Damon Albarn asks festivalgoers if they 'support Palestine' in surprise Glastonbury performance

Damon Albarn asks festivalgoers if they 'support Palestine' in surprise Glastonbury performance
English singer Damon Albarn shared comments surrounding Palestine and the upcoming US elections during a surprise performance at Glastonbury.
2 min read
30 June, 2024
English singer songwriter Damon Albarn asked the crowd at Glastonbury whether they are pro-Palestinian and whether they feel it's an unfair war [GETTY]

English singer-songwriter and musician Damon Albarn surprised attendees at the annual Glastonbury Festival and commented on the current war in Gaza and the US elections.

The singer was invited to perform by Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman as they played on the Other Stage on Friday.

Addressing the crowd, the singer asked whether they were pro-Palestine and whether they felt it was an unfair war, which was met with approving cheers.

He also commented on the upcoming US presidential elections, suggesting that US president Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump were too old for office.

"The importance of voting next week – I don't blame you for being ambivalent about that, but it's still really important," Albarn said.

"And thirdly – maybe it's time we stopped putting octogenarians in charge of the whole world?"

The remarks follow Biden and Trump's recent debate, where much attention focussed on the president's cognitive capacity.

Albarn was not the only performer who used the stage to make political statements. At the festival's Pyramid Stage, Serbian artist Marina Abramovic called for a seven-minute silence, asking the crowd to "be present".

"What I'm proposing is something never done in any of the festivals for music's entire history – I'm proposing you seven minutes of silence," Abramovic said.

"The world is in a really shitty place… we can actually all together give unconditional love to each other…we can change the world."

Irish hip-hop group Kneecap also delivered a message on the festival's screens to the "10,000 heads before the set".

The messages read: "Over 20,000 children have been murdered by Israel in 9 months" and "It is being enabled by the British Government", along with "Free Palestine" accompanied by the Palestinian flag.

This follows the group's boycott of the South by Southwest festival in March in solidarity with the people of Gaza and because of the US Army's "super sponsorship" of the event.

Festivalgoers at Glastonbury also waved Palestinian flags, with 20 people waving the flag going onto the main stage.

During singer Dua Lipa's performance, a Nova Festival Flag representing the Hamas attack on the Israeli music festival and a Palestine flag were displayed next to each other at the front as the singer addressed the crowd.