Glastonbury is renowned for its hippie spirit, with some of the biggest names in music playing on over 100 stages set in rolling green fields. The 2023 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Arts takes place June 22-26 at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England, featuring a multitude of artists, performers, and other attractions. Read on for a look at this year’s can’t-miss Glastonbury artists.
1. Elton John
This year’s Glastonbury Festival will play host to the iconic English pop star’s final live performance in the United Kingdom as he reaches the final leg of his current Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. With a career that stretches back to the late ’60s, the show promises to be an emotional moment for the singer, undoubtedly including one irresistible tune after another. With so many hits at his disposal (“Your Song,” “Rocketman,” “Tiny Dancer, “Bennie and the Jets”—and that’s just from the early 1970s), there’s no telling what his set list might look like. But with the festival taking place just weeks after the coronation of King Charles III, you might lay odds on hearing his heartfelt tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997.”
Just a couple of weeks after wrapping up The Special Tour in support of her Grammy-nominated album Special (with #1 hit single “About Damn Time” picking up the award for Record of the Year), Lizzo brings her show to the English countryside for what promises to be a nonstop dance party. A multitalented performer able to rap, sing, write songs, and even play the flute, Lizzo is at the top of her game, melding influences like Missy Elliott—who features on single “Tempo” off her debut album, Cuz I Love You— Lauren Hill, R&B and soul to create an irresistible sound all her own. This is the perfect chance to catch a top artist in her prime.
3. Lil Nas X
The American rapper and songwriter first came to prominence with the 2019 country rap hit “Old Town Road,” quickly followed by a parade of hits, including “Panini” and “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” among others. Known as much for his colorful outfits as for his music (“Satan Shoes,” anyone?), he returns to the Glastonbury lineup, having made his international debut at the festival in 2019. Now one of the biggest pop stars in the world, with his Long Live Montero Tour having just wrapped in January, Lil Nas X will be rested and ready to put on a show. And anyone who has seen his highly theatrical productions knows that a Lil Nas X performance is a show like no other. Expect amazing dancing, LGBT+ positivity, infectious pop-rap, and plenty more.
4. Lewis Capaldi
Like Lil Nas X, the soulful Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi first played Glastonbury in 2019 and returns now in support of the release of his second album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent. His appearance also comes on the heels of his Netflix documentary, “Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now,” and after three singles off his new album—”Forget Me,” “Pointless,” and “Wish You the Best”—all debuted at #1 on the UK charts. With two prior #1 hits from his debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, Capaldi now has five #1 hits, putting him in the same company as David Bowie, Beyoncé, and the Bee Gees. And he’s done it in just a few years, making him one of the hottest acts around.
Italian rockers Måneskin make their Glastonbury debut at this year’s festival. After winning the 2021 Eurovision contest, they became the first Italian rock band to reach the top 10 on the UK and US global charts with songs like “Zitti e buoni” and “I Wanna Be Your Slave.” Now, the band is coming off a recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” as well as its first Grammy nomination in February of this year for Best New Artist. Clearly a band on the rise, their brand of raw guitar licks and full rock-and-roll attitude is sure to get the crowd pumping.
Punk and New Wave mainstays Blondie will make their third Glastonbury appearance, having played previously at the 1999 and 2014 versions. Based on their recent appearance at Coachella, the band is in excellent form, with Debbie Harry’s voice as sultry and beguiling as ever, and original guitarist and key songwriter Chris Stein’s playing sharp and tight. And original drummer, Clem Burke, continues to pound the skins with his signature fills and flourishes that help make classics like “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me” so memorable. If you haven’t seen them yet, now’s the time.
7. Maggie Rogers
American singer-songwriter and music producer Maggie Rogers has described her 2017 Glastonbury debut on the John Peel Stage as “one of the most memorable shows” of her career, so she has a special affinity for the festival and appreciates its down-to-earth ethos. Her blend of danceable folk-pop, coupled with her soaring, ethereal vocals, shows a craft and originality that belies her youth. And her honest and heartfelt lyrics on songs like “Want Want” and “Alaska”—the song that first caught the attention of record producer Pharrell Williams—promise that her performance will be a chance to see a star on the rise.
More Can’t-Miss Acts
Of course, the riches of Glastonbury don’t end there. Additional acts that are definitely worth catching include the Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, and Phoenix. Check out our article to get to know some lesser-known Glastonbury performers and get a sense of the next wave in popular music.
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