Part of the joy of Glastonbury is the sense that anything can happen. Even the best-laid plans can crumble when exposed to the elements and the underlying anarchy of this sprawling temporary utopia in the Somerset fields.
Which is a lesson Charli XCX learned today while playing in the early afternoon on the Other Stage. As ‘I Love It’, the massive hit she wrote for Icona Pop, kicked in, two huge silver wind-sock men were supposed to launch either side of her. Instead, the one to her right inflated while the other got himself into something of a tangle. Her left-hand dancing man was as out of time as Katy Perry’s infamous left shark, but was soon let loose by a fleet-footed stage hand.
The moment added a touch of Spinal Tap to a set that was already seamlessly mixing pop power, on tracks like ‘Babygirl’ with the woozy rap attitude of songs like the MIA-esque ‘Vroom Vroom’.
Charli’s musical diversity was reflected in her diverse audience. Even for Glastonbury, hers was a particularly mixed crowd, with actual children mingling with club kids, hipsters, gay couples and older fans too, with or without their offspring in tow.
Glastonbury clearly loves Charli XCX, and the feeling is more than mutual. After ‘Fancy’, Charli announced: “Glastonbury I love you guys. Who’s getting fucked up tonight? Me too. See you in Shangri La!”
She performed surrounded by 8ft high pink flowers, and the set was punctuated by explosions of pink streamers and confetti. Even as she walked offstage with a final: “Thank you so much Glastonbury. I love you guys. Peace,” the pink streamers remained hooked in the mouth of the huge metal fish-lipped buffalo head atop the Other Stage. It was a visual metaphor for something her crowd saw firsthand: Charli XCX has left her mark on Glastonbury 2017.