Cyndi Lauper calls for reproductive rights to be respected at Glastonbury

Cyndi Lauper called for women’s reproductive rights to be respected and launched a new organisation at the Glastonbury Festival.

The Saturday edition of the event at Worthy Farm also marks Coldplay’s first Pyramid Stage appearance since 2016, and will see them overtake The Cure, who have headlined the slot four times.

Frontman Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman will follow pop superstar Dua Lipa, who headlined the festival on Friday.

Lauper, who is set for what is “billed” as a farewell tour in the UK next year, wore a jacket with a blue train, a silver bodice and silver pants on the Pyramid Stage.

Cyndi Lauper leaning on a microphone stand while on stage at Glastonbury
Cyndi Lauper championed women’s reproductive rights at Glastonbury (Yui Mok/PA)

She opened with her 1980s track The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough while dealing with mic issues. But the technical problems appeared to be improving when she performed her biggest hits Time After Time, Money Changes Everything, True Colours and I Drove All Night.

At one point when she faltered, Lauper said it is a “little crazy” and we have “got a hole over here”, while appearing to be frustrated with the sound and staging.

During her performance of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Lauper’s audio improved and she made reference to feminist marches, that in 2017 saw US women wear lots of pink “Pussyhats”.

To cheers, Lauper told the crowd: “I was watching TV and I saw all these women all over the world marching, with some pink hats and… my friend called me up and said ‘to get the hell out there (Cyndi)’ so I did, I went out and I saw the signs that said Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights, that’s right.”

She added that she was “partnering up” with her Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights Fund on Saturday, which “funds organisations all around the world to help young women, older women, women (who want) reproductive rights, autonomy over their own bodies”.

Lauper also highlighted the maternal health organisation White Ribbon Alliance, which she said was at the front, before saying: “It is time that the world leaders understand that women are half the population of the world and we deserve to be treated equally, no matter where we’re from or what we look like.”

She also made several references to the UK, including mentioning the West End production of Kinky Boots ahead of My Father’s Son and her Change Of Heart music video that saw her dancing in London’s Leicester Square.

Indie rockers Kasabian, who headlined on 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.

At the Other Stage, large crowds watched as The Last Dinner Party lead singer Abigail Morris, wearing a long floaty white dress, addressed them about the General Election and Barclays suspending its sponsorship of Live Nation festivals.

She reminded festival goers and those watching at home that the UK is going to the polls next week, before adding: “I think we all know who we are voting for but it doesn’t end with the Tories being kicked out.

“So it really is up to us, the people, to make the change.

“So keep going to protests, keep signing the petitions that will be debated in government.

“Keep boycotting the right things, we’ve seen it’s worked. Barclays pulled out.”

The Pyramid Stage kicked off earlier in the day with musician Femi Kuti before seeing fellow Nigerian musician Ayra Starr deliver a triumphant Afrobeat performance, featuring plenty of crowd work.

Also on the Pyramid Stage was indie band Keane, with the band’s frontman Tom Chaplin telling the PA news agency they would be keeping their set “quite simple”, but would also play hits from their debut studio album Hopes And Fears, which turned 20 this year.

Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley and Tom Chaplin speaking to the media at Glastonbury Festival
Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley and Tom Chaplin at Glastonbury Festival (Tom Leese/PA)

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

Crowe revealed during his set that he has a letter from late country star Johnny Cash which he keeps in a room with “sparkly” things in.

The letter from Cash mentions he loved watching a movie the actor was in and appreciated his work, according to Crowe.

“I reckon this is the song Johnny Cash wants to be his next single,” he told the crowd at Worthy Farm before playing a high-energy tune.

Soul musician Michael Kiwanuka told the gathered crowd that he was having his “worst nightmare” amid technical issues during his set on the Pyramid Stage.

The British singer-songwriter, 37, appeared to struggle while performing Solid Ground and took breaks before abandoning the track, also telling festival goers to “hold on” before adding “sorry, this is out of tune”, referring to his keyboard.

“I’m sorry, like this is my worst nightmare,” Kiwanuka said as crowds cheered him on.

On Sunday, American R&B singer SZA will headline the festival, with country music star Shania Twain to play the coveted Legends slot.