Saturday, June 23, 2007

Glastonbury Festival, your name is mud for another year

23rd June 2007

Thousands of festival-goers were today facing the prospect of a second day of muddy mayhem at Glastonbury.

Revellers raved through the night despite torrential downpours which left the 1,000-acre Worthy Farm site a quagmire.

Last night Arctic Monkeys, making their festival debut, headlined the Pyramid Stage with a blistering performance in front of more than 100,000 people.

Rain-soaked festival-goers were given a glimmer of hope by forecasters, who predicted conditions would dry up by this afternoon..


The morning after the night before at the main stage


Friday headliners The Arctic Monkeys work up a sweat


Mudplay: Revellers Hatty Murray and Lindsey Rose take the plunge


Riding high: Lindsey Rose sits it out on Hatty's back


Method in their mudness? Kate Eager (left) joins the girls

Fans were refusing to let bad conditions ruin their fun, as they partied in the mud. Long queues formed outside stalls selling Wellington boots and anoraks, as 140,000 people tried their best to forget the rain.

Outdoor shop Millets are preparing an emergency tent drop after stores at the site sold out as revellers realised their own were unable to withstand the muddy deluge.

An articulated lorry filled carrying 4,500 tents and an extra 8,000 tent pegs will leave Millets' Northampton depot at first light to make the 148 mile journey down to Shepton Mallet.



Kate Moss looks shocked... surely it's not the weather she's surprised about


Kasabian take in the applause


Rock chick: Amy Winehouse thrills fans on stage at the festival


Land ahoy: Some needed a helping hand to get around


Peachy keen: Geldof teams wellies with short shorts at the festival

Millets spokeswomen at Glastonbury said: "The problems occur because so many people do not practice putting up a tent before they get to Glastonbury. Loads of people borrow tentsor use an old tent which has meant essential elements such as the poles are missing."

Some people even cheered as the heavens opened on the first day, while many bravely faced the conditions - bare chested.

Forecaster John Hutchinson at MeteoGroup UK said further showers are expected today but the sun could break through.

"We're not talking about beautiful clear blue skies but there will be some sunny spells," he said.


Giving her Wellies the boot, a Glasto-goer steps out in the mud


Ears to you: Glastonbury brings out the animal in all of us


Water show: Dancing queens at Glastonbury


Bjork celebrates her first show at Glastonbury

US indie kings The Killers, Paul Weller and Iggy and the Stooges will attract huge crowds this evening.

Organiser Michael Eavis said he would be watching American solo artist John Fogerty before rushing across to the Pyramid Stage to see The Killers.

Avon and Somerset police said crime remained similar to 2005 levels, with 71 people arrested by yesterday morning.

Thomas Buchan, a 24-year-old barman from Bristol, said: "It is difficult to beat the first day, but a little less mud might just do it."


Damp: already the grounds are beginning to look muddy, and it's only just begun


The site: campers have taken over Glastonbury


The rain seems to be dampening the spirits of Stella McCartney and husband Alasdhair Willis

Dave, 23, a student from Bournemouth, entertains one group by running down a hill then hurling himself onto the mud in his pants.

There is, it seems, a sort of bizarre pleasure in the weather, as Peter Stone, 24, a painfully thin man with massive hair tells me, "Unless it rains - we don't really enjoy it."

The Glastonbury crowd are an eclectic bunch. There are hand-holding middle aged couples with neat hair, anoraks and hiking boots; very stoned Nu Age types in top-to-toe tye dye and tattoos.

Then there are the posh students - arguing loudly and ostentatiously about how much weed they smoked last night before passing out.


Fiddler on the stage: Gogol Bordello impressed the audience with their kooky show

And festival fashion? The standard uniform is a combination of wellies, cowboy hats, jeans/flirty skirts/leggings, cleavage (if available) and a can of lager.

But some have made some bigger decisions - not all suited to a British monsoon.


Flaming June? Tens of thousands of revellers soak up the atmosphere

Everything from tutus to go-go girl outfits, three-piece suits, top hats and even five big fat Smurfs - naked but for a couple of litres of blue body paint and a pair of small white briefs, which look suspiciously padded out.

To be fair, the weather isn't anyone's fault and there are thousands of helpful staff. But while the entrance - where we're given programmes, special black bracelets, maps and bin bags (which all fall immediately in the mud) - is beautifully organised, the tepee village (an hour's muddy hike from the car park) is less so.

"Oh sorry," says the tepee manager, "I think we must have given yours away by accident. But there's another tepee place on the other side of the park."


Beers and cheers: the fans take their position in the pit