Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Rain stays away for festival crowd

A tractor owned by Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis will be converted into a 4G wifi hotspot at Worthy Farm in Somerset (EE/PA Wire)
A tractor converted into a 4G wifi hotspot will be driven around the site at Glastonbury (EE/PA Wire)

The rain has stayed away for the thousands of music fans arriving at Glastonbury Festival.

Sunshine even broke through the clouds over Worthy Farm in Somerset as festival-goers trudged miles with rucksacks, tents and sleeping bags to reach the campsites.

The site was due to open at 8am but flung open its doors an hour early to allow the streams of people in, at an estimated rate of 5,000 per hour. Some had even slept out in their cars overnight to be the first in line.

They carried their precious cargo of beer and cider in shopping trolleys, laundry baskets and wheelbarrows as they made their way across the 900-acre site to secure the best camping spots.

The main performances at the event, which had a fallow year in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will not start until Friday - when Arctic Monkeys will top the bill, followed by The Rolling Stones on Saturday night and Mumford & Sons closing the festival on Sunday.

Celebrities including Kate Moss are set to be among the festival goers, with Sir Mick Jagger even staying in Somerset to enjoy the weekend's festivities. Liam Gallagher, rumoured to be playing a set with his band Beady Eye, could be seen arriving at Castle Cary - the nearest railway station - by train.

The 135,000 tickets to this year's festival, which cost £205 each, sold out in a record one hour and 40 minutes.

The weather is expected to be warm and mostly dry, quashing fears of another Worthy Farm washout. James Wilby, forecaster with MeteoGroup - the weather division of the Press Association - said: "You always expect there to be a deluge when it's Glastonbury but luckily that doesn't seem the case." Friday will see spots of drizzle but conditions will improve during the day, with Saturday being dry and sunny. Sunday will be the best day of the festival with temperatures up to 22C (71.6F), Mr Wilby said.

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis said he believes the weather, combined with the line-up, means this year's festival will be "unusually good". "The whole thing is fantastic," the 77-year-old farmer said. "There are 1,000 acres of creativity on a massive scale and to a very, very high standard. You won't see anything else like this in the whole world."

There is even the promise of the best-ever Glastonbury toilets, with a new system that sees waste go straight into the ground, designed to beat the infamous smell. Mr Eavis has even said that, 43 years since the first Glastonbury, they have finally found "the perfect loo".

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