Pop star Ed Sheeran headlined Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on Sunday night, just six years after his debut at one of the festival’s smallest stages; in 2011, the musician played the Croissant Neuf stage, playing to around 500 audience members. In a departure from previously grandiose headline performances, Sheeran was praised for his captivating performance with just an acoustic guitar and loop pedal to layer his vocal and guitar lines; the only break from this was during his performance of ‘Galway Girl’ when he introduced a quartet of traditional Irish musicians to provide backing vocals.
Fans and critics alike were delighted with his performance and setlist – which included ‘Castle on the Hill,’ ‘A Team,’ ‘Lego House’ and the record-breaking ‘Shape of You’. Initial reviews from British press including The Guardian and The Telegraph praised Sheeran for defying his critics and instead delivering a ‘thrillingly raw’ performance to close the festival. BBC News praised Sheeran’s ability to “build up or break down a song at will, a skill honed by years of relentless gigging in his teens.”
However, immediately following the performance, critics on Twitter subsequently accused the singer-songwriter of lip-syncing due to the backing vocals created from the singer’s loop pedal. Despite Sheeran clearly tapping his loop pedal with his foot throughout his performance, individuals were quick to accuse the star of deceptively faking his vocals throughout. Fans of the musician as well as Sheeran himself took to Twitter this morning to defend his set, whilst expressing surprise that viewers would be unaware of the presence of such technology during his performance:
Never thought I'd have to explain it, but everything I do in my live show is live, it's a loop station, not a backing track. Please google x
— Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) June 26, 2017
Other highlights from the weekend included a surprise set from The Killers who vowed to never return to the event following a disastrous set in 2007 which was marred by sound problems. Additionally, performances from Stormzy and the Foo Fighters were fan-favourite performances which capped the warmest Glastonbury Festival on record.