The best things that happened at Glastonbury

Image via Olivia Rodrigo's Instagram

Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen joined forces, the Sugababes caused a roadblock and Stormzy partied incognito.

After two years off thanks to the pandemic, there was an extra sense of euphoria for anyone who pitched a tent at Glastonbury’s delayed 50th edition. It was a massive success: the line-up was as great as it’s ever been, and the weather forecast promised to piss it down, but that never really happened. Although a lot of our memories are hazy, THE FACE has picked out some of the musical highlights from across the weekend.

Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen unite to say Fuck You

Olivia Rodrigo is massive. Her debut album Sour charted at No.1 in loads of countries across the globe, she’s racked up over a billion streams on her biggest songs and she’s already bagged three Grammys. Having blown up during lockdown, the 19-year-old is relatively new to performing live, but she absolutely smashed it with her all-female band, who brought out the rockiest elements of tunes like brutal and jealousy, jealousy, and even knocked out a cover of Avril Lavigne’s Complicated. But it was when she brought out Lily Allen as a very special surprise guest that the crowd got really wild. The duo belted out the British singer’s 2009 song Fuck You, dedicating it to the US Supreme Court justices who formed the majority to overrule the devastating Roe v. Wade result the day before. With the audience singing along to Your point of view is mediaeval,” middle fingers firmly pointed to the sky, this was a definite highlight of Glasto 2022. TS


Shygirl’s surprise set at NYC Downlow

The most debauched corner of Glastonbury, NYC Downlow had a special surprise for its (mostly) queer punters, hosting Shygirl during the early hours of Sunday morning. Following her set at Block9s surreal IICON stage, where she had Sega Bodega as her DJ, in the Downlow Shygirl performed a short but very sweet seven-minute set, with her club-ready rap hitting the spot for the festival’s hardcore ravers. TS

Photography by Mathew Smith

Yves Tumor’s rockstar antics

Yves Tumor used to release experimental, often tranquil electronic music. But they always had a confrontational approach to performing live, replacing ambient synths with pulverising distortion and rolling around on the floor among the crowd. These days their music is a mutation of indie rock and post-punk, which veers towards hair metal territory on stage with their guitarist – the self-proclaimed speed metal sorcerer” Chris Greatti – seizing any opportunity to break out into epic guitar solos. Dressed in leather with metal studs and spikes, and a belt emblazoned with the word SEX”, Yves rose to the occasion on Saturday afternoon at the West Holts stage, jumping into the crowd, singing right up in the face of a particularly patient security guard, before spitting into the stage camera and then humping it. Not many artists could pull this off, but Yves styled it out. DR

Stormzy in disguise

Spotting a celeb has become common practice at the five-dayer, with the daily rags snapping up the Big Names walking through the mud and cheering on their performer mates side of the stage. But if you want to go incognito, how do you get past the paps? Disguise yourself, like Stormzy did at the backstage Pyramid bar. Clad in a full tracksuit and balaclava, 2019’s headliner could be seen dancing to disco and chatting to Amelia Dimoldenberg (next up on Chicken Shop Date? You heard it here first). Rumour has it he was all over the Shangri-La area on the Sunday night, too. TS

Tems made it

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for THE FACE’s cover star, as she had to postpone two sold-out gigs at London’s KOKO and cancel her headline set at Strawberries & Creem festival due to laryngitis. So it was a relief that she made it for her Saturday lunchtime slot on the Other Stage. The Nigerian star nervously warned the crowd that if anything happens” during the set it’s because she’s been ill, but her voice sounded beautifully smooth as she sang soul-stirring tunes like Avoid Things, her hit Wizkid Essence and set-closer Free Mind. DR

Sugababes caused mayhem

For a hit of 00s nostalgia, the original line-up of Sugababes – that’s Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena, and Siobhan Donaghy – took to the Avalon stage on Friday to perform for the second time in over 20 years. Despite clashing with Pyramid headliner Billie Eilish, the trio drew such a big crowd that it blocked the entire pathway that led to the small stage. With security guarding them from coming in, the increasingly impatient fans grew tired and eventually stormed for the Babes. (Overheard conversations include Sugababes over Girls Aloud anyday” and plenty of vocal warm-ups). The set included big hits like Overload, Freak Like Me and Push the Button, as well a version of Sweet Female Attitude’s classic UKG crowd-pleaser, Flowers. TS

Kendrick Lamar’s intense finale

There was a campsite rumour that Kendrick would bring out Eminem, who was apparently living it up nearby in Somerset, and we all just assumed that Baby Keem would show up, since he had a London show on the Monday night and he’s got a couple of features on Kendrick’s new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Kendrick didn’t bring out anyone in the end (although he did pop up at Keem’s gig) but it didn’t matter, because his Sunday night headline set was immaculate. With two troupes of dancers, he punctuated clusters of hits from previous albums – good kid, m.A.A.d city, then To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN. – with uncompromising tracks from Mr. Morale. Wearing a crown of thorns made with titanium and 8,000 cobblestone micro pavé diamonds during closing track Saviour, fake blood started leaking from the crown all over his white shirt. He finished by repeatedly shouting They judge you, they judge Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights!” – a presumed reference to Roe v. Wade – before throwing the mic to the ground and storming off the stage. Epic. DR

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