Sir Elton John to close Glastonbury 2023 with historic UK performance
The veteran musician, 76, has promised fans an entirely new show at Worthy Farm on Sunday that will feature four “special guests” that have yet to be confirmed.
After touring the globe on his marathon Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour over the past few years, Sir Elton has said Glastonbury would be a “fitting way” to say goodbye to his British fans.
Throughout the tour, the megastar has treated fans to elaborate shows filled with extravagant costumes, spectacular visuals and classics from his catalogue including Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, and Your Song.
Speculation about his guests has been rife after his husband David Furnish revealed the news earlier this week, with fans theorising that he may bring out Harry Styles, Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, or even US pop star Britney Spears.
Dua Lipa is also an option, having already appeared on stage during Sir Elton’s final US show at the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium last year, alongside Brandi Carlile.
Speaking to Sky News about the show, Furnish said: “This one is very special. It is not just another day in the office.
“It’s a different set list – it’s a huge outdoor live festival. He’s got four different collaborators joining him on stage at different times.
“So, he’s done a lot of changes. A lot on his plate, so I think he’s anxious. Yeah, but I think good anxious, healthy anxious.”
Sir Elton previously said the show would start with a song that he has not played in 10 years.
Furnish also said Sir Elton will not give up on music after his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour ends in Sweden next month, and will start work on a new studio album in the autumn.
Temperatures are due to stay high again on Sunday, though Sir Elton’s headline performance may be at risk of rain, with the Met Office warning of an “increasing risk of showers” into the evening.
A spokesperson for the Met Office told the PA news agency conditions would be “warm and largely dry, with sunny spells” for most of the day and that temperatures are still expected to reach 25C.
Other acts include Blondie, Lil Nas X and Yusuf/ Cat Stevens.
Glastonbury co-founder Michael Eavis previously said the event had “got there eventually” in tempting musical heavyweights Sir Elton and Stevens to perform.
Saturday saw another batch of big-name performers take to the stage, including mainstage headliners Guns N’ Roses, who made their debut at the festival.
The US rockers, consisting of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, rocked through their extensive catalogue during their two-hour-plus set playing hit tracks including Live And Let Die, Knockin On Heaven’s Door, Sweet Child O Mine, and November Rain.
To close the set they invited Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl onstage to help play an explosive rendition of Paradise City .
Grohl had appeared earlier on Saturday as a guest for The Pretenders, having also previously performed a secret slot with Foo Fighters on Friday.
Meanwhile, over on The Other Stage, US singer Lana Del Rey was forced to lead fans in an a capella performance of her final song Video Games after power to her microphone was cut.
Del Rey apologised profusely to fans, urging them to help her sing the track and then going down to meet and greet them, after having started the set 30 minutes late.
The delay came after reports the Born To Die singer was not impressed she was not initially billed as the main act on the stage for Saturday on the first line-up poster.
The poster had been listed in alphabetical order, with Del Rey featuring further down, but not marking her out as the headline act for The Other Stage.
During her Saturday show she voiced concerns that she might be forced to finish her set early because of the late start.
Del Rey was also beset with an apparent technical difficulty during her performance, which forced her to restart her song White Mustang, and later skipped over performing Venice Bitch.
Earlier on Saturday, Rick Astley opened the Pyramid Stage, performing a Harry Styles cover and also showing off his drumming skills as he made his debut at the music festival.
Tilda Swinton joined composer and pianist Max Richter on the Park stage to provide spoken word alongside his classical set, and Labour’s shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband appeared on a panel in a talk called One Minute To Midnight: Can Politics Deliver On Climate Action?