Elton John at Glastonbury 2023: Stage time, set list, surprise guests and BBC stream

Singer has admitted he’s ‘a little intimidated’ to close our Pyamid Stage for 2023

Isobel Lewis
Sunday 25 June 2023 08:04 BST
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Elton John to headline Glastonbury 2023 on last-ever UK tour date

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Louise Thomas

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Glastonbury 2023 promises to go out with a bang, as “Rocket Man” Elton John headlines the festival tonight (Sunday 25 June) at his last ever UK show.

Despite his career spanning seven decades, this year marks John’s first time attending – let alone headlining – Glastonbury. In a recent interview, the pianist has said that this is actually the first time he’s ever been asked to play the festival.

The 76-year-old, who is currently playing the final leg of his much-delayed Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, will headline the Pyramid Stage on Worthy Farm on Sunday (25 June) night.

John’s set will stretch just over two hours, from 9pm until 11.05pm. Performing before him are Yusuf/Cat Stevens in the Sunday afternoon Legends slot, followed by Blondie, then rapper Lil Nas X.

Glastonbury’s other headliners are Arctic Monkeys on Friday (23 June) and Guns N’ Roses on Saturday (24 June).

John has played few festivals throughout his career. He and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin used to attend Isle of Wight together, but recently said: “It’s too many people for me. I don’t like crowds. I have played festivals and I’ve really enjoyed them. But of course, Glastonbury is the crème de la crème.”

Of headlining, he told Scott Mills on Radio 2: “To be honest with you, it’s the first time I’ve been asked to play it, I haven’t turned it down before. But it’s just come at the right time. I’m a great believer in serendipity and fate and this is the most wonderful way to sign off in England and Great Britain.”

John on stage in 1982
John on stage in 1982 (Getty Images)

Releasing his first record in 1969, John has put out a staggering 31 studio albums throughout his sparkling musical career, working with Taupin.

Despite suffering major struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, the singer’s career has had a lasting career and has been sober sice the Nineties. With a back catalogue of hits including “I’m Still Standing”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Bennie and the Jets” and “Your Song” to pull from, his Glastonbury set is sure to feature bangers spanning his career.

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In recent years, John has become a champion of exciting new artists, collaborating with the likes of Lil Nas X, Years and Years, and Rina Sawayama.

In 2021, he collaborated with pop queen Dua Lipa on “Cold Heart”, a duet remixing his songs “Rocket Man”, “Kiss the Bride”, “Sacrifice”, and “Where’s the Shoorah?”.

John on stage in March as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour
John on stage in March as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour (Getty Images)

While it is unknown if any of these acts will join him on stage at Glastonbury, John has teased that his show will be star-studded, and feature a different setlist to his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Following 10 nights at London’s O2 Arena, John is currently playing across the UK and Europe with his touring goodbye show, which has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.

“I’ve got a different setlist to the tour, it’s going to be much different,” he said. “I’ve got guests and I can’t tell you who they are, but it’s going to be wonderful. I’m really looking forward to it.”

However, even stars like John get nervous about a Glastonbury gig. Speaking about the festival, the father-of-two told BBC London: “I’m a little, not frightened, but I’m a little intimidated by it because I haven’t played there, I haven’t been there.”

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