Sun shines on Glastonbury

Fears of another mudfest, a headlining hip-hop act, and slow ticket sales fail to dampen the Somerset festival. Andrew Johnson reports
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The Independent Culture

Thousands of Glastonbury revellers enjoyed the rare treat of blue skies yesterday and swapped Wellies and brollies for T-shirts and shorts.

Many feared the worst on Friday when a summer downpour brought the mud which has blighted the festival for the past three years, and which organisers blamed for slow ticket sales.

A handful of tickets were still available yesterday, the first time in several years the 900-acre festival – Europe's biggest greenfield site – has not sold out.

Michael Eavis, who organises the event on his farm in Pilton, Somerset, had implied that this year was a make or break for the festival, which has ridden a wave of bad luck in recent months, from the death of co-founder Arabella Churchill to the loss of festival highlight Lost Vagueness.

"There's a lot at stake," he said. "We really do need a good year."

Last night, all eyes turned to US rapper Jay-Z, whose appearance led to criticism that a hip-hop act was out of place and was also blamed for slow ticket sales.