Ten of the Most Iconic Glastonbury Sets

Glastonbury Festival is back this week and we've missed it so much that we thought we'd reminisce about some of its most memorable performances.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 21st Jun 2022

Glastonbury is upon us! The UK's ultimate celebration of music that we have sorely missed in recent years. It's the kind of festival that gets music-lovers buzzing all week long even if they're not attending. This year the festival will be headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Diana Ross and we can't wait to switch on to the BBC and watch it.

For those of you going, we're incredibly jealous. We thought in preparation for Glastonbury 2022, we'd take a look at some of the greatest performances at the festival to date and why they're so special.

 

Pulp (1995)

The remarkable thing about this set is that Pulp weren't even meant to be headliners. It was actually supposed to be the Stone Roses headlining in 1995 but they pulled out and as a last-minute replacement, Pulp stepped up. The Yorkshire band looked like they'd been prepared all their lives however as Jarvis Cocker floated around the stage.

It was the first time they ever played their hit Disco 2000 live and they truly had the crowd in their hands as they reeled off hit after hit. It was an indication that Britpop was at its peak as it conquered the festival season that year.

 


 

Stormzy (2019)

This Stormzy set was nothing short of mind-blowing and you could hardly believe your eyes as you watched it unfold on the TV. Coming onto the stage wearing a jacket designed by Banksy, here we saw that Grime was firmly in the mainstream. The first black British solo musician to headline the festival, it produced a performance that will never be forgotten.

 


 

Kanye West (2015)

The main man of hip-hop himself headlined the festival in 2015 and who could forget the stage design? A stunning light show was featured throughout and the rapper even performed from a crane at one point. Nothing was off-limits to an artist who believes that he's the greatest rock n roll star of all time.

 


 

Beyonce (2011)

It's always an event whenever Beyonce steps on stage and here she took to the biggest stage of them all. There was criticism that she didn't belong at Glastonbury, which was still seen typically as a rock festival by some people. Yet she blew all pre-conceptions away and delivered a show of enthralling choreography and most importantly of all hit after hit after hit.

 


  

Arctic Monkeys (2013)

The Yorkshire lads were back for their second go at headlining Glastonbury after first headlining it all the way back in 2007. Now, they were at the peak of their rock era and were about to release their biggest album to date in the shape of AM which catapulted their reputation even further. It was this performance at Glastonbury however that really affirmed why they're one of Britain's most beloved bands.

Alex Turner was in the form of his life as they rifled through all the high points of their catalogue. It was a signifier of a band entering a peak moment, they were inescapable in 2013 and rightfully declared one of the best British bands ever.

 


 

Foo Fighters (2017)

The way Foo Fighters perform is by being absolutely relentless. There's a likeability to the band that can get you instantly onside and the pairing of Dave Grohl and the late Taylor Hawkins makes for some brilliant banter. The two had the Glastonbury crowd rocking all night long and it proved to be a career-defining set.

 


 

David Bowie (2000)

Widely considered to be one of the best shows that Worthy Farm has ever seen, it's even one of Emily Eavis' favourite performances and she has a pretty good authority on all things Glastonbury. In 2000, David Bowie's had so many iconic eras of his artistry to choose from and he performed a massive victory lap of his best tunes.

 


 

Paul McCartney (2004)

Paul McCartney will be returning in 2022 to headline Glastonbury again and if his first performance is anything to go by then it will be truly memorable. The kind of performance where you feel jealous that you never got to experience it yourself, a mixture of his solo material, Beatles classics and tracks from Wings made for an incredible performance.

 


 

Kylie Minogue (2019)

Kylie Minogue's 2019 show was always going to happen. She was originally supposed to headline in 2005 but her breast cancer diagnosis meant she was unable to perform. Good things come to those who wait however and the living legend was able to put on a performance that surely is a crown upon her glittering career.

With so many pop hits that you can't escape, it's impossible not to smile when watching this performance, she oozes enthusiasm.

 


 

Dolly Parton (2014)

This set from 2014's Glastonbury was just the definition of joy. With non-stop singalongs, hoedowns and plenty of banter with the crowd, everyone is just happy to be there. That's before she even gets a chance to play Jolene and 9 to 5. This was a wild celebration of all the things that make country music great.

 



 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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