Coldplay joined by Michael J Fox on stage during thrilling Glastonbury set

British rock band Coldplay thrilled audiences with old hits and treated crowds to music from their upcoming album as they performed their record-breaking fifth headline slot at Glastonbury Festival.

The band first headlined on the Pyramid Stage in 2002 and overtook The Cure, who have headlined the slot four times, on Saturday night in a performance that saw them throw it back to the year 2000 by opening with their hit song Yellow.

Frontman Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman started their history-making set – which saw them joined by surprise stage guests like Hollywood star Michael J Fox – after a clock counted down on screens, which was followed by a BBC logo on the screen before the music started.

Members of Coldplay seen on a big screen surrounded by flags
The crowd watching Coldplay performing on the Pyramid Stage (Yui Mok/PA)

Their second song of the night was Higher Power, from their ninth album Music Of The Spheres, with Martin going on to sit down on the stage as he started the song Paradise, from their 2011 album Mylo Xyloto, where singer-songwriter Victoria Canal joined them on the piano.

According to reports, Hollywood star Tom Cruise was among the celebrities watching the band’s set.

Martin told the audience, who were wearing LED bracelets that change colour in time with the beat of music: “I look around and I just see amazing, wonderful people from all over the place and that’s what makes Glastonbury the greatest city on Earth”.

During their set, which featured lasers, fireworks a plenty and hit songs like The Scientist, Clocks, Viva La Vida and their Chainsmokers collaboration Something Just Like This, one of the T-shirts Martin wore featured the slogan ‘Everyone is an alien somewhere’.

An audience member silhouetted against red smoke
Fireworks go off as Coldplay perform (Yui Mok/PA)

The band were also joined by on stage by Little Simz, just hours after her debut headline set, with a cameo from Burna Boy, to debut a new song, reportedly called We Pray, from their upcoming album Moon Music.

Moon Music will be their first album since 2021’s Music Of The Spheres, and will continue their environmental focus with the band announcing earlier this month that it will be released on vinyl made from recycled plastic bottles.

Palestinian-Chilean singer-songwriter Elyanna also joined them for the song.

Nigerian music legend Femi Kuti, who earlier had performed on the Pyramid Stage, then joined for a rendition of the song Arabesque, with Elyanna also singing.

Also on the menu was My Universe which the band recorded with K-pop boy band BTS. The song was co-written by the groups and produced by Swedish songwriter and producer Max Martin, who has worked with acts including Britney Spears and Taylor Swift

Recorded with the seven-member boy band, it features lyrics sung in both English and Korean, which Martin performed on Saturday night.

As the band made their way to a platform in the middle of the field, a voiceover of Louis Armstrong, talking about his song What A Wonderful World, was played.

Martin thanked all of the crews and festival staff, before telling the audience: “Most of all thank you to all of you for the effort it takes to come to a big festival, to camp and to go through the lines and the weather and the everything, the ticket fiascos, everything…”

He added: “It’s just amazing to see, and especially at such, what could be perceived to be a very divided time on Earth, thank you for giving us and me restored faith that most humans can gather together very peacefully with all different flags, all different colours, all different genders, sexualities, ages, everything, and just sing and have a good time and ice-cream, there’s no fighting, there’s nothing like that, so thank you for being inspiring to us and hopefully we’re sending this out into the world all together as a beacon of togetherness in a time when it might seem like that’s impossible, you just proved that it is, so that’s amazing.”

During the show, Martin also asked audiences to put away their phones for a second take of their song A Sky Full of Stars.

He also got the cameras to zoom in on audience members, with it also doing a close-up of Glastonbury founder Sir Michael Eavis.

The Coldplay frontman made up a small song, telling Sir Michael: “We just want to thank you, as humans go you’re the best of all sorts, you’re a musical charmer, you’re the world’s greatest farmer. Whoever got knighted wearing shorts? Thank you Michael, we love you.”

Glastonbury Festival 2024
A festivalgoer wearing a Pyramid Stage Coldplay hat at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset (Yui Mok/PA)

Back To The Future star Michael J Fox was brought on to the stage in a wheelchair and played the guitar for the song Fix You alongside the band.

The activist and former Hollywood actor, 63, was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease a year after Back To The Future Part III was released in 1990.

He announced his retirement from on-screen work in 2020, and in 2023 starred in the Apple+ documentary Still: A Michael J Fox Movie, exploring how Parkinson’s impacted his life.

He has previously played on stage with Coldplay.

Coldplay’s performance follows a busy Saturday line-up on the Pyramid Stage which has seen performances from Little Simz, Michael Kiwanuka, Keane, Cyndi Lauper and more.

British rapper Little Simz performed tracks from her Mercury Prize-winning album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert and her latest studio record No Thank You, as she made her Pyramid Stage debut on Saturday.

Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa headlined on Friday night (Yui Mok/PA)

During Lauper’s set earlier in the day she opened with her 1980s track The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough, going on to play hits like Time After Time, Money Changes Everything, True Colours and I Drove All Night.

Indie rockers Kasabian, who headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2014, performed on the Woodsies Stage, formerly known as the John Peel Stage, following days of speculation they were the “secret show” listed as TBA on the stage line-up.

Other performances on Saturday also included actor Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party on the Acoustic Stage.

Pop star Dua Lipa was the headline act on the stage on Friday night, and on Sunday night American singer-songwriter SZA will headline.

Celebrities photographed enjoying the music through the weekend include actress Anya Taylor-Joy, Oasis star Noel Gallagher and more.