The best surprise guests performances at concerts and festivals since live music returned

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


The best surprise guests performances at concerts and festivals since live music returned

Photo: @BeatlesEarth

The five most surprising surprise guests at concerts and festivals, revealed.

Sometimes fans and music lovers just get more than their money’s worth when multiple superstars team up on stage at festivals and concerts.

Just last week, the legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell stunned the crowds at the Newport Folk Festival with a surprise guest appearance, alongside Brandi Carlile.

It was Mitchell’s first full live performance in over 20 years and many audience attendees were reduced to tears. The surprise performance was made even more special by the fact that Mitchell had suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015, and has since claimed she had to re-learn some of her classic tracks in the seven years that have passed.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

With this incredible and surprising performance in mind, the team at Betway has revealed five secret guest appearances at concerts and festivals since live music returned in 2021 that have received the most views on YouTube – and made the audience lose it in the process.

Lily Allen with Olivia Rodrigo at Glastonbury 2022

Last June’s Glastonbury Festival happened to take place on the same week that the Roe v. Wade was overturned in the USA, effectively allowing states to ban abortion.

Displeasure over the controversial political decision was voiced by several artists at Glastonbury, including up and coming popstar, Olivia Rodrigo.

To support her protest, Olivia Rodrigo introduced Lily Allen to the stage for a surprise performance of Allen’s track ‘F*** You’.

Iconic. We’re positive the video does absolutely no justice to how bloody loud the crowd was that day.

In just one month, this performance has gained 3.5 million views on YouTube and counting.

Joni Mitchell with Brandi Carlile at Newport Folk 2022

In just a matter of a week, this special surprise performance of ‘Both Sides Now’ between the legendary Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile at Newport Folk festival tallied up close to 3.3 million views.

After recovering from a brain aneurysm in 2015, this was one of Mitchell’s first public appearances in that time, and her first full set in an astonishing 20 years.

The audience at the Newport Folk Festival 2022 were truly treated as Carlile and Mitchell performed more iconic songs including ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and ‘A Case of You’. During the 13-song set, Mitchell also performed the guitar solo from ‘Just Like This Train’.

The surprise performance included even more special guest appearances including the band Lucius and Mumford & Sons frontman, Marcus Mumford.

Mitchell’s last full live show was at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on 13 November 2002. She last appeared at the Newport folk festival in 1969 on the same bill as Arlo Guthrie and the Everly Brothers.

For any music fan, this is easily one of the most incredible, beautiful, moving things ever seen.

Gwen Stefani with Blake Shelton in Omaha, NE 2021

Country music star, Blake Shelton’s concert in Omaha, Nebraska in August 2021 was one of his first live shows since the pandemic.

He marked the occasion with a surprise appearance from his newly wedded wife, Gwen Stefani. Stunning the Omaha locals with a duet of Stefani’s iconic ‘Don’t Speak’ from her days as the frontwoman of No Doubt.

In just under a year, the performance has earned over 2.2 million views on YouTube.

Johnny Depp with Jeff Beck in London 2022

In May 2022, Hollywood actor Johnny Depp was nearing the outcome of a highly publicised court case between himself and ex-partner Amber Heard. Surprisingly, Depp also utilised this time to embark on a tour of the UK with his friend and musician Jeff Beck.

Depp was introduced as a special guest on various dates of Jeff Beck’s UK tour – one such appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in London totalled up of 2 million views on YouTube in just over two months.

Despite being famous for his acting credentials, Depp is decorated guitarist and vocalist, performing eight tracks alongside Jeff Beck in London, including a cover of ‘Isolation’ by John Lennon.

Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl with Paul McCartney at Glastonbury 2022

This year’s belated 50th anniversary special of Glastonbury was always going special, especially as the Saturday night was headlined by Beatles legend, Paul McCartney.

If the Glastonbury crowds weren’t already being treated enough by McCartney’s 38-song long setlist (seriously, what a man), the Beatles icon had a few more tricks up his sleeves in the shape of not one but two legendary rock stars, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.

Grohl joined McCartney for renditions of “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Band on the Run,” while Springsteen, 72, rocked on “I Wanna Be Your Man” and his own “Glory Days.” The two guests then re-joined the band for the finale on Abbey Road’s finale The End, trading solos with McCartney and his guitar players Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson, all five men having an absolute blast.

However, the rendition of the Wings hit ‘Band on the Run’ with Foo Fighters frontman, Grohl proved to be the most popular of the night – racking up 1.5 million views in the space of a month. This performance marked the Grohl’s first concert since the death of his longtime friend and Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins in March.

There’s truly no greater person to be able to help Dave Grohl through his loss than Paul McCartney.

Statistics courtesy of Betway