Charlotte Church sings 'free Palestine' with Glastonbury crowd, months after safety threats

Charlotte Church sings
-Credit: (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Charlotte Church, the Welsh singer, led a crowd of hundreds in an impromptu song at Glastonbury Festival, singing "free Palestine" during her performance. This comes after she revealed that police had to check on her safety and that of her family following her participation in a pro-Palestine march in London.

The 38 year old artist, who previously refuted allegations of antisemitism and expressed her support for Jewish people, was part of Billy Bragg's Radical Round Up at Worthy Farm's Left Field stage on Friday, June 28. Dressed in a long red gown, Church also wore a keffiyeh, a traditional Arab headdress that has become a symbol of Palestine, over her shoulder.

Greeting the crowd, Church said, "Hiya babes lots of love from Wales my darlings,". She then told the audience that she wanted to give them the microphone for the day, saying, "I sort of want to give you the mic today... there's so much untapped singing potential in you guys which we're going to explore."

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Church guided the crowd in a collaborative vocal improvisation, creating lyrics over a chorus of humming from the audience. Her improvised song began with, "It's Friday at Glastonbury, all the adventures you're going to have and the things you'll see, music, dance and sing".

She continued, "The spirit of expression... and now you can say that you performed at Glastonbury, sing it to me now." The song concluded with Church singing: "And I'm going to give some love and feeling to Palestine."

Charlotte Church on stage
Charlotte Church on stage at Glastonbury -Credit:PA Wire/PA Images

"To all the people and all the mothers and the children we are thinking of you, we carry you in our hearts. Free free Palestine, free free Palestine, free free Palestine, free Palestine."

The song ended to rapturous applause. Taking a light-hearted tone with the crowd, Church's second performance in the hour-long set was another improvisation, this time with her fellow musicians on stage including Bragg and 26 year old Scottish singer Bow Anderson.

"Everybody take a deep breath... ah smell that cow shit," Church said as she warmed them up for the performance. Church told the crowd at the Left Field stage that music and protest "have always been deeply interwound" as she began her third performance a rendition of civil rights gospel song We Shall Overcome accompanied by a musician playing a shruti box, an Indian wind instrument similar to an accordion.

Her final track saw her sing Amazing Grace a cappella to the crowd. Before she started it, she jokingly said: "This is a song pretty much everyone knows the words to so it's either Delilah or... no, it's not Delilah." Want less ads? Download WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android.

Bragg's Radical Round Up is a regular feature at Glastonbury and the singer-wongwriter joined in with Church's pro-Palestine message as he ended one of his songs by calling out "ceasefire now" as well as for the return of Israeli hostages.