The five most wholesome moments from McFly’s set at Glastonbury

The band's long overdue debut appearance at Worthy Farm was a celebration of both their greatest hits and their legacy

Glastonbury may be one of the only places on the planet where McFly have appeared on the same stage as punk heroes John Cooper Clarke and The Damned. But seeing them perform at the delightfully eclectic, circus-themed Avalon Stage this afternoon (June 26), their booking makes total sense: they have big riffs and even bigger hooks, and can even inspire mini moshpits.

Today’s appearance is certainly a cause for celebration: for McFly, it’s a moment that has been almost 20 years in the making. From the release of 2004’s ‘Room On The 3rd Floor’ onwards, they’ve layered some irresistible cheese over their playful yet sincere pop-rock, and garnered BRIT Awards along the way – yet an invitation to play at Worthy Farm wasn’t offered for almost two decades. “To finally be here is a dream ticked off the bucket list,” vocalist and guitarist Tom Fletcher tells NME backstage.

Their hour-long set was built on simply having pure, unadulterated fun – to the point McFly almost became too good at their own game. The cause is established from the start: they walked onto the stage to Village People’s ‘YMCA’ (obviously) and even chucked in a karaoke-style cover of Queen‘s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Fletcher and his bandmates – bassist Dougie Poynter, guitarist and vocalist Danny Jones, drummer Harry Judd – remained deliberately silly in all the right places, and as a result, made for one of the most joyful sets of the weekend. Here are the most wholesome moments from McFly at Glastonbury 2022.

The crowd was in a proper party mood

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30 minutes before McFly hit the stage, security were forced to close off the Fields of Avalon area due to the number of punters that had rocked up to watch the set. Those who were lucky enough to make it in had to duck and dive through a forest of inflatable unicorns and flamingo-shaped balloons just to get a peek of the Avalon Stage, while others stood and watched from the balcony of the neighbouring Avalon Inn. Delirious smiles were ubiquitous, however – McFly, perhaps, have always been the people’s boyband.

‘Star Girl’ provided the perfect Sunday afternoon serotonin boost

In need of a hangover cure? McFly can sort you out. You could argue that the secret to the band’s longevity is their collective knack to whack out a walloping chorus – and hit single ‘Star Girl’ is a prime example. When they drop the song halfway through, the tent turns into a joyous riot; one excitable fan even twirls around and tears open a supersized confetti canon from the middle of the crowd. It’s as though, for three wild and vibrant minutes, the festival’s collective comedown melts away entirely.

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Credit: Parri Thomas for NME

McFly were genuinely overjoyed to be there

When they weren’t reminding us about how excited they were to finally be at Glastonbury, McFly were cracking jokes about their legacy. “Billie Eilish was two years old when this song came out!,” Poynter said after ‘Room On The 3rd Floor’. “If you enjoyed that [song], we are McFly; if not, we are Busted!,” continued Jones, by way of introduction. A brief moment of sincerity followed: “We really did not expect to see this many people,” said Jones. You’re telling us!

Newer tracks got as much love as the mega-hits

2020’s ‘Young Dumb Thrills’ marked the first McFly album in almost a decade, and hit Number Two in the charts. This afternoon, the four-piece aired two of the record’s buoyant singles, ‘Happiness’ and ‘Wild And Young’ – and they were received with as much warmth and adoration as some of the earlier material. During the former, Fletcher encouraged the audience to “make new friends and have a dance”. His wish was our command.

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Parri Thomas for NME

The band welcomed in a new generation of McFly fans

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When McFly cartwheeled their way into the mainstream in the early noughties with their playful and unruly brand of guitar-driven hits, they provided an accessible gateway into rock music for young people. The riffs were massive, and their lightly rebellious aesthetic resembled that of new wave of pop-punk that was emerging across the pond at the time (Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco).

Two decades on, and that mission still applies: at multiple times throughout the show, the band made a conscious effort to shout out and uplift the youngest fans in the crowd. One toddler sat atop a parent’s shoulders with a ‘McFly, you guys rock!’ sign made from a pizza box, while another sang each and every song into an inflatable microphone. Clearly, powerful and transformative moments were happening in real-time.

Check back at NME here throughout the weekend for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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