On the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on Friday Night, Stormzy produced a performance that confirmed him as an artist to be remembered from the 2019 festival, in every regard.
“This is the greatest night of my entire life” the British rapper said to the crowd. He emerged in a Union Jack stab vest, opening with a video of Jay Z giving the rapper advice for his set on Worthy Farm, suggesting that the set could be used as a means to change culture.
His gig was an amalgamation of politics, black history, ballet and crime statistics, weaved between a performance by the Croydon rapper that was as original as it was unrelenting. He said ahead of the show that he was “overwhelmed with emotions”, and that taking to the stage at Glastonbury was “the most surreal feeling I’ve ever experienced.”
After three songs, words sampled from a speech by David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, were projected onto screens, illustrating crime statistics.
Praise poured in via social media in response to the headlining act, amongst them including actress Tamsin Outhwaite.
Off to work for the 6th, very long day in a row and all I can think about is just how brilliant Stormzy was last night.
Humbling and inspirational . #stormzy
— tamzin outhwaite (@mouthwaite) June 29, 2019
— Ian Jones (@ian_jones33) June 29, 2019
A classically trained dancer was at a later point on the stage to illustrate the effects of racism in any profession, reflecting Ballet Black, whose dancers are all of black and Asian descent, now collaborating with Freed, a shoe manufacturer, to create shoes for non white ballet dancers.
— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) June 28, 2019
The main stage was the scene for other musicians including ‘The Globe Sessions’ singer Sheryl Crow, who’d returned to Glastonbury for the first time in twenty two years, and George Ezra. Across the weekend, the festival introduced other top stars including Kylie Minogue, The Killers, Liam Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers, Idles and The Wu Tang Clan.
Bastille’s lead singer, Dan Smith, said of Glastonbury regarding his band’s set, “I know it’s a cliche and everyone says it, but this is the best festival in the whole world.”
At the end of the year, Glastonbury Festival will be marking 50 years since its conception in 1970 with a new book. It’s entitled Glastonbury 50, documenting a story by Michael and Emily Eavis of Glastonbury over the last five decades. A release date has been set for the 31st of October 2019, and it can be pre-ordered now, as revealed on Twitter.
We're very pleased to announce the release of Glastonbury 50, our official book celebrating next year's 50th anniversary of the Festival, on 31 October 2019. Get more info – and pre-order a copy signed by Michael and Emily Eavis – from https://t.co/oPFiwN4Eu5 now. pic.twitter.com/b2mPbXGULn
— Glastonbury Festival (@GlastoFest) June 5, 2019