Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Wait is over for Glastonbury fans

Thousands are expected to descend upon Pilton, Somerset, for this year's Glastonbury festival
Organiser Michael Eavis says the warm and mostly dry forecast, unlike some previous years, means this year's Glastonbury will be 'unusually good'

The stages are built. The cows are safely hidden away. And the wait is finally over for Glastonbury festival goers.

Thousands of people, laden down with rucksacks, tents and crates of beer, have started arriving at Britain's biggest music festival. With gates opening at 8am, many music fans chose to sleep in their cars at the site in Somerset overnight, giving them the best chance at securing their favourite camping spot.

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.

But that does not matter to those setting up camp, with many of the 135,000 ticket holders expected to turn up on Wednesday.

The weather is expected to be warm and mostly dry, quashing fears of another Worthy Farm washout. 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. Eavis has even said that, 43 years since the first Glastonbury, they have finally found "the perfect loo".

To mark the resurrection of the festival after a year off, a giant phoenix has been installed on top of the Pyramid stage, designed by Joe Rush, who was behind many of the mechanical vehicles and props used at the Paralympics closing ceremony. Indeed one of them - a steamship on which singer Rihanna performed - can be found at the festival this year.

Tickets for this year's festival, which cost £205 each, sold out in a record one hour and 40 minutes. Other highlights fans can expect are appearances from Primal Scream, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Smashing Pumpkins, Elvis Costello, The xx, Public Enemy, Professor Green and Dizzee Rascal.

As ever, the festival is also offering some more unusual acts alongside the chart toppers - with Sir Bruce Forsyth playing on the Avalon Stage on Sunday, country star Kenny Rogers taking to the Pyramid Stage the same day, and the Dalai Lama's Tibetan monks also making an appearance.

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