Glastonbury 2024: Celebrity cameos, secret sets and all the other festival best bits


Glastonbury 2024 has come to an end, with US singer-songwriter SZA closing the show on the Pyramid Stage following a spectacular weekend of celebrity cameos, fireworks and crowd-surfing.

And music, of course.

Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Little Simz, Shania Twain, Janelle Monae and Cyndi Lauper were among the big names performing, and that was just on the main stage – which is one of more than 100 across Glastonbury‘s massive Worthy Farm site in Somerset.

SZA performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Pic: Yui Mok/PA
SZA closed the festival. Pic: Yui Mok/PA

It has been a record-breaking year. With SZA’s nature-inspired set on Sunday following Lipa’s on Friday, this year’s event is the first ever to feature two female headliners. And Coldplay have now headlined five times, more than any other act.

Let’s relive the highlights of another weekend that showed exactly why this is the greatest festival in the world, from the main events to the bits you might have missed.

Michael J Fox on stage, Tom Cruise backstage

Michael J Fox on stage with Coldplay. Pic: BBC

Some sniffy corners of the internet had been sceptical about Coldplay’s return to headline Glastonbury for a record-breaking fifth time, but on Saturday night Chris Martin and co proved exactly why they are perfect for this slot.

Their celebrity fans certainly seem to think so. On stage, after appearances from other artists including Little Simz, they were joined by none other than Hollywood legend Michael J Fox playing guitar for the tearjerker Fix You.

Behind the scenes, Tom Cruise was among those watching stage-side, while Martin’s partner Dakota Johnson also appeared to be seen on camera.

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis was also watching, and received a dedication ditty from the Coldplay frontman, who told him: “We just want to thank you, as humans go you’re the best of all sorts. You’re a musical charmer, you’re the world’s greatest farmer. Whoever got knighted wearing shorts? Thank you Michael, we love you.”

The following day, Fox shared pictures from the festival on Instagram. “Oh yeah in case you were wondering… it was f****** mind blowing. There is a time for every band and a band for every time. This is Coldplay’s time.”

Dua Lipa joins the crowd

Dua Lipa. Pic: AP
Dua Lipa closed the show on Friday, partied on Saturday. Pic: AP

During her headline performance on the Friday night, Dua Lipa explained to fans how she “manifested” the experience, saying she had “written this moment down… wished for it… worked so hard in the hopes that maybe one day I’ll get to do it”.

More than this, her wish was specifically to headline on a Friday, “because then I knew I could party for the next two days in the best place on Earth”.

Well, we can confirm that for the Saturday at least, the star did get to enjoy the festival as a punter (albeit one with access to a proper bed and a shower, probably). We spotted her walking through the crowd at the Other Stage ahead of The Streets’ evening slot, and later backstage in the hospitality area, with her actor boyfriend Callum Turner.

Other celebrity appearances

Stormzy and Maya Jama watch D-Block Europe from the side of the other stage at Glastonbury Festival. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA
Stormzy and Maya Jama were among the many celebrities at the festival. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA

Ever since the days of Kate Moss in her micro shorts and wellies in the mid-2000s, Glastonbury has been synonymous with celebrity spotting.

This year was no exception, with former headliner Stormzy, Maya Jama, Alexa Chung, Paul Mescal, Sienna Miller, Cara Delevingne, Leo Woodall and Anya Taylor-Joy among the stars seen around the site.

Noel Gallagher and Dave Grohl (a surprise performer at least year’s event) were also reportedly spotted watching LCD Soundsystem stage-side, and Gallagher was later pictured with Belfast rap trio Kneecap, while Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett went to see Paloma Faith.

Russell Crowe was also on site – as a performer, not a guest – with his band Indoor Garden Party, while Idris Elba gave a speech on the West Holts stage to speak about knife crime and discuss his campaign, Don’t Stop Your Future.

Secret (and not-so secret) sets

Kasabian's Sergio Pizzorno performing as a secret act on the Woodsies Stage at Glastonbury. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA
Kasabian drew a huge crowd as they were revealed as a secret act. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA

“It’s Happening! See you 6pm at Woodsies @glastonbury.”

It was supposed to be hush hush, but with bookies and secret Glastonbury sources putting their money on Kasabian being the big surprise act in the days beforehand, the Leicester band decided to spill the beans a few hours ahead of the show.

Their message on X was all the confirmation needed to bring thousands to the Woodsies Stage – so many, in fact, the area was closed off almost an hour ahead of the group’s start time as a mass of people tried to gain access in sweltering sunshine.

Kasabian headlined the festival back in 2014, so the tent was in capable hands. Theirs was the biggest secret set slot – and featured crowd-surfing from frontman Sergio Pizzorno – but there were numerous others happening across the site.

Plus, lots of star cameos, such as Mel C and Tilda Swinton joining Orbital, Sam Smith making an appearance with Disclosure, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor teaming up with Peggy Gou.

Mike Skinner for PM?

The Streets' Mike Skinner joined the crowd during his set at Glastonbury. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA
The Streets’ Mike Skinner joined the crowd during his set at Glastonbury. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA

Another set featuring some energetic crowd-surfing, The Streets slot on the Other Stage was one of the highlights of the weekend.

Mike Skinner was in and out of the crowd during a performance that embodied the spirit of Glastonbury, featuring hits including Blinded By The Lights, Weak Become Heroes, Fit But You Know It, Dry Your Eyes and more.

One fan at the front sharing messages on his phone managed to get them picked up by the cameras. “Mike Skinner for PM,” read one, getting a huge cheer.

Is it too late for next week, do you think?

Glastonbury’s youngest fan?

Baby Finlay, aged 10 weeks, 'stole the show' as Annie Mac opened the Other Stage at Glastonbury. Pic: Tom Leese/PA Wire
Baby Finlay became a Glastonbury star. Pic: Tom Leese/PA

As DJ Annie Mac opened the Other Stage with a dance set on Friday morning, there was one fan in the crowd who stole the show.

Wearing stripey pyjamas and ear protectors, perched on top of his dad Tom Kay’s shoulders, 10-week-old Finlay was met with cheers as he appeared on the big screen several times throughout the set, with special effects turning his image turn into a hallucinatory visual.

“Oh my god, this baby, what a little legend,” Mac said to the crowd. She later signed off her performance by thanking “everyone, Glastonbury, and this baby”.

Asked what tips they would give to parents thinking of bringing their young children to a festival, mum Rosie Lewis said: “Do it – you can overthink it and it can put you off. But take more nappies than you think you’ll need and take more vests and outfits than you think you’ll need.”

She’s Still The One

Shania Twain performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA
Shania Twain: An official Glastonbury legend. Pic: Ben Birchall/PA

In front of a sea of fans wearing cowboy hats, country star Shania Twain performed a “life-changing” set for the legends slot.

It has become a Sunday afternoon favourite at the festival, with stars including Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton and Tom Jones filling it in previous years.

And Twain revealed she had explored the festival site ahead of her debut performance. “This really is a city, it’s a community,” she said.

Political statements

The migrant boat appeared above the crowd during Lil Simz's set. Pic: AP/Celebrity Photos UK/Cover Images
The migrant boat appeared above the crowd during Idles and then Lil Simz’s set. Pic: AP/Celebrity Photos UK/Cover Images

Ahead of the general election, Glastonbury was bound to get political this year.

Damon Albarn was among the artists on stage urging music fans to vote next week, while artists including Charlotte Church made calls to “free Palestine” during their performances.

And an inflatable lifeboat that appeared hoisted into the crowd during Idles’ set on Friday was later confirmed to be the work of artist Banksy.

The small boat was filled with migrant dummies in orange life jackets, and was criticised by James Cleverly, the home secretary, and deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden.

“Festival-goers cosplaying as migrants, and celebrating the actions of people smugglers, while they party is awful,” Mr Cleverly wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Whatever your political views, this isn’t something we should trivialise.”

The boat appeared as Idles were performing Danny Nedelko, a 2018 release which begins with the lyrics: “My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant.” The band were reportedly not aware it had happened until after the set had finished.

The boat also appeared above the crowd during Lil Simz’s set the following day.

England v Slovakia courtesy of a 1D star

One Direction star Louis Tomlinson took a TV to Glastonbury to watch the England v Slovakia match
One Direction star Louis Tomlinson took a TV to to watch the England v Slovakia match

Officially, Glastonbury was not showing the Euro 2024 game, which started just at the end of Twain’s set and clashed with acts including Nothing But Thieves, Janelle Monae and Avril Lavigne – but that didn’t stop those England fans who determined to see it.

At one corner of the festival, near to the Silver Hayes area, a crowd gathered around one fan who had set up a flatscreen and a mifi unit to stream the match – who turned out to be One Direction star Louis Tomlinson.

Others were also spotted watching on phones around the site.

It was very almost a low-light, until extra time. Trailing 1-0 for most of the match, England were saved by a Jude Bellingham equaliser in stoppage time, followed quickly by a goal from Harry Kane in extra time.

Final score – 2-1 to England, who now face Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

Read more:
Coldplay joined by Michael J Fox for history-making headline set
Kneecap draw ‘headline-worthy’ crowd against the odds
How politics accompanies the music of Glastonbury

Pic: Reuters
Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the annual Glastonbury Festival, officially opens the gates at Worthy Farm for the Glastonbury Festival, in Pilton, Somerset, Britain, June 26, 2024. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Emily Eavis, pictured opening the gates this year, already has her sights on 2025. Pic: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

See you next year?

Fans will be pleased to hear organiser Emily Eavis is already in talks with some acts for 2025.

Speaking to the Glastonbury Free Press, the festival’s resident newspaper, she said: “We’re taking a fallow year in 2026 to give the land a rest, and the festival before a fallow year is always a fun one to plan because you almost have to fit two years into one.

“We’re already in talks with some acts for it. It’s exciting.”

We’ll see you in the scramble for tickets in a few months’ time.

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