched in attendees' memories.
However, the festival offered much more than just headline acts. Foo Fighters made a surprise appearance, adding to the excitement and energy of the event, Rapper Aitch took the opportunity to reveal Manchester United's new home kit for the 2023-24 season, creating a buzz among both music and football enthusiasts, and the stage was graced by special guests, including Stephen Sanchez, Dave, Dave Grohl, and many others further elevating the festival experience.
As the festival unfolded, numerous moments stood out and left a lasting impact. From powerful performances to surprise appearances, here are our six favourite moments from across the weekend, capturing the magic and diversity of Glastonbury Festival 2023.
1 . The Churn Ups AKA Foo Fighters
"You fucking knew it was us! We can't keep secrets"
The air had been buzzing with speculation for weeks, with countless rumours swirling about the identity of the unknown band performing an early Friday evening slot. Initially, Pulp's name circulated, but soon the hints pointed unmistakably to the Foo Fighters.
Under the sun's warm rays on a picturesque Glastonbury evening, the Foos explode onto the Pyramid Stage, marking their first full UK performance since the tragic passing of Taylor Hawkins in 2022. Over the course of an awe-inspiring 65 minutes, the rock giants demonstrate why Hawkins' untimely death was never going to be the end of their journey, leaving the rest of the weekend with a tough act to follow.
Kicking off with the explosive energy of "All My Life," a clever choice that instantly ignites chaos among the fans, the Foos create a mesmerizing spectacle. Beers fly through the air, mosh pits tear open, and at the centre of it all, Grohl orchestrates the madness like a ringmaster in the wildest circus on Earth. It sets the perfect tone for the coming hour, while showcasing the band's unwavering spirit.
2. LEWIS CAPALDI - SOMEONE YOU LOVED
Lewis Capaldi's Glastonbury set will undoubtedly be remembered as a momentous occasion. With a crowd of 200,000 people, the performance became a powerful platform for supporting mental health struggles and celebrating neurodiversity. Paradoxically, it was at times difficult to watch as Capaldi's raw vulnerability revealed the extent of his own anxiety and tics. However, this only added to the beauty of the performance, as it elicited a profound emotional response from the audience.
Capaldi may not fully grasp the impact his set had on countless individuals who are often ashamed of the way their minds work, believing they are not "normal." His performance demonstrated the remarkable power of human connection through a shared understanding of pain, adversity, and the unifying force of music.]
Moreover, it signals a positive shift in the way artists and athletes are perceived, moving away from treating them as mere performing puppets and instead recognizing the immense effort they put into making the world a more interesting and vibrant place.
As Lewis Capaldi takes a well-deserved break, his accomplishments have already made a lasting impression and instilled a sense of pride in all those who have been touched by his music.
3. CENTRAL CEE, DAVE - SPRINTER (FEATURING BEAU)
Central Cee's performance at Glastonbury has been widely praised and has generated significant attention as he delivered a standout performance that impressed both attendees and social media users. Notably, Central Cee performed without a backing track, earning admiration for his authentic live musical abilities.
Kicking off the show with his track "Khabib" from his 2022 mixtape and continued to captivate the audience with fan-favourite songs like "LET GO," "Overseas," and "Obsessed With You." However, the pinnacle of the set came when Central Cee surprised the crowd by bringing out fellow UK rapper Dave to perform their collaboration, "Sprinter." The duo delivered an electrifying rendition of the track, leaving fans in awe of their energy and talent.
Social media buzzed with enthusiastic comments, with fans ecstatic to witness the long-anticipated collaboration between Central Cee and Dave. Adding to the excitement, Central Cee also invited 2023 Brit Award designer and street artist SLAWN to join them on stage, accompanied by SLAWN's one-year-old baby, Beau, who was featured in the accompanying video for "Sprinter."
4. LOYLE CARNER BRINGING OUT YOUTH MP ATHAIN AKEE
Loyle Carner's performance at the Glastonbury Festival stood out as one of the most intense and emotionally charged acts of the weekend. Taking the stage at West Holts, Carner made a powerful statement by inviting Youth MP Athian Akec to join him, discussing the pressing issue of knife crime in the UK in relation to his song 'Blood on My Nikes,' a track that served as a cornerstone of his critically acclaimed album Hugo.
The collaboration with Akec and Wesley Joseph resulted in the creation of 'Blood on My Nikes,' a song that showcased Carner's ability to tackle important social issues through his music. At Glastonbury, Carner utilized his platform to address the gravity of the rapidly deteriorating political climate.
e expressed his admiration for Akec, emphasizing that his perspective resonated more authentically than any Tory politician ever could. Carner's focus lay on the next generation, stating that his energy was better spent on individuals like Akec, rather than dwelling on the past. This sentiment was punctuated with a resounding "Fuck. The. Tories."
Headlining the West Holts Stage, the UK rapper took the audience on a deeply personal journey. He shared his experiences growing up, his process of reconciling with his birth father, and the valuable lessons he has learned as a parent himself. The performance was profoundly moving, with Carner expressing a range of emotions encompassing love, hate, and a keen exploration of the broader political and societal issues surrounding youth and knife crime.
Loyle Carner's set at Glastonbury was a testament to his ability to deliver more than just music. It was a platform for expression, understanding, and a call for change. The audience was captivated by his raw honesty, and the performance resonated deeply, leaving a lasting impact on all who witnessed it.
5. ELTON JOHN'S FAREWELL SET
'I will never forget you'
As the final act of Glastonbury Festival, and marking the end of a remarkable touring career spanning over 50 years, Sir Elton John faced the challenge of delivering an unforgettable closing performance. Setting the tone from the beginning, the Rocketman illuminated the sky with a spectacular display of fireworks both at the start and end of his set.
Dressed in resplendent gold, Sir Elton chose to open with his rendition of "Pinball Wizard," a song he hadn't played in a decade but a perfect choice to make a lasting impression. Following "The Bitch Is Back," the showman addressed the crowd, expressing his gratitude and acknowledging the significance of the moment:
"I never thought I'd ever play Glastonbury. It's a very special and emotional night for me because it might be my last show ever in England, so I had better play well and I had better entertain you, you've been standing there so long and I really appreciate all the outfits and everything. Amazing."
Sir Elton John's closing set not only marked the end of Glastonbury Festival but also served as a poignant farewell to his touring career in England. With his trademark showmanship and the adoration of a dedicated audience, he delivered a performance that will be remembered as a testament to his enduring talent and the profound impact he has had on the music industry over the decades.
6. AITCH REVEALING THE 2023-24 MAN U HOME SHIRT
As fans of football and music, it felt rude to not include this in our highlights. During his energetic set at Glastonbury 2023, Mancunian rapper Aitch took the opportunity to unveil the new Manchester United shirt.
Wearing the yet-to-be-released home shirt for the 2023-24 season, Aitch revealed the classic crimson red design adorned with the iconic Lancashire roses pattern. The shirt featured a black trim on the v-neck collar and sleeves, along with the Red Devil's Club crest, the Team Viewer sponsor logo, and the Adidas logo. Aitch added a personal touch to the shirt by printing "Big Shell 40" on the back, a reference to the lyrics of his track "Learning Curve" released in 2021.
Aitch's Glastonbury performance on the Pyramid stage delighted fans with an hour-long set packed with hits like "Bamba," "My G," and "Baby." In addition to his own tracks, the rapper treated the crowd to captivating covers, including Young T & Bugsey's "Strike A Pose," Ed Sheeran's "Take Me Back To London," and Oasis' "Wonderwall." Towards the end of his set, pop star Anne-Marie made a surprise appearance and joined Aitch for a special rendition of their recent collaboration, "Psycho."
With his energetic performance and the unexpected unveiling of the Manchester United shirt, Aitch left a lasting impression on both football and music fans at Glastonbury.