Usually, the start of the Glastonbury Festival is accompanied by torrential downpours leaving revellers sinking in the mud.

This year, though, the start is accompanied by glorious sunshine, blue skies and sweltering heat - it's the weather which has made the government introduce a hosepipe ban next week as a result of droughts in several areas.

The Glastonbury Festival, held outside the ancient Somerset town synomous with the legends of King Arthur, Joseph of Arimethea (Jesus's uncle), and the Holy Grail is the world's largest largest open-air music and performing arts festival.

More thyan 70,000 revellers are expected to arrive at the venue - which is held at Worthy Farm - today and, in total, around 140,000 will attend the festival. The total capacity of the venue is 177,000.

Forecasters have predicted that the glorious weather will continue throughout the festival.

Many of the world's most famous musical acts will take to the several stages dotted around the farm. Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder are to perform at the weekend.

Also performing at the event, which started in 1970, will be Florence And The Machine and Pet Shop Boys.

Hundreds of different acts will perform over the weekend - from rock to jazz, hip-hop, trance and indie and everything in between.

Big screens were also erected at the venue so revellers can watch today's World Cup match between England and Slovenia. In fact, it seems as if most of England watched the game. The nation came to a standstill. The good mood of the revellers would have been heightened by a fine performance by England which got them a derserved 1-0 win, to send them through to the Last 16 of the tournament and Slovenia out.

Glastonbury 2010: Thousands flock to the festival as temperatures soar

By Daily Mail Reporter
23rd June 2010
Daily Mail

Thousands of revellers descended on Glastonbury today as the gates opened on the 40th year of the world-famous music festival.

More than 70,000 music fans are expected to arrive on the 900-acre Worthy Farm in Somerset today thanks to the hot sunshine and predictions of bright weather all weekend.

Forecasters have predicted high temperatures and sunshine for the event, which is a far cry from the torrential downpours normally associated with Glastonbury Festival.

Festival fashion: Playsuits and floral frocks with Hunger wellies are de rigeur at Glastonbury this year. Temperatures are predicted to soar this weekend

Here come the crowds: Thousands pour onto Worthy Farm at Glastonbury Festival after gates opened at 8am this morning

So while the music does not begin until tomorrow, and headline acts will not hit the stage until Friday morning, eager campers have arrived in their thousands to snap up the best camping spots and soak up the atmosphere.

Meteogroup are predicting the weather will reach 21C today, and that the sunshine should hold out over the weekend, when headline acts like Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder take the stage.

Forecaster Aisling Creevey said: 'It's looking really good. It's going to be dry, there will be some gentle south-westerly winds with maximum temperatures up to 21C.

The Pyramid Stage hosts the main acts, but other stages include the Jazz Stage and the Other Stage.

The Pyramid Stage in 1970, at the very first Glastonbury Festival. Revellers paid 1 to get in - and they each got free milk.

'That's a little bit above the average for this time of year.'

But with the chance of cloud cover and a slight risk of a heavy shower over the weekend, campers were arriving on site with their wellies firmly in hand.

Hunter boots, worn by Kate Moss during festival season, have become something of a must-have item at the Somerset event.

Wellie wearers: The forecast is good for the 40th anniversary of the music festival. But canny campers know even a brief shower will turn the festival site into a mud bath

Everything but the kitchen sink: Music fans arrive with tents, gazebos, sleeping bags and all-weather clothing as well as plenty of alcohol as they search for the perfect camping spot

Taking over from patterned fashion wellies, they cost upwards of 65 a pair and suggest the festival has become something of a middle-class affair.

Other de rigeur items for this year's festival appear to be Trilby hats, and another middle-class item - the Barbour jacket, worn by Fearne Cotton at the Isle of Wight festival.

Thirsty work: Despite forecast of warm sunshine supplies for the weekend include wellies, hoodies and sleeping bags as well as shorts and plenty of cider - it is Somerset after all

Fashionistas flock in: Sunnies: check, wellies: check... the rest comes down to personal taste

Hundreds of different acts will perform over the weekend - from rock to jazz, hip-hop, trance and indie and everything in between.

The coveted Pyramid Stage headline slot has an eclectic mix this year.

Gorillaz - the animated, musical project which began life as a spin-off for Blur frontman Damon Albarn - will hope to impress the crowds on Friday after they filled U2's slot.

Mythical Glastonbury

The festival is held in the shadow of Glastobury Tor

The Somerset town of Glastonbury is synonymous with Arthurian legend, the visit of Jesus's uncle and the Holy Grail.

Glastonbury Tor, a 518 feet hill surmounted by the ruins of St Michael's Church, are situated just outside the town. The tor is supposed to have been the location of Avalon and, in 1191, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere's neatly labelled coffins were supposedly found on the hill. The remains of a 5th century fort have been found.

The Tor has also been associated with Gwyn ap Nudd, was first Lord of the Underworld, and later King of the Fairies, in ancient British mythology. The tor is also supposed to be one of the possible locations of the Holy Grail.

Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus Christ, is said to have visited Glastonbury, arriving by boat over the flooded Somerset Levels. On disembarking he stuck his staff into the ground and it flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn. This is the explanation of a hybrid hawthorn tree that only grows within a few miles of Glastonbury, that flowers twice annually, once in spring and again around Christmas time. Every Christmas a sprig of thorn is cut, by the local Anglican vicar and the eldest child from St John's School, and sent to the Queen.

The original Holy Thorn was a centre of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages but was chopped down during the English Civil War in the mid 1600s (the Roundhead soldier who did it was blinded by a flying splinter). A replacement thorn was planted in the early 1950s.

On Saturday, Muse will perform their stadium-pleasing heavy rock, while soul supremo Stevie Wonder closes the festival on Sunday night.

Other performers include Brit Award winners Florence And The Machine and '80s electro stalwarts Pet Shop Boys appearing on the Other Stage.

Carting the essentials: It's a long way from the carparks to the campsites... Revellers make the trip this morning even though the music does not start until tomorrow

An innovative way to cart your supplies: Festival goers cart their belongings on trolleys and in wheelbarrows as they arrive at Worthy Farm in Somerset today

Upcoming acts Ellie Goulding, The xx and The Drums appear on the John Peel Stage - named after the late Radio 1 DJ.

Dance music aficionados can get their fill in the Dance Village - where live performances from N-Dubz and Kelis and DJ sets from Zane Lowe and Simian Mobile Disco are set to please.


The festival has evolved from a place to wear whatever keeps you dry to somewhere to show off your fashion credentials, whatever the weather.

Expect these in abundance:

  • Ray Ban sunglasses
  • Cut-off denim shorts
  • Wellies - either Hunters or Vivienne Westwood's cropped booties
  • Straw trilby
  • Barbour jacket or parka
Comedy, politics and theatre are all on offer too.

All 140,000 tickets to this year's event have been sold and in an attempt to ease traffic flow, which marred the opening of last year's event, the festival organisers opened up the site's car parks last night.

On the opening day of last year's festival, there were tailbacks for miles and hours of delays as almost half of all ticket-holders arrived on the first day.

Avon and Somerset Police said the festival got off to a smooth start but said there were still the huge volumes of traffic filling the narrow country lanes surrounding the village of Pilton.

A spokeswoman said: 'It seems to be running smoothly, the only issue that we've been picking up is the traffic around the area.

'We had 15,000 vehicles on site by 10am, and there was still a lot to come.'

She went on: 'Our advice would be to make sure you bring plenty of food and drink and be prepared for long queues.

'Everyone will get in eventually, it may just be a long wait.'

A spokesman said: 'If the weather is good - which it is expected to be - we expect more to turn up today than last year.

'We opened the car parks on Tuesday night in an attempt to ease the traffic jams we saw last year on the first day.'

In 2005, storms and flash flooding caused havoc at the site, with many festival-goers having to use their tents as makeshift boats to float around waterlogged areas.

In 2007, more rain ensured a similar mudbath, though a new draining system meant a repeat of 2005 was avoided.

Train to the festival: Castle Cary station is packed out as campers descend on the small town

Preparations: Festival-goers on their way to Glastonbury stop off at a shop in nearby Shepton Mallett to empty alcohol into plastic bottles - as glass is banned from the festival

Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 23rd, 2010 at 12:14 PM..