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Kendrick Lamar, Lorde denounce US abortion ban in fiery end to Glastonbury 2022

"Godspeed for women's rights"

By Joe Goggins

Kendrick Lamar on stage at Glastonbury 2022
Lamar's set was as typically politically charged as we've come to expect. (Photo: YouTube)

Kendrick Lamar and Lorde joined the legion of Glastonbury performers to denounce the US reversal of abortion rights as the 2022 instalment came to an end.

At the close of his epic headline set on Sunday (June 26), a show that had been two years in the making, Lamar – wearing a diamond-encrusted crown of thorns that began bleeding as he played ‘Savior’ – chanted “they judge you, they judged Christ. Godspeed for women’s rights,” with increasing intensity, before literally dropping the mic and walking off stage.

His set was preceded by a triumphant turn by Lorde, who had a similar point to make; at the close of her ‘Solar Power’ track ‘Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)’, she told a huge crowd “fuck the supreme court,” to massive cheers. On Friday (June 24), the decision by America’s highest court to overturn the Roe v. Wade statute – which effectively enshrined access to safe abortions as a right in the country – was handed down by a 6-3 majority, sparking global outrage.

At Glastonbury, artists from across the musical spectrum came together in fierce opposition to a ruling that may merely mark the starting pistol in a conservative-led race to eviscerate a host of basic human rights in the States; justice Clarence Thomas has already clarified that he has same-sex marriage and access to contraception in his sights next.

Phoebe Bridgers, who showed extraordinary bravery when she shared her experience of having had an abortion on tour last year when the news of the striking down of Roe v. Wade was first mooted, led the crowd on the John Peel stage in her own chant of “fuck the supreme court,” after having said “all these irrelevant old motherfuckers trying to tell us what to do with our fucking bodies.”

During her headline set on Friday, meanwhile, Billie Eilish alluded to the situation. “Today is a really really dark day for women in the US,” she said. “And I’m just going to say that because I can’t bear to think about it anymore in this moment.” The fury at the turn of events in the US was not, predictably for an event with a history of progressive ideology, the only expression of anger at the present political state of play; a flag that flew over the Pyramid stage crowd on Friday read “this is a work event”, as the British public continues to refuse to let prime minister Boris Johnson off the hook for his slew of lockdown-busting Downing Street parties.