Sofia Kourtesis live at Glastonbury 2022: accident-prone Peruvian DJ has her rockstar moment

The dancefloor don puts on a mid-afternoon Sonic Stage set that's by turns heart-warming and rave-inspiring

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Glastonbury and dance music weren’t widely considered to be in perfectly harmony. Until 1989 and the arrival of acid house, after-hours Worthy Farm was more about chilling by the campfire and hoping not to burn your kaftan. Now Block 9 is a hedonistic dancefloor Mecca, San Reno is an apocalyptic party clinging to the outer-reaches of the festival site and Silver Hayes is home to the Sonic Stage, where, this year, Peruvian DJ Sofia Kourtesis puts on an intensely likeable Saturday afternoon set.

“Arriba Glastonbury!” she grins upon arrival, then proceeds to pour her heart and soul into her blissful, hour-long set. This show, billed as a ‘live’ gig, sees Kourtesis share the stage with one other musician – a bassist and percussionist – while she flits between the kit and her microphone with big rockstar energy. It’s infectiously joyful to see her dance around to chilled-out house largely drawn from her five-star 2021 EP ‘Fresia Magdelena’, which NME said proved that “club-ready music can be beautiful, thought-provoking and banging all at the same time”.

Indeed, this set is by turns heart-swellingly sweet (at the end she implores the audience: “Don’t forget to be kind to each other, OK?”) and dangerously mash-inspiring (mid-way through the slow-burning ‘By Your Side’, she demands we “Jump!” and pogos on the spot, before eyeballing the crowd and intoning along with the tune: “I only have eyes for youuuuuu!” She’s so active throughout that she takes a couple of tumbles – early in the set, she legs it across the stage and suddenly floors it, inciting a roar of encouragement when she defiantly bounces back up. Kourtesis stacks it again later on, but styles it out by rising to her haunches and head-banging to the beat. “I fall down but your energy is keeping me up!” she exclaims. “I can fall down, but with you guys…”

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Sofia Kourtesis
Sofia Kourtesis CREDIT: Phoebe Fox

Given the supportive atmosphere, she takes the opportunity to air a new song, ‘I Protect You’, which she says is “about love and protecting our friends”. Sure enough, as the tune – a thumping, achingly optimistic concoction of twinkling sound effects and Anvil-heavy beats that reverberate deep into your soul – plays out, she shapes her hands like a heart and encourages everyone to do that same. When she wraps a Peruvian flag around herself, it’s confirmation that Sofia Kourtesis, like dance music in ’89, has come to claim Glastonbury as her own.

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