Video of Greta Thunberg dancing to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' takes internet by storm

Greta Thunberg 'Rickrolls' audience at Climate Live concert (Image via RickAstley/YouTube, Reuters)
Greta Thunberg 'Rickrolls' audience at Climate Live concert (Image via RickAstley/YouTube, Reuters)

On Saturday, October 16, Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg 'rickrolled' the audience at a Climate Live concert. The 18-year-old sang and danced to Rick Astley's iconic song "Never Going to Give You Up," which has been an Internet anthem since 2007.

To the uninitiated, 'Rickrolling' is a term that refers to an Internet meme of sending an unsuspecting user the music video of Rick Astley's famed song. The video is sent without any context and is usually a link or embedded in an existing video. Rickrolling has held its pop-cultural relevance since the origin of the trend 14 years ago.

Greta Thunberg addressed the crowd at the Climate Live concert, a series of international concerts scheduled in over 40 countries to educate people on the climate crisis.


After her profound speech, Thunberg uttered the opening lyric to the famed song of Rick Astley:

"We're no strangers to love…"

She was also joined by another activist who followed her opening with:

"You know the rules and so do I."

Following this, the song's instrumental track started blasting via the speaker, and Greta Thunberg broke out dancing and singing to the music.

Watch Greta's full dance video here.

Here's how Twitter reacted to Greta Thunberg's performance of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up"

While some Twitter users labeled the performance as 'cringe,' others praised Greta and claimed the video was 'funny.'

Singer Rick Astley, whose name has been synonymous with 'Rickrolling,' also shared the video on his Twitter and thanked Greta. She replied to the tweet with heart emotes.

The Climate Live concert is not the first time Greta has 'rickrolled' the internet. On April 1, she shared a link to the video on her Twitter to celebrate 'April Fool's Day.'

How Greta Thunberg's performance is bringing attention towards a greater cause?

On the surface, the viral video featuring Greta's dance may seem juvenile fun which brings attention to the ever-popular trend. However, the coverage of her performance brings more spotlight to Climate Live.


The series of events want to educate the younger generation ahead of COP26 in November. At the upcoming 26th Conference of the Parties, nations will meet to discuss and re-pledge their environmental efforts.

This is especially crucial as both the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have reported that the planet is warming up faster than predicted. Due to the following reasons, Climate Live has launched a petition where they demand the COP 26 nations to:

  • To Stop fossil fuels and build 100% renewable energy.
  • Genuinely protect forests, oceans, and nature, and more.

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