A heart-warming encounter between a Lutonian and Coldplay’s Chris Martin at Radio 1’s Big Weekend has captured global attention, putting the town back in the spotlight.

Saundra Glenn, a 64-year-old with mobility issues, got the surprise of a lifetime when Coldplay frontman Chris Martin offered her a lift at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Saundra, who has osteoarthritis, was heading to the festival when she had to stop and rest against a fence. Suddenly, a black Mercedes pulled up beside her, and a woman inside said, “Can we give you a lift?”

“The door opened and I said, ‘oh that’s Chris Martin, I can’t get in with him’ and he said ‘yes you can’,” Saundra recalled. Despite considering going home and watching the performance on TV, she knew she couldn’t pass up the chance to see Coldplay in her hometown.

chris martin on stage at big weekend luton

During the journey, Saundra asked about a local campaign to change the lyrics of “Yellow” to “Orange” in honour of Luton Town FC. Chris said he had seen the campaign and promised her a surprise. That evening, Coldplay unveiled a new song called “Orange,” written by Chris as a tribute to Luton and our football club.

Saundra’s incredible story quickly went viral, reaching news outlets in countries as far as Argentina, Pakistan, and Singapore.

When asked about putting Luton on the map, Saundra said:

“The whole thing has been surreal!”

“I’ve read my story in far-flung places such as Ecuador and Thailand, and I was interviewed by CNN, People Magazine, Today Show (USA and Australia), and more. I prioritised our regional news for Luton first and foremost. It’s been manic!”

Saundra Glenn, Luton resident

For more of the latest Big Weekend Luton news and content, visit our Big Weekend page. 

About the Author
Laura Redmond

Laura is a passionate supporter of the Step Forward Luton campaign and a Place Activation and Marketing Coordinator. Armed with a journalism degree and unwavering love for her university town, she believes there's more to Luton that meets the eye. From charity work to market management, Laura's professional journey has explored every corner of Luton. When she's not busy being a marketing maven, she's lacing up her walking shoes to explore the town's green spaces or unearthing Luton's hidden foodie gems.