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It Goes Without Saying, the Glastonbury Festival Stands for Palestine

Palestine took center stage at this year's Glastonbury music festival

Since its inception 54-years-ago, the Glastonbury Festival has seen it all. The UK music festival has seen its stages graced by some of the most important names in music history, from David Bowie at the beginning of his career to Paul McCartney in his solo resurgence. Glastonbury has witnessed the rise of bands like Coldplay, Radiohead, The Killers, and Arctic Monkeys, but it has also opened its doors to pop and hip hop, inviting iconic rappers like Snoop Dogg, Ye, and Jay Z to perform in front of thousands. It is impossible to summarize in a single article all the iconic moments that have marked over fifty editions of the event.

Glastonbury’s iconic stages have also long served as more than just a backdrop for musical performances, becoming a platform for political expression and solidarity. Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has long been a staunch campaigner for peace, running many campaigns alongside the festival. In 1984, Eavis introduced the Green Fields to raise awareness of environmental issues and 20 years later, Glastonbury began a successful scheme to encourage more recycling and less waste. Other notable campaigns include in 2009, when the festival supported the White Ribbon Alliance’s Million Mums campaign, collecting thousands of signatures supporting an end to the needless deaths of women in childbirth. More recently, in 2019, British rapper Stormzy used his headline set to highlight racism in the criminal justice system along with the UK’s high rate of knife-related homicide. 

This year, the plight of the Palestinian people was a key feature, with major artists using their time on stage to call for an end to the Israel-Gaza genocide during the festival, which took place in the UK’s Worthy Farm on June 29. Read on to discover all the artists who spoke out for Palestine during their Glastonbury appearances. 

Coldplay, Elyanna, and Little Simz 


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Coldplay, headlining Glastonbury for a record fifth time, brought Palestinian singer Elyanna on stage to perform Arabesque, a song inspired by Chris Martin’s visit to Palestine in 2017.  The band performed the track We Pray from their unreleased album Moon Music and were joined on stage by rapper Little Simz alongside the Chilean-Palestinian vocalist to cheers from the audience. The performance highlighted the healing power of music, with Martin singing, “We share the same blood. Music is the weapon; music is the weapon of the future.” Elyanna, making her Glastonbury debut, had previously made waves with her performance at Coachella and her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where she performed in Arabic, wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh.

Towards the end of the headline set, the Coldplay frontman called for unity at “what could be perceived to be a very divided time on Earth,” and he couldn’t be more right. 

Dua Lipa


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British-Albanian pop star Dua Lipa’s performance was marked by a sea of Palestinian flags, and she performed in front of a banner reading “Glasto for Palestine.” Lipa has been outspoken on social media calling for global solidarity with Gaza. Lipa has long been an advocate for Palestinian people, previously stating that she is willing to risk backlash for criticizing the Occupation. 

Charlotte Church

Welsh singer Charlotte Church has been a vocal supporter of Palestine for months. At Glastonbury, she performed on the Left Field stage wearing a red and white keffiyeh and led the crowd in a powerful improvisational singing session dedicated to the people of Palestine, expressing solidarity and calling for their freedom.

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz, made a guest appearance with Bombay Bicycle Club. After their performance of Heaven,  Albarn used the platform to rally support for Palestine, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming UK elections and critiquing the global political leadership.


British rock band Idles dedicated their song Mother to the Palestinian people. Lead singer Joe Talbot introduced the song as a tribute to the resilience of those who have faced adversity, dedicating it to Palestine and reaffirming the band’s commitment to peace and justice.


The Irish hip-hop group rallied the 10,000 people in attendance  to chant “Free Free Palestine,” during their performance, which was set against a screen that read “Over 20,000 children have been murdered by Israel in 9 months. It is being enabled by the government. Free Palestine.”

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