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Glastonbury 2022: Six of the best bits you might have missed

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Fans got to see the likes of (deep breath) Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde, Megan Thee Stallion, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Primal Scream, Ghetts, Self Esteem, Charli XCX, Little Simz, Burna Boy, Foals, Idles and Skunk Anansie.… and the list goes on. 

Around 3,000 acts, playing across scores of stages at the biggest and best greenfield festival in the world.

But Glastonbury is always about more than just the big names, famous for its celebrity spots and weird and wonderful collaborations, there’s nothing else quite like it.

After two enforced fallow years, festival-goers were determined to make the most of Glastonbury’s return and slightly delayed 50th anniversary.

Here are some of the highlights you might have missed.

Soul singer Diana Ross fills the Sunday teatime legends slot on the Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Sunday June 26, 2022.

Something old, and something new

It was a festival of extremes, with Billie Eilish becoming the youngest solo headline act, while Sir Paul McCartney took the title of the oldest solo headline performer, taking to the Pyramid Stage on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Meanwhile, the weather kept everyone on their toes with burning hot sun one minute and pouring rain the next.

While the temperatures came nowhere near the 31.2C record of 2019, and the downpours were nowhere near as torrential as the mud-fest of 2007, the weather certainly kept everyone guessing.

Waterproof poncho with a side helping of sun cream anyone?

Lorde performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Celebrity spotting

While there were a host of stars on the stages scattered around the 800-acre site, spotting the celebrities who are there as punters rather than performers is always a bit of fun, and this year didn’t disappoint.

Princess Beatrice was there with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, while TV royalty Phoebe Waller-Bridge and film royalty Tilda Swinton also came along.

Other stars spotted out and about include Kate Moss, Zoe Ball, Jessie Buckley and Tracee Ellis Ross (whose mum Diana was performing in the legend slot on Sunday teatime).

Paul McCartney performs at Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Saturday, June 25, 2022. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Secret sets and special guests

Every year there are secret sets played around the festival.

However, the title less-than-secret sets would be more apt, with rumours often preceding reality and giving away the game.

Jack White and George Ezra were both confirmed for TBC shows on the day they were performing this year.

There were also some pretty impressive special guests, with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen joining Sir Paul McCartney during his headline set, along with the remastered voice of his late bandmate John Lennon.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Political statements

It’s always been a political festival, and this year was no exception.

Numerous acts used the platform to call out the curbing of women’s rights in the US, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v Wade.

Billie Eilish called it a “dark day for women in America”, while Olivia Rodrigo said she was “devastated and terrified”.

Kalush Orchestra perform first UK gig at Glastonbury Festival - with set written in just days 
Image:
Kalush Orchestra performed their first UK gig at Glastonbury Festival

Her guest Lilly Allen dedicated her song F*** You to the five Supreme Court justices, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh.

New Zealand singer Lorde said: “Wanna hear a secret girls? Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born.”

Kendrick Lamar, who closed the festival, concluded his show as fake blood poured down from a silver crown of thorns with the repeated chant: “They judge me; they judge Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights.”

Little Simz performs on the West Holts stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 24, 2022. Picture taken June 24, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Image:
Little Simz lit up the West Holts stage

Away from the ruling, the war in Ukraine was highlighted with a video message from the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy played out on large screens at the festival, urging people to help “spread the truth” about Russia’s invasion.

Sir Paul McCartney waved a Ukrainian flag during the encore of his show, and Eurovision winners, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, played their first-ever UK gig on the site.

The climate crisis was also in the spotlight, with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg making a surprise appearance on the Pyramid Stage to warn that the world faces a “total natural catastrophe” unless its citizens take urgent action, leading the crowd in chants of “climate … justice”.

And speaking during her Pyramid Stage set, Billie Eilish told her fans: “We need to do a better job of protecting the planet we live on.”

Revellers dance at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Fashion

Festival fashion is always fun, with lots of sequins, a rainbow of colours and a big helping of glitter.

This year bucket hats were omnipresent giving the festival the appearance of travelling back to the 1990s.

Giant wings – the type with long sticks on each arm to keep them up – did big business, bringing an air of carnival to proceedings.

Skin, Skunk Anansie singer, performs in the crowd on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
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Skin, Skunk Anansie singer, performs in the crowd on the Pyramid stage

Some had even rigged their wings up with fairy lights, turning the ethereal outfits from daytime to night-time wear with one quick click.

And the unexpected accessory of the event was a baby or young child, as a triple lockdown batch of babies had their minds blown with more people, colour and music in five days than they’ve seen in their lives so far.

What an introduction to the real world and a great first festival to kick off the habit of a lifetime.

PABest A mother and child in the crowd listening to the Black Dyke Band performing on the Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Sunday June 26, 2022.

Funny Flags

Flags on long poles, with a political, funny or just plain silly message have become a tradition at Glastonbury.

Plus, they help you find your mates if you lose them in the crowd and raise a smile too.

A flag of Prime Minister Boris Johnson flying in the crowd ahead of Kendrick Lamar's performance on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Sunday June 26, 2022.

This year the “This Is A Work Event” motto flag, referencing the party gate scandal that has proved quite the irritation for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government in the first half of this year.

Sister Michael from Channel 4 comedy Derry Girl featured on another flag, with the motto “Christ”.

Actress Siobhan McSweeney, who plays the role, loved the attention, jokingly calling on all Irish festival-goers to “gather under this flag, and storm the pyramid stage”.

Read more:
Diana Ross lives up to her legend status

Glastonbury: Your A-Z guide

A festival goer gets some rest during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Sunday June 26, 2022.

A light-up Welsh flag quite literally flew the flag for Wales, while another – in the red and white colours of Where’s Wally – asked “Where’s Harry”, in reference to the absent Harry Styles who had been rumoured to be playing a secret set or appearing as a special guest, but in the end wasn’t even at the festival.

A handwritten flag referencing Prince Andrew was also spotted around the site, but is far too libellous to repeat here…

All in all, Glastonbury Festival is back with a vengeance, bigger and better than ever.

See you there next year!

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