Northern Ireland

Kneecap perform ‘one of the best gigs of our lives’ at Glastonbury

Irish language rappers made two appearances on stages at world-famous festival

Footage posted to Kneecap's social media pages show Glastonbury crowds enjoying the group's late-night gig.
Footage posted to Kneecap's social media pages show Glastonbury crowds enjoying the group's late-night gig.

Belfast rappers Kneecap have declared their late-night Glastonbury show as one of the best gigs they have ever performed.

The hip-hop trio, who combine Irish language and English lyrics, performed two gigs at the world-famous festival over the weekend.

They attracted large crowds to a morning performance at the Woodsies stage on Saturday, before finishing with a lively late-night show at the Shangri-La area of the festival, which takes place at Worthy Farm in Somerset.

The group, comprising rappers Mo Chara and Móglaí Bap, and producer DJ Próvaí, also led the crowd in chants of “free free Palestine” during their appearance on stage.

They used their Glastonbury platform to highlight the ongoing conflict in Gaza, displaying on a large stage screen “over 20,000 children have been murdered by Israel in 9 months”.

The group were also joined on stage by the lead singer of Dublin rockers Fontaines D.C., Grian Chatten, when performing recent single Better Way to Live.

In a post to X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday morning, the group said: “Shangri-La that was one of the best gigs of our lives.”

Meanwhile, a screening of the band’s new film also took place at the festival’s Pilton Palais cinema tent on Saturday.

The movie, directed by Rich Peppiatt and starring the Kneecap trio as themselves, is due for release in cinemas in August, having premiered back in January at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA.

 Kneecap: Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí
Kneecap's Mo Chara, DJ Próvaí and Móglaí Bap.

The group’s Glastonbury appearance follows the beginning of their legal action in June against the British government over the withdrawal of arts funding they had previously been allocated after a succesful application.

Their allocation through the Music Export Growth Scheme had been independently approved before the decision was overturned, and it was reported a spokesperson for UK business secretary Kemi Badenoch said they did not want to give taxpayers’ money “to people that oppose the United Kingdom itself”.

This year’s Glastonbury saw three female solo artists - Dua Lipa, SZA, and country star Shania Twain - announced as headliners of the festival at its famous Pyramid Stage alongside Coldplay.

Other acts to perform across the weekend included 80s icon Cyndi Lauper, rockers Idles, and dance legends Orbital.