Return To Form For Friday At Glastonbury Festival 2023 In Photos

While the gates at Worthy Farm might open to ticket-holders from 9am of the Wednesday morning ahead of Glastonbury Festival’s mammoth weekend of festivities, and music can be found across many of the area stages across the site, music on the main stages kicks off in earnest on Friday at 11:30am. And there’s already a wide selection of music to choose from if you’ve made the most of Wednesday and Thursday, making your way across the far and wide areas there are to explore. I made sure to hit up Glastonbury-On-Sea, catch a view of the festival’s famous letter sign, see the fireworks & bonfires on Wednesday night and even met up with some friends for a cacao ceremony in the healing fields!

Glastonbury Festival 2023

Glastonbury Festival 2023
Glastonbury Festival 2023

Back to that wide music selection, and you have Ben Howard kicking off proceedings on The Other Stage while Star Feminine Band take over West Holts, Adwaith opens The Park and Al Lewis the Acoustic. But for me, it was my first trip to the newly named Woodsies area and stage (formerly the John Peel stage) for a dose of rock from an all-female Ukrainian outfit who started off as “The Sisters” before morphing into Mariia Krutsenko-fronted The Sixsters.

Glastonbury Festival 2023

The newly named Woodsies Area of Glastonbury Festival 2023
The newly named Woodsies Area of Glastonbury Festival 2023
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English singer-songwriter Ben Howard, in the meantime, was doing his best to annoy the large crowd who had popped down early to see him, largely forgoing his hits and playing a rather subdued set. Not what was required to awaken a subset of the 200,000+ in attendance at this year’s festival.

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Swedish rockers The Hives made sure to rectify any dourness brought to the Other Stage field with their brand of high-energy, raucous indie rock. Frontman Per “Pelle” Almqvist making the most of the vast arena to bound about the stage, get up close and personal with those in the front rows of their audience and do his best not to hit himself in the head with a swinging microphone, as he’d done at a recent show (the mark still clearly visible!).

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Maisie Peters @ Glastonbury Festival 2023

Maisie Peters @ Glastonbury Festival 2023
Maisie Peters @ Glastonbury Festival 2023

Meanwhile, 23-year-old songstress Maisie Peters had taken over proceedings from The Master Musicians Of Joujouka, who opened the world-famous Pyramid Stage at 12pm, with her flavour of pop.

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1990s-formed, Liverpool-hailing, Ian Broudie-led rockers The Lightning Seeds brought the hits from across the years to the Other Stage, with the likes of Change, Lucky You, Pure, and of course a rowdy rendition of iconic English football anthem Three Lions all getting a turn, the Other field crowd singing along jubilantly. The Life Of Riley is now given a new meaning, the song originally written for frontman Ian Broudie’s son now has the fully-grown Riley Broudie playing rhythm guitar along to since Broudie Jr. joined the group’s line-up in 2019.

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Stephanie Allen – AKA Stefflon Don – continued to bring heat to the Pyramid, the London-based, Birmingham (via Rotterdam)-hailing British rapper and singer moving provocatively about Glastonbury Festival’s main stage with ease. Senseless kicked off her run, hit single Boasty garnering a massive reaction ahead of her biggest hit Hurtin’ Me closing out a high-energy set.

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Canadian popstress Carly Rae Jepsen brought the charm, style and banging tunes to the Other Stage. Kicking off with Surrender My Heart and Joshua Tree, a special treat was in store for this Glastonbury audience with the live debut of new tune Shy Boy. Biggest hit Call Me Maybe was surprisingly delivered mid-set while 2012 UK #1 hit Good Time didn’t make the cut at all!

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1989-forming, Glasgow-hailing Scotts rock outfit Texas simply delighted the Pyramid field next with a career-spanning set of more hits and incredible tunes than you might remember. Debut single I Don’t Want A Lover and 1997 hit single Halo kicked off an animated set, with frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri taking time out to thank festival organiser Emily Eavis (who was watching from the wings) for championing female artists not simply for ticking boxes, this in light of some negative commentary of this year’s festival’s lack for female-led headline acts. Black Eyed Boy, Inner Smile and smash hit Say What You Want were all present and accounted for ahead of set-closer, a rendition of Mark James-penned, Elvis Presley hit Suspicious Minds.

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Glastonbury Festival’s main stage was then primed, and it’s field packed more than usual at 6pm on Friday evening for something unknown. Since the full line-up schedule for this year’s festival was announced on 30th May, speculation had been rife about exactly who “The ChurnUps” would be. Some surmised that the Jarvis Cocker-led re-formed Britpop icons Pulp would make a surprise appearance. Because surely, if you “churn up” something, you get pulp …. right?

Glastonbury Festival 2023

Glastonbury Festival 2023 (Kalpesh Patel)
Glastonbury Festival 2023 (Kalpesh Patel)

Photography & words by Kalpesh Patel at Glastonbury Festival on Friday June 23rd 2023

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