Rain-hardy revellers, with Hunter wellies, colourful hats, slick waterproofs and a constitution primed for four sleepless nights, began to arrive yesterday at Worthy Farm, Somerset, for the annual Glastonbury festival. And it promises to be a damper affair than the sky-high temperatures that scorched festival-goers last year.
Organisers tried to reassure the first of 170,000 expected fans at the 900-acre site that "things are looking good in Pilton" with "dry, green grass and sunshine". But forecasters were predicting "heavy downpours in the afternoon, with blustery winds and even a crack of thunder" for at least the beginning of the weekend, with the promise of bluer skies as the festival gathers steam.
Music fans have paid up to £195 to see headliners U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé, with other acts including Elbow, Tinie Tempah, Queens of the Stone Age and Morrissey. The event has 60 official stages with about 2,200 performers listed. In the spirit of the counter-culture in which the event was founded, Art Uncut aims to highlight "the very real impact of U2's tax avoidance on hospitals and schools in Ireland".