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Glastonbury 2023: Here are the biggest moments you might have missed

Join us as we relive the splendour of Glastonbury 2023.
Join us as we relive the splendour of Glastonbury 2023. Copyright AP Photo/Canva Images
Copyright AP Photo/Canva Images
By Theo Farrant
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Glastonbury 2023 has come to an end, culminating in a spectacular performance by Elton John, which could potentially be his final show in the UK.


The gates of Glastonbury have officially closed, drawing an end to an extraordinary five-day musical extravaganza in the UK.

More than 210,000 revellers flooded into Somerset's Worthy Farm, for the world's largest greenfield music festival

The lineup boasted headliners of Arctic Monkeys, Guns N'Roses, and the iconic Elton John, who graced the stage for a momentous Glastonbury debut, potentially marking his final UK performance.

From Lana Del Rey's set being dramatically cut short, to the electrifying surprise performance by the Foo Fighters, the festival brimmed with unforgettable moments. 

If you feel you missed out on the magic, fear not, as we've put together a guide on all the major talking points from this year's festival. 

The crowd lift Capaldi through his set

Scott Garfitt/Invision
Lewis Capaldi performs during the Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Saturday, 24 June 2023.Scott Garfitt/Invision

In a deeply moving and heartfelt performance, Scottish vocalist Lewis Capaldi bared his soul on stage and powered through despite challenges. 

After cancelling all of his scheduled performances leading up to the festival due to mental health reasons, there was significant speculation regarding whether he would even take the stage.

During his Glastonbury performance, Capaldi's struggles with tics caused by Tourette's syndrome were clear, and he grappled with a strained voice.

But he managed to pull through for an incredible moving set. 

"I really apologise. You've all come out and my voice is really packing in," he humbly admitted to the crowd. "We're gonna play two more songs if that's cool, even if I can't hit all the notes."

While performing his chart-topping hit, "Someone You Loved," a visibly emotional Capaldi struggled to finish the song, prompting the massive crowd to step in and fill the gaps. 

Foo Fighters make a not-so-surprise performance

Joel C Ryan/2023 Invision
Lead singer Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters perform as The Churnups during the Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Friday 23 June 2023.Joel C Ryan/2023 Invision

The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival was electrified on Friday as the legendary Foo Fighters made a not-so-surprise set, unleashing a barrage of their greatest hits. 

"You guys knew it was us the whole time, didn't you?" joked frontman Dave Grohl. "It's nice to see your faces again."

The iconic rock band delivered an impressive hour-long setlist, marking their first time back at the festival in six years, following the tragic death of drummer Taylor Hawkins last year.

During the performance, Grohl dedicated their final song, "Everlong," to his late friend and bandmate.

Grohl made additional appearances over the weekend, joining The Pretenders on stage the following day and later Guns'n'Roses for their headline set. 

Lana Del Rey gets cut off

Lana Del Rey's headline performance at the Other Stage was certainly a memorable one. 

Arriving 30 minutes late, Del Rey candidly addressed the crowd, admitting, "I'm sorry. My hair takes so long". 


"If they cut power, they cut power. I'm super f****** sorry, my hair takes so long to do," she added. 

Inevitably, as the clock struck midnight the power on her performance was cut. 

With her microphone cut off, the American singer-songwriter resorted to shouting from the edge of the stage in an attempt to communicate with her devoted fans.

In a stroke of brilliance, Del Rey rallied her supporters, urging them to join her for an impromptu and breathtaking acapella rendition of her breakthrough hit, "Video Games."

Eagerly embracing the invitation, the crowd united, resulting in a beautiful and unforgettable moment.


A toddler steals the show

Central Cee's set on The Other Stage, was packed with delightful surprises and special guests, including fellow UK-rapper Dave, who joined him to perform their number one smash "Sprinter". 

However, there was one, rather tiny guest, who stole the show. 

Central Cee decided to bring out the adorable toddler who stars in the "Sprinter" music video. 

Cate Blanchett gets her boogie on

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett surprised the audience at Glastonbury by joining US pop-rock duo Sparks on stage for a lively performance of their track "The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte," for which she features in the music video. 

“We did a video for this song recently, and we had the great honour of having the great actor Cate Blanchett join us. Where are you, Cate Blanchett?," said frontman Russell Mael. 


Amidst the anticipation, Blanchett burst onto the stage, sporting the iconic yellow suit and red headphones from the "The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte" video, and treated the audience to a hilarious display of jiggly moves.

Max Richter and Tilda Swinton make their Glastonbury debuts

Cate Blanchett wasn't the only Oscar-winning actress to grace the festival this year. 

Tilda Swinton made a surprise appearance during German-British composer Max Richter's performance. 

Richter and his group mesmerised the audience with an orchestral rendition of his acclaimed 2004 "protest" album, The Blue Notebooks, recently hailed by Euronews Culture as the greatest European album of the 21st century.

Swinton joined Richter and the orchestra, captivating the crowd with her poignant spoken-word readings, including works by esteemed poet Czeslaw Milosz. 


But the surprises didn't end there. In an unexpected turn of events, a naked man attempted to disrupt the performance by approaching a microphone used to record the audience. However, security promptly intervened and escorted him away.

Rina Sawayama calls out Matty Healy

Scott Garfitt/Invision
Rina Sawayama performs on the Woodsies Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, 24 June 2023.Scott Garfitt/Invision

During her performance, Japanese/British pop singer Rina Sawayama called out her fellow labelmate, Matty Healy, the lead singer of the band 1975, for his controversial comments on an American podcast in February.

“I wrote this next song because I was sick and tired of microaggressions. So, tonight, this song goes out to a white man who watches [pornography show] Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast. He also owns my masters. I’ve had enough," she said, introducing her song "STFU!". 

Billy Nomates faces online trolling

33-year-old singer-songwriter Billy Nomates asked the BBC to remove footage of her Glastonbury performance on the Park Stage after being hit with a wave of online hate. 

“I’ve asked for all footage to be removed. I know it’s not for everyone what I do. I know lots of people.dont rate me. But the level of personal abuse on the public page is too much," she wrote in a statement online. 


"There will be no more shows after this summer. You wouldn’t stay in a workplace that did this to you. Why should I," she adds. 

Goodbye yellow brick road

Yui Mok/AP
Elton John performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England, Sunday, 25 June 2023.Yui Mok/AP

Sir Elton John, the iconic and cherished British music legend, graced the Glastonbury stage for the very first time, bringing the festival to a magnificent close on Sunday night. 

"I never thought I'd play Glastonbury – and here I am," he exclaimed, clearly moved by the occasion. 

The significance of the night wasn't lost on him as he added, "It's a very special and emotional night for me as it may be my last show in England, in Great Britain."

Taking command of the Pyramid Stage, the 76-year-old maestro launched his set with the timeless classic "Pinball Wizard," followed by a string of his greatest hits, including "Your Song" and "I'm Still Standing."


Throughout the extraordinary two-hour performance, the "Rocket Man" graciously invited fellow artists to share the stage. Rina Sawayama joined him for a delightful rendition of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Not to be outdone, Brandon Flowers of The Killers brought his charm for a duet of "Tiny Dancer."

In a particularly poignant moment, Sir Elton John paid tribute to the his late friend and music collaborator George Michael, dedicating his beloved hit "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" to the musical legend.

The performance has undoubtedly etched its name in Glastonbury history as one of the most remarkable and unforgettable shows ever witnessed. 

As his international journey continues, Sir Elton John embarks on the ongoing "Elton's Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, which commenced in Pennsylvania, USA, back in September 2018.

Video editor • Theo Farrant

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