SZA appears to respond to divisive reaction to Glastonbury set

SZA has responded to a divisive reaction to her Glastonbury set in a new post on X/Twitter.

The R&B singer, 34, opened to an unusually sparse crowd for a festival headliner on Sunday (30 June), amid major set clashes and sound issues.

Closing the festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, the Grammy-nominated musician, followed headline sets from Dua Lipa and Coldplay on Friday and Saturday.

Her Glastonbury debut clashed with other big artists on the lineup, including Justice on the West Holts stage, James Blake on Woodsies, London Grammar on Park Stage and The National on Other Stage.

The festival was beset by sound issues which affected SZA’s performance as well as Shania Twain and Cyndi Lauper. Attendees criticised “dangerous” staging mishaps as they were frustrated by overcrowding at smaller stages during performances by Sugababes and Avril Lavigne, while the “Love Galore” singer had notably large gaps in her audience.

SZA, whose real name is Solána Imani Rowe, posted on X/Twitter shortly after the end of her performance as she wrote, “The bravery required to be alive in public is remarkable. S/o everybody doing that s***”.

Fans flocked to share their support for the musician after she received criticism for her performance as they wrote, “Don’t ever let it get to you. Remember YOU ARE A HEADLINER!!! Most of that crowd were there for you, just the day before you headlined BST one of the most prestigious festivals and the whole crowd were LIVING for you.”

Festivalgoers suspected something had gone awry, as the singer began her set 15 minutes later than expected.

SZA performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
SZA performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

One attendee wrote, “Justice for SZA!! What have Glastonbury done to her mic to make her vocals sound this way, this is excruciating.”


The festival is known for its large crowds, with more than 210,000 people attending this year’s instalment, which has increased by 7,000 since the festival reopened after the pandemic in 2022.

The Independent’s Louis Chilton reported a “surprising number of people” leaving the Worthy farm festival site ahead of SZA’s set, presumably in an attempt to beat traffic.

Some had questioned the decision to make her a headline artist, with many claiming they had never heard of her before she was announced on the line up.

Organisers have been criticised for underestimating what crowds would be drawn by certain pop acts on smaller stages, like hyper-pop act Charli XCX at Levels on Friday night, Sugababes on West Holts stage on a prime-time Saturday slot, and Avril Lavigne on the Other Stage on Sunday.