Glastonbury Festival 2023: Arctic Monkeys play career-spanning headline set as Alex Turner bounces back to health

Arctic Monkeys performed a career-spanning set at Glastonbury Festival today (June 23) as Alex Turner made it to the stage just days after illness threatened to cancel their headline slot.

Earlier this week, the band announced the cancellation of their Dublin show that was scheduled for Tuesday after Turner, who had been suffering from an acute case of laryngitis, was instructed to rest, leaving their return to Worthy Farm up in the air.

Emily Eavis then shared that she was confident Arctic Monkeys would play Glastonbury, but that they “have a couple of back-up plans”.


Today, though, the news everyone was hoping for was confirmed: Arctic Monkeys’ headline set would go ahead.

Alex Turner at Glastonbury – CREDIT: Andy Ford for NME

Turner and his well-rested pipes were on strong form throughout the set – for which he donned his trademark suit and shades – which saw the Sheffield indie rockers kick off with ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes’.

Other tracks given a Worthy Farm outing included ‘Cornerstone’, ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’, ‘Arabella’, ‘Mardy Bum’, ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’, ‘505’ and many more.

Arctic Monkeys at Glastonbury – CREDIT: Andy Ford for NME

“The Monkeys are back on the farm!” Turner proclaimed to the huge crowd.


Today marked the band’s third time headlining Glastonbury, with their previous performances taking place back in 2007 and 2013.

‘Body Paint’ from newest album ‘The Car‘ saw Turner and co. deliver a wildly electric faux set closer with an extended outro, before the band returned for an encore of ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘R U Mine?’.

Arctic Monkeys
Alex Turner at Glastonbury – CREDIT: Andy Ford/NME

Fans reacted enthusiastically to the band’s headline performance, while others were more divided on Turner’s distinctive style of showmanship. One Twitter user shared: “Arctic Monkeys are the best band on the planet. No debates. Bye”.

Revisit NME‘s liveblog of all the action from Arctic Monkeys’ set as it happened, and check out clips along with the full set list below.

Arctic Monkeys played:

1. ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes’
2. ‘Brianstorm’
3. ‘Snap Out of It’
4. ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’
5. ‘Crying Lightning’
6. ‘Teddy Picker’
6. ‘Cornerstone’ 
8. ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’
9. ‘Arabella’
10. ‘Four Out of Five’
11. ‘Pretty Visitors’
12. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’
13. ‘Perfect Sense’
14. ‘Do I Wanna Know?’
15. ‘Mardy Bum’
16. ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’
17. ‘505’
18. ‘Body Paint’
19. ‘I Wanna Be Yours’
20. ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’
21. ‘R U Mine?’

Check out all the latest from Glastonbury 2023 on the NME liveblog here, and see more news, reviews, photos, interviews and more here.