Search icon


30th Jun 2024

Watch: Irish artists steal the show at Glastonbury with stunning performances

Ronan Calvert

Irish artists

Irish music has never felt so healthy.

They call Glastonbury the greatest party on earth every year, but this year is being made that bit better thanks to top performances from a range of Irish artists.

The success of Irish acts since the Covid Pandemic has seen many perform at large venues across the UK and Ireland – and the state of music in this country has rarely felt healthier.

This weekend is revealing the true extent of their popularity, and it might be greater than we even realised.


KNEECAP, the satirical Belfast rap trio, were scheduled for an 11:30am Saturday morning slot but that didn’t stop fans from showing up in their droves.

Their tent was packed to its limit as they rocked one of the greatest morning parties you are ever likely to see; new album ‘Fine Art’ giving them all the ammunition they needed for an extraordinary show.

The boys were also present for the screening of their critically acclaimed film ‘Kneecap’ at the festival’s Pilton Palais Cinema, taking questions from the crowd afterwards for good measure.

Fontaines D.C.

Later that night KNEECAP re-emerged at the Shangri-La stage for what felt like a victory lap set.

There, they were joined by Fontaines D.C. singer Grian Chatten who contributed to recent KNEECAP single ‘Better Way To Live’, which also features ex-Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson.

Chatten was still bouncing from his band’s triumphant Friday night show on the Park Stage.

Fontaines’s popularity has grown every year since their 2019 debut ‘Dogrel’ and three new songs ‘Romance’, ‘Starburster’ and ‘Favourite’ only added to their arena-band credentials this time around.

A headline slot on the main stage still feels years away but what they delivered was a hell of an audition, with a gigantic crowd turning out despite clashes with IDLES and Dua Lipa.

The Mary Wallopers.

There was more fun to be had at the Park Stage with Dundalk trad-folk rockers The Mary Wallopers.

Donning a Bobby Sands t-shirt, singer Andrew Hendry, along with his brother Charles and friend Sean McKenna, brought manic energy.

Two albums deep with a new EP just released, the band have quickly established a catalogue of beloved originals and covers.

‘Frost Is All Over’ went down a treat but classics like ‘Home Boys Home’ and ‘Eileen Óg’ are hard to beat for an old-fashioned sing-along.

It would be terribly unwise of readers to miss these lads at your next festival outing.


Live show specialists SPRINTS flew the Irish flag at the Leftfield stage, a political section of the festival curated by Billy Bragg.

Karla Chubb and her band have earned quite a fanbase in Ireland the UK over the last three years.

Their rip-roaring live shows earn them plenty of word-of-mouth followers but recognition from the likes of Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio Six has done no harm to their rise either.

With punk screamers like ‘Little Fix’, ‘Adore’ and ‘Up and Comer’ in their locker, they were always destined to shine in the Glasto arena.


The slower but spectacular Lankum used their platform to demonstrate their unwavering and passionate support for the people of Palestine.

A stunning set which included their alt-folk versions of ‘Rocky Road To Dublin’ and ‘Wild Rover’, showed Irishness in its purest form – embracing Irish culture, celebrating other cultures and showing solidarity with those facing oppression.

Fresh from a beautiful evening at Kilmainham where they headlined their own festival ‘The Meadows’, the Dubliners are enjoying the summer of their lives and they deserve it.

There’s a lot to like about everything they touch.

Irish at Glastonbury

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Cabra rapper Kojaque caused a riot at the Lonely Hearts Club stage on Friday and later today (Sunday) Galway shoegazers NewDad take to the Woodsies at 2pm before the excellent Pillow Queens play at the Leftfield stage at 4.30pm

Two Door Cinema Club hit the Other Stage for what will surely be a joyous 7.45pm slot, a band absolutely tailor-made for some Sunday evening celebration.

The Bangor banger-makers suddenly feel like they’re from a previous generation of Irish band – but their longevity is a testament to their talents, and the emergence of so many new acts is a testament to the creative potential of this country.

Wearing Irishness on their sleeves and carrying social issues in their hearts, these are the artists you want representing your country.

What’s that Bono fella up to nowadays anyway?

Other notable Irish acts from Glastonbury: BICEP, The Scratch, Annie Mac, The Burma, Trish Reilly, Martin Furey, Dervish, Ryan McMullan, Kingfishr, Paul Casey, Problem Patterns, Thomas McCarthy, OR:LA.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge