An eventful Saturday at Glastonbury had it all: surprise guest appearances, uplifting sing-alongs, and even some late-nightrdrama.

The penultimate day of the Somerset music festival came to an end with a mammoth headline set from American rockers Guns N’ Roses, and an all-too-short performance from Lana Del Rey that saw the musician’s microphone cut off mid-set. Del Rey had arrived on stage around half an hour after the scheduled start time, blaming the delay on the time it took to style her hair.

After Friday night headliners Arctic Monkeys delivered a divisive performance that thoroughly won over The Independent’s reviewer, Guns N’ Roses proved less exciting. In a two-star review of the set, critic Mark Beaumont described the band somewhat devastatingly as “frontrunners for the worst Glastonbury headline set of all time”.

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But for many of those in attendance, this wouldn’t matter: the day had already seen a number of memorable highlights, from artists such as Rick Astley, Lizzo, and Manic Street Preachers. Here’s The Independent’s breakdown of five of the most joyful moments from Saturday 24 June at Glastonbury.

Lewis Capaldi backed by the crowd

In what critic Mark Beaumont described as one of the most moving moments at Glastonbury this year, Lewis Capaldi was assisted by around 100,000 audience members, who sang along as he struggled with vocal issues on the Pyramid Stage. The Scottish singer-songwriter had taken a break from live shows in order to prepare for his performance on Saturday, but was visibly devastated as he had to stop at regular interviews in order to clear his throat. Towards the end of his set, he performed hit singles including “Wish You the Best” and “Someone You Loved”, as the audience helped him get through each chorus. Capaldi apologised, but there was really no need. Because what is Glastonbury without a good singalong?

Lewis Capaldi performing at Glastonbury


Lizzo has the juice

Lizzo proved exactly why she would have made the perfect Glastonbury headliner this year, amid controversy surrounding the all-male acts topping the lineup instead. Billed as a “co-headliner”, the US singer, rapper and flautist performed a jaw-dropping medley of her best songs, including singles “Juice” and “About Damn Time”. Flanked by a troupe of dancers, her backing singers and a sizzling band complete with rock guitarist, it was evident that she could easily have put on a headline-worthy show of her very own. Just watch her set on BBC iPlayer, see the delighted faces in the crowd, and decide for yourself.


Rick Astley at Glastonbury 2023


Rick Astley was all over Worthy Farm on Saturday, from his exuberant midday Pyramid Stage set to his surprise evening gig performing The Smiths covers alongside rock group Blossoms. Belting out his best Morissey, downing Jaegermeister and letting slip the occasional “f-bomb”, the “Never Gonna Give You Up” crooner was in rambunctious form. Speaking to BBC Breakfast at the start of the day, Astley laughed off claims that the day would become a so-called “Rickastonbury”. Twelve hours and two gleeful sets later, the term seems entirely appropriate.

Manic Street Preachers return

For their seventh appearance at Glastonbury, the Welsh rock band delivered a memorable and personal set, which included duets with The Anchoress on “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough” and “This Is Yesterday”, and a tribute to former member Richey Edwards. The guitarist disappeared in 1995 and is presumed dead. “ “The first time we played [Glastonbury] was 1994, and we had the one and only Mr Richard James Edwards with us,” frontman James Dean Bradfield said. “Everything that can go wrong, did go wrong, but it was f***ing fun – you know?”

The Pretenders bring out Dave Grohl and Johnny Marr

Foo Fighters frontman Grohl and ex-Smiths guitarist Marr joined The Pretenders during their set on the Park Stage. Marr had briefly toured with the Pretenders in the wake of The Smiths’ break-up in 1987; Grohl, meanwhile, relived his Nirvana days,taking up the drumsticks for an enjoyable cameo. The presence of Paul McCartney made it seem for a minute like we might have had a trinity of big-name guests on the cards – but the former Beatle didn’t get any further than a jovial thumbs up.

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