Paul McCartney headlined the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday 25 June 2022.
It took place 18 years almost to the day since the former Beatle headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2004. Having just celebrated his 80th birthday, the 2022 appearance makes him the festival’s oldest ever headliner.
As in 2004, McCartney’s band was Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion, harmonica), Brian Ray (vocals, guitar, bass), Rusty Anderson (vocals, guitar) and Abe Laboriel Jr (vocals, drums). Glastonbury 2022 was their 500th show together.
The band was augmented by the brass trio Hot City Horns – Paul Burton (trombone), Mike Davis (trumpet), and Kenji Fenton (saxophone). Burton and Davis are alumni of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), co-founded by McCartney in 1996.
McCartney had originally been scheduled to headline the 50th anniversary festival in 2020, which was cancelled due to Covid-19. In November 2019 his social media team teased the Glastonbury announcement by posting a triptych of Philip Glass, Emma Stone, and Chuck Berry on Twitter.
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) November 18, 2019
The festival confirmed the booking shortly afterwards, saying: “We are incredibly excited to announce that Paul McCartney will headline the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night of Glastonbury 2020.” McCartney responded: “Hey Glasto – excited to be part of your Anniversary celebrations. See ya next summer!”
It’s real!! So excited. Having Paul McCartney coming back to headline the Pyramid next year is an absolute dream come true. There really was no-one that we wanted more for the 50th anniversary.
Co-organiser, Glastonbury Festival
McCartney appeared to confirm the 2022 festival date on 24 February with a cryptic Wordle-style Tweet containing space for six letters, which many fans correctly interpreted as signifying ‘Glasto’. The number 121 referred to the number of days until his appearance.
Wordle 121 25/6
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) February 24, 2022
The rescheduled date was confirmed by festival organisers on 4 March 2022:
Glastonbury Festival have confirmed Paul will headline The Pyramid Stage on Saturday 25th June! ? https://t.co/kliKhCssCk
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) March 4, 2022
During the show, Dave Grohl joined McCartney onstage to perform ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Band On The Run’. It was Grohl’s first live appearance since the death in March 2022 of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
Springsteen and Grohl returned to the stage for an extended guitar battle during the closing song, ‘The End’.