Glastonbury braced for more festival storms

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The Independent Culture

Glastonbury revellers are bracing themselves for more torrential thunderstorms after the threatened deluge struck the Somerset music festival site on Thursday night.

The rain arrived at 7pm in short, heavy bursts that failed to stop revellers enjoying the event's first day of music. But the downpour came in earnest after 8pm, with lightning, thunder and sheets of rain sparking fears that the 900-acre Somerset site could become a mudbath.

Campers donned wellies, ducked for cover and consoled themselves with forecasts of better weather from tomorrow afternoon.

Festival goer David Harris, 27, a website producer from Oxford said last night: "The weather has been sunny and rainy on and off throughout the early evening. So we've got used to it and are just concentrating on enjoying the bands.

"People are coming out when the sun does and taking cover when it gets wet. The rain certainly hasn't stopped us enjoying ourselves even though it was torrential rain with thunder and lightning for about half and hour this evening."

Avon and Somerset police said 54 people were arrested in the first 36 hours of the festival - an improved strike rate on last year.

Most of the arrests were for drug possession and a handful for theft.

The rate of tent thefts in particular has already "decreased significantly", officers said. This time last year 115 had been reported compared to just 48 today.

Earlier in the day police stopped and searched a van on route onto the Glastonbury Site. Seven people were discovered in the back of the vehicle and two arrested for drugs offences.

Sgt Kerry Williams said: "In the last 36 hours we have arrested more people than in previous years and this proves to be a great result. Working in conjunction with festival security we have managed to detect more crime."