Glastonbury Festival 2023: Sir Elton John joined by special guests on Pyramid stage

The show is billed as the 76-year-old’s final UK gig, before he retires from touring at the end of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Credit: PA

Sir Elton John said he never thought he would play Glastonbury as he took to the Pyramid Stage on Sunday for his headline set, describing what is expected to be his final UK show ever as “special and emotional”.

The event marked the end of the 76-year-old's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Fans had been queuing since 4am in the morning at Worthy Farm to get the best views of what was a significant moment in music history.

At 9pm the superstar walked on to the stage in a gold suit before taking a seat at the piano, opening his set with Pinball Wizard as fireworks went off over the famous Pyramid Stage.

Sir Elton told the crowd: “I never thought I would ever play Glastonbury and here I am.

“It’s a very special and emotional night for me because it might be my last show ever in England, so I had better play well and I had better entertain you, you’ve been standing there so long and I really appreciate all the outfits and everything.”

He then launched into renditions of Benny And The Jets, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.

Sir Elton’s husband David Furnish previously revealed the singer was to be joined by four special guests during his headline set.

Sir Elton John was joined by Jacob Lusk of Gabriels and The London Community Gospel Choir for Are You Ready For Love?

After a rendition of Someone Saved My Life Tonight, he told the crowd: “When I chose my guests for this show I wanted to have newer artists, save for one person, and this boy I heard last year on the radio… I’ve asked him to come to Glastonbury to do his song and he’s an amazing young talent.”

Elton John on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2023 for his final UK show. Credit: PA

He was then joined by Stephen Sanchez for a performance of Sanchez’s song Until I Found You.

After performances of Your Song and Candle In The Wind, Sir Elton told the crowd: “My next guest I first met in 2005 when I first started playing Las Vegas, and he came to my hotel suite to play me his band’s first album Hot Fuss – we’ve been friends ever since.”

Welcoming Brandon Flowers to the stage, he said The Killers frontman was “the first person I thought of” to be a guest during his set. The pair performed Tiny Dancer together.

Sir Elton joked he was suffering a wardrobe malfunction as he got up from the stage, saying: “OK, my trousers are falling down, but never mind.”

He welcomed Rina Sawayama to the stage as “an extraordinary talent and amazing recording artist” before performing Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

After crowd pleasers Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting and I’m Still Standing, Sir Elton put paid to rumours that Dua Lipa would make a surprise appearance.

He played their song Cold Heart alone, telling the crowd: “The person I did the song with isn’t here so I’m going to ask you to sing her part and sing it loudly.”

Huge crowds turned out to Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage to see Elton John perform on Sunday 25 June. Credit: PA

Launching into Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Sir Elton John paid tribute to singer-songwriter George Michael.

“He was my friend, he was an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday, so I want to dedicate this song to his memory.

Sir Elton bade farewell to the crowd, saying: “I want to thank you all for dressing up in your costumes, your glasses and your outfits, it makes me feel so happy and so loved.

“I also want to thank you for 52 years of amazing love and loyalty that you’ve shown me. It’s been an incredible journey.

“I’ve had the best time, I will never forget you, you’re in my head and my heart and my soul, you’ve been amazing.

“You’ve been an incredible crowd tonight. I wish you love and health and happiness.”

He closed his set with a lengthy rendition of Rocketman which was met with rapturous applause by a completely overwhelmed Glastonbury crowd.