Dua Lipa Pulls Off A Feat Of Pop Houdini At Glastonbury 2024

“This is a massive, massive, massive dream come true for me. I have written this moment down, I have wished for it, I have dreamt it, I’ve worked so hard in the hopes that one day, maybe, I’ll get to do it” Dua Lipa gushes, almost to the point of tears after requesting the house lights illuminate as much of the massive Pyramid field crowd that have squeezed in as possible. It feels genuine, even if it is rehearsed to perfection.

While some might have questioned her ascendance to a headline slot on Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid stage, the Anglo-Albanian popstress is no stranger to Worthy Farm having played nearby at the then John Peel tent in 2016 and 2017, the former of which Rockshot Magazine went along to check out at the time. But in the intervening period, the 28-year-old has put out three chart-topping LPs and become a global powerhouse. And so, it’s no surprise that on her return to Worthy Farm seven years since she last appeared, she’s topping the bill as the first of two female Pyramid Stage headliners, for the first time in the festival’s history.

Dua Lipa @ Glastonbury Festival 2024

Dua Lipa @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)
Dua Lipa @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)

As a military marching beat rings out and a multitude of dancers move about the stage (flanked by two movable staircases), it is the title of Lipa’s recently released third LP – Radical Optimism – that scrolls across the huge screen that forms tonight’s stage backdrop before the intro to Primal Scream’s Loaded introduces the star to the stage as latest LP cut Training Season kicks off, the dance anthem having the crowd bounce along as the troupe on stage move about with precision choreographed moves, setting the tone for the evening.

“Glastonbury! Let me hear you make some noise!” she demands. And then it is just banger after banger, fired off in quick succession. Calvin Harris collab One Kiss sees the star encourage a pogo jump from the packed out Pyramid field before a seamless transition into new LP cut Illusion.

“Glastonbury, what the fuck?!” she asks, looking out at the crowd that has amassed to catch her set, forgoing the likes of Idles on The Other Stage, Jungle over at West Holts, Jamie XX on Woodsies and Fontaines D.C. tearing up The Park. “I’ve dreamt about this my whole life, and I can’t believe I’m right up here with you guys, and I am so happy to be here with you guys, thank you so much” she gushes before pulsing Break My Heart keeps the dance party going, Lipa and her crew making the most of their on-stage staircases.

“Glasto, are you ready to go to the moon?” she promises as slap bass kicks off funk-filled Future Nostalgia tune Levitating and cheers ring out as the first fireworks of the night ignite the Somerset sky – customary oohs and ahhs erupting from the crowd as the display carries on throughout the dance anthem. And this is how it’s done, Dua Lipa’s crowd engagement, hit-filled opening and her team’s production meeting the brief of a Pyramid Stage headliner barely 20 minutes in. And then it’s time for tonight’s first costume change, Lipa returning to stage after a brief musical interlude for an airing of pop-rock ballad These Walls, the on-stage band glistening.

“When I wrote it down I was really specific” Lipa shares about her appearance at Glastonbury Festival this year. “I was very specific, I really wanted to headline the Pyramid Stage on a Friday, cos then I knew I could party for the next two days in the best place on Earth” she laughs, her enraptured audience cheering. Massive 2015 hit Be The One is introduced as a song that saw the star grow up and that changed her life. “It’s a song I think I’ll sing for the rest of my life” she shares earnestly, kicking off the pop banger before descending into the pit between the stage and the crowd to enlist the help of her audience to sing along.

“Tonight, I get to pretend I’m in Tame Impala” Lipa shares, beaming as she introduces Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker to the stage for a rousing airing of Tame Impala hit The Less I Know The Better, the pair moving about the stage in swirls as the dreamy tune washes over the Pyramid field, now an even bigger sea of phone cameras recording the moment.

Dua Lipa @ Glastonbury Festival 2024

Dua Lipa & Kevin Parker @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)
Dua Lipa & Kevin Parker @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)

Falling Forever offers more from Radical Optimism before 2021 banger Love Again has the crowd bouncing as Lipa and her troupe move about the vast stage and staircase setup once more. The singer disappears from her vast stage as her dancers take over leading to a guess of an outfit change. But that’s not all, as she reappears further into the crowd on a smaller “B” stage for a rousing airing of pulsing Future Nostalgia tune Hallucinate, treating those fans now close by to a personal performance, confetti cannons spraying them with white ticker tape.

And there she stays for debut LP cut New Rules, encouraging the whole Pyramid Field to crouch down to the grass and dirt before jumping in unison, not a novel move but effective nonetheless. Silk Cut collaboration Electricity keeps the beat going but is largely forgettable, but it is her Elton John collaboration Cold Heart – a re-working of his massive 1989 hit Sacrifice – that has the crowd singing along, just as we had last year when John performed the tune with pre-recorded vocals from Lipa, an opportune moment found for the singer to move back to the main stage, it’s skeleton now lit up with glorious neon highlights.

A clap-along followed by soaring guitars allows for another outfit change before third LP tune Happy For You is shared, sparse break-beat and synth backing allow for Dua Lipa’s incredible vocals to shine alongside plenty of hair-flailing, tonight’s live instrumentation elevating the tune massively from it’s produced recorded form.

A brief stage departure is broken with Future Nostalgia’s huge Physical and a one-two punch from Radical Optimism by way of Don’t Start Now and runaway hit Houdini, accented by yet more fireworks taking flight from above the massive screens that flank the stage and a reappearance by Tame Impala man Kevin Parker on guitar for good measure.

And that’s how it’s done by a first time headliner. It’s visual, it’s visceral, but most importantly, it’s a set filled with all important crowd-pleasing hits. The naysayers have been put in their place as Dua Lipa proved to the masses just why she deserves to be topping the bill at festivals worldwide, not simply to meet any sort of diversity quota, but because she knows just how to pull in off with both style and the tunes that’ll keep those in attendance bouncing along all night. Just imagine the spectacle when she returns for future headline slots.

Live review & photography of Dua Lipa at Glastonbury Festival 2024 by Kalpesh Patel

Avril Lavigne’s Blistering Other Stage Appearance Is 22 Years Overdue At Glastonbury 2024

Dawes (Jon Chu)

Dawes Celebrate New Era With New Album And Lead Single House Parties

Acclaimed California rock band Dawes have shared their new single, House Parties alongside an official music video. Co-produced by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith alongside longtime friend Mike Viola, House Parties marks the first single from Dawes’ upcoming ninth studio album, Oh Brother, arriving on 11th October via Dead Ringers, the band’s own imprint.

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024 (Patrick Gunning)

BRITs Week 24 For War Child Announces 2024 Money Raised

BRITs Week 24 for War Child has announced details of the money raised from this year’s series. An incredible £430,000...
Pip Millett @ Summer Series at Somerset House 2024 (Sophie Harbinson)

Pip Millett Is Enough For You At Summer Series At Somerset House 2024

Spirits failed to be dampened when the grey clouds that had gathered over the central London venue finally opened up, minutes before Pip Millett took to the stage. For close to two decades, the Summer Series At Somerset House each year has hosted a wonderful diverse array of artists; both established and up-and-coming, across all genres in a week-long celebration of live music and culture.

Stevie Nicks (Jennifer McCord)

Gold Dust Women: Stellar All-Female Line-Up For Stevie Nicks At BST Hyde Park 2024

Under the sprawling summer canopy of London's BST Hyde Park, thousands of fans, from lifelong devotees to curious...
Michael Kiwanuka @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)

Michael Kiwanuka Is Home Again At Glastonbury 2024

Michael Kiwanuka struck a chord with the Saturday night Glastonbury Festival audience. At the halfway point of the...
Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)

A Child’s Experience At Glastonbury Festival 2024

Only 7 years old, but already our son considers himself a Glastonbury Festival veteran! It’s his 5th visit to the...
Donovan Woods (Brittany Farhat)

Donovan Woods Releases Seventh Album Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good Now

Acclaimed songwriter Donovan Woods has released his seventh studio album, Things Were Never Good If They’re Not Good...
ARCO (Jacob Barri)

AR/CO Drop Debut EP Origin Stories

The AR/CO creative universe is a fantastical vision of a futuristic desert rave, their pulsating, psychedelic...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share Thing