Let the music begin! Thousands pour into Glastonbury two days early to get the best camping spots for the festival
Thousands of revellers camped out overnight in a car park to be among the first in line when the gates opened at the Glastonbury Festival today to get the best camping spots.
Some 180,000 people are expected to attend the five-day music festival, which officially kicks off on Friday, and see more than 2,000 different artists and acts perform, including rock legends The Rolling Stones.
Unlike the washout 2011 event, the weather looks set to be good for the revellers – but festival veterans know better than to turn up without wellies.
Even light rain could turn some of the 900-acre site into a muddy quagmire, meaning many people err on the side of caution.
A MET office spokesperson said: “There’s about a 60 per cent chance of light rain on Thursday afternoon, but from then on it’ll be plain sailing.
“From Friday to Sunday we’re expecting it to be dry, a little cloudy, with top temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius.”
Whatever the weather, it is unlikely to put off excited festival-goers who will turn Worthy Farm in Pilton into the south-west’s third largest city after Bristol and Plymouth.
Event organisers are employing around 1,600 staff to look after the event, which is now in its 42nd year.
Thousands of acts from local unsigned bands to the world’s biggest rock stars will be appearing on stage over the five-day festival.
Taking centre stage on the famous Pyramid this year are the Rolling Stones and the Arctic Monkeys, with Dizzee Rascal and fellow rapper Mikill Payne also expected to draw huge crowds.
Lesser known acts will perform on the 100 other stages and performance areas.
Festival organisers are dedicating six per cent of the event’s revenue this year to keeping the place clean and tidy.
The site will have 20,000 rubbish bins colour-coded for recycling, enabling the festival to recycle more 400 tonnes of waste.
This is being co-ordinated by around 200 ‘green police’ who patrol the vast site ensuring people don’t drop litter or urinate in the stream.
A team of 950 people will clean up rubbish every morning and waste tankers will make up to 40 trips each night to the local sewer works, to ensure the 5000 toilets don’t overflow.
The beloved festival was not held last year due to a clash with the London Olympics.
Alcohol was top of the list of essentials for most the revellers who arrived early this morning.
Students Bobbie Darrock, 18, and Phoebe Beckett, 18, from Wadebridge in Cornwall arrived together for their first experience of Glastonbury.
Phoebe said: “It’s our first time and we’re so excited. It wasn’t on last year, and we’re 18 now, so we wanted to give it a go before we head off to University.
“I’m most excited about seeing the Rolling Stones, because they’re music legends.
“We don’t think we’ve got enough stuff to last the weekend, but we’ve given it a good go.
“We’ve got 24 cans of cider each and a litre bottle of vodka.
“Bobbie and I are single, but we’re not on the lookout for any lucky fellas.
“We’re just here to have a good time and maybe meet some nice people – Glastonbury really isn’t the place to find love, I think.”
PR consultants Cathy Donald, 25, and Victoria Marnoch, 28, left London at 5am to secure the best camping spots for their first trip to Glastonbury.
Victoria said: “We’re probably most excited to see the Rolling Stones, just because you don’t have to pay £500 for a ticket.
“Our survival kit includes wellies and waterproofs, as well as dry hair shampoo and blow-up beds.
“Of course, we’ve brought a fair bit of vodka and cider with us – to keep it simple. But we didn’t bring that much, because we didn’t want to have to carry it all.
“We’re part of a group of 20 or so, so we’ll have our own little camping area, which will be great.
“I hope the weather holds off.”
TV production assistant Alex Warman, 25, is attending the festival with pals Dot Fouracre, Vicky Armstrong, and Bella North, all 25.
Londoner Alex said: “This is my third time – it just keeps getting better and better.
“I can’t wait to see The Vaccines and the Stones.
“The most essential thing I’ve brought, apart from alcohol, are baby wipes. Oh my god, they’re so incredible.
“I’ve also brought a good few crates of Strongbow, and some gin and wine. We like to mix it up a bit.”