June 26, 2023 -The 2023 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is done and dusted. We saw epic sets from Blondie and WizKid, danced to Carly Rae Jepsen, moshed to Guns N’ Roses and swayed to the sounds of Lana Del Rey (eventually).
But there’s so much going on that you can never catch everything, even if you have six screens simultaneously beaming the BBC iPlayer feeds into your eyeballs.
- Full Glastonbury coverage
- Watch and listen to Glastonbury sets
So here are 15 of the best bits we saw on air, around the site and in interviews over the past five days.
1) Lana Del Rey does one final song
Who among us hasn’t turned up for work half an hour late with our hair a mess and smoking a vape?
Lana Del Rey has. The US singer’s tardy arrival on The Other Stage ended in disaster, as she careered past the midnight curfew and had the plug pulled six songs before the end of her set.
With her microphone cut off, she tried to address fans by shouting from the lip of the stage.
“Bare minimum, can we at least do Video Games together?” she asked, prompting a beautiful a capella rendition of her breakthrough hit.
After that, she climbed into the pit to chat with fans, sharing hugs and condolences. It was a beautiful moment, which made you mourn the moment it could have been if she’d been able to finish what had been, up to that point, a magical show.
2) The dawn of RickAstonbury
Rick Astley was the undisputed king of Glastonbury, playing a ridiculously affable set on the Pyramid Stage that saw him covering Harry Styles, playing the drums to AC/DC and responding to the messages on fans’ flags.
“I miss my dog too!”
It culminated in a gigantic singalong to Never Gonna Give You Up, accompanied by hula-hoopers and leotarded dancers, which brought new meaning to the phrase “life-affirming”.
This was, incredibly, Astley’s first ever time at the festival. “I’ve dropped my daughter off a number of times, but I’ve never been myself,” he told us.
He definitely made the most of it, playing a second, secret show with Stockport indie band Blossoms consisting entirely of The Smiths covers.
Fuelled by a toasted crumpet and a beer, which he scoffed on Blossoms’ tour bus, it was an even more unexpected triumph. They emerged to the Coronation Street theme, played Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now and This Charming Man, and left waving bunches of gladioli.
“Obviously I’m getting on a bit and the guys are a lot younger than I am, more in my daughter’s sort of age range,” he said afterwards.
“But we have an absolute shared passion for those songs and that band, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing.
“It’s just been an amazing experience,” he concluded. “Today has been off the hook.”
- Rick Astley doesn’t let Glastonbury down
3) Anyone got a light?
Towards the end of their headline set on Saturday, Guns N’ Roses pulled a bunch of stadium ballads out of their back pocket, allowing Slash to do his whole “mountaintop guitar solo” thing for approximately 15 minutes.
As Axl Rose got to the line “The lights are shining bright”, most people held aloft their phone lights. Not this guy, though. He went old school and got a lighter out. Then irony happened.