Surviving Glastonbury: Paul McCartney’s essential advice for new headliners

Paul McCartney shares his advice for Glastonbury headliners, emphasising practice and planning for a memorable performance.

Paul McCartney © Mary McCartney; Self Portrait

As Glastonbury fever grips Worthy Farm once again, the anticipation is palpable with a lineup of musicians and DJs ready to dazzle the crowds. For some artists, the sheer scale of Glastonbury can be a tad overwhelming. Thankfully, we have a seasoned expert to turn to for advice: Sir Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney’s 2022 Glastonbury performance is etched in festival history. His set was a masterclass in musical brilliance, blending timeless hits with star-studded guest appearances. Who could forget Dave Grohl joining him on stage for one of his first public performances following the tragic loss of Taylor Hawkins? Or Bruce Springsteen’s unforgettable duet with the Beatles legend?

So, what’s Paul’s secret to pulling off such a monumental performance? It all boils down to practice and meticulous planning.

READ MORE: ★★★★★ Paul McCartney at Glastonbury 2022 | A Pyramid Stage performance for the ages

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World At One, McCartney shared, “You don’t get an athlete just coming into the Olympics not having done a few races beforehand. The idea is by the time I get to Glastonbury it’ll just be just like another gig. But of course it won’t be, because it’s very special.”

Before his 2022 Glastonbury set, McCartney road-tested his performance at the intimate Cheese & Grain venue in Frome, Somerset. This no-phones gig allowed him to fine-tune his show, engaging the 600-strong crowd with, “Good evening, Frome. Why am I getting a feeling we are going to have some fun? We’ve got some old songs and some new songs and some in-between.”

This year’s Glastonbury headliners, including Dua Lipa, Coldplay, and SZA, along with Shania Twain in the coveted legends slot, have some big shoes to fill. Will they match up to the high standards set by Sir Paul? Only time will tell.

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