From Kendrick Lamar’s closing performance to Olivia Rodrigo’s duet with Lily Allen – we round up the most powerfully political moments from this year’s festival
Following Friday’s overturning of Roe V Wade (the ruling which protected the right to have an abortion in the US), a number of artists performing at Glastonbury used their platform to speak out against the decision.
Last night, Kendrick Lamar ended his triumphant headline set with a pointed reference to the ruling. Surrounded by dancers, wearing a silver crown of thorns and with blood dripping down his face, he repeated the phrase: “they judge you, they judge Christ. God speed for women’s rights” before dropping his mic and leaving the stage. Writing in GQ, Musa Okwanga said that this final moment was “so bold and so inspiring that it moved many onlookers to tears as they left.” Even watching at home on BBC iPlayer, the power of Lamar’s statement was undeniable.
In speaking out against the Roe v Wade ruling, Lamar was joined by a number of performers across the weekend. Towards the end of her set, Lorde replaced Robyn’s monologue from “Secrets of a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)” with an impassioned speech about reproductive rights. “Welcome to sadness,” she said. “The temperature is unbearable until you face it. You wanna know a secret, girls? Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born. That horror is your birthright.”
“fuck the supreme court” - lorde pic.twitter.com/jp5CkD5I30— r ◡̈ taylor’s version (@foreverrwinter) June 26, 2022
“Here’s another secret – you possess ancient strength, ancient wisdom,” the singer continued. “Wisdom that has propelled every woman who came before you. That wisdom is your birthright. I ask you today, make accessing that wisdom your life’s work, because everything depends on that [...]Fuck the Supreme Court.”
Lamar wasn’t the only headline act to blast the ruling, either. On Saturday night, during her closing set on the Pyramid Stage, Billie Eilish told the crowd, “today is a really, really dark day for women in the US. I’m just going to say that because I can't bear to think about it any longer at this moment.”
Billie Eilish calls the Supreme Court’s repeal of abortion rights “a really really dark day for women” pic.twitter.com/oRvVbsCJxj— Consequence (@consequence) June 24, 2022
After calling out her home state of Texas, Megan thee Stallion led the crowd in a “my body, my motherfucking choice” chant. Earlier in the weekend, Phoebe Bridgers also took aim at “all these irrelevant old motherfuckers trying to tell us what to do with our fucking bodies.”
Megan Thee Stallion gets crowd of thousands at the Glastonbury Festival to scream “my body, my motherfuckin’ choice” pic.twitter.com/GDNuHK1uUy— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 26, 2022
Olivia Rodrigo, meanwhile, named each of the judges responsible for the ruling – Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh – and declared her hatred of them all. She then brought on Lily Allen for a rousing rendition of her 2009 hit “Fuck You”.
Democrat congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortez praised Rodrigo on Twitter, along with “every artist, athlete and entertainer who uses their platform to speak out in industries where there is immense pressure to say & do little bc many believe silence is more profitable.” She added: “Culture matters. Moments like these make a huge, huge difference.”