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tent city


The Glastonbury Festival rain made its traditional appearance this afternoon, with fans wearing wellies and ponchos when a shower hit the tent city.

However, a good forecast is expected for the rest of the hotly-anticipated weekend.

Meanwhile aerial photographs show the sprawling site of the world-famous music festival, where the rain has stayed away so far for the thousands of fans attending.

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

The site was due to open at 8 a.m. 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 tomorrow – 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 Mick Jagger even staying in Somerset to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. Hundreds of festival-goers proved they had the moves like Mick Jagger by taking part in a Jumping Jack Flashmob at Glastonbury.

The Jagger Off, arranged by two Rolling Stones fans to celebrate the band’s first appearance at the festival, saw crowds of people mimic Mick Jagger’s trademark dance moves.

It was held near the Pyramid Stage, where the band will perform their headline set on Saturday night, under the watchful eye of a giant metal phoenix that is perching on top of the structure this year.

A sound system played classic Rolling Stones songs including Brown Sugar and Start It Up to about 400 fans.

Organizer James Duke-Evans, 33, from south London, said: “It’s gone fantastically well.

“When it got dreamed up late at night we thought it would be funny if 100 people turned up, but 3,500 joined the Facebook group in the end.

“People like to get involved in something that’s not scripted and programmed. I’ve been told some people were looking forward to this more than the festival itself. And quite frankly – do you really want to live in a world where things like this don’t happen?”

Mick Jagger is expected to be on the festival site over the weekend, and is staying nearby with his family.

There is a chance he might even stumble upon the second “Jagger Off”, at the silent disco held in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“I would imagine it’s on Jagger’s radar. I don’t think he can avoid it,” said James Duke-Evans.

Glastonbury aerial photographs show the sprawling site of the world-famous music festival

Glastonbury aerial photographs show the sprawling site of the world-famous music festival

“It’s a tribute to him. We’ve watched him for years and I hope he’ll be able to watch us if he sees the footage from today.”

Many of those performing the moves, which including the “finger waggle” and “squeezing through a narrow doorway”, wore Mick Jagger masks as a tribute to their musical hero.

Some 135,000 ticket holders have been making their way on to the site at Worthy Farm, Somerset, since the festival flung open its doors yesterday morning. Campsites have been filling up quickly as music fans rushed to pitch their tents in the best spots.

They are set to be joined by celebrities, said to include Wayne and Colleen Rooney and Kate Moss, over the coming days. The main acts play from tomorrow, with other headline acts including The Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons.

Police are hailing a successful start to the event, with crimes down from the last Glastonbury Festival in 2011.

In the first day, 40 crimes were reported, 22 of which were thefts, mostly from tents, and police made a total of 24 arrests, many of them over drugs.

There have been 24 drug-related offences but some of those involved were dealt with by way of a caution instead of arrest, Inspector Shirley Eden said.
Their first arrest of the festival was a person who tried to smuggle drugs into the site in a packet of fruit pastilles.

A police officer’s suspicion was raised by the fact the sweets had been hidden in a sock.

“It looked like a bag of sweets but it turned out the sweets had been taken out and replaced with drugs,” said the officer.

There is a team of 600 police officers on site, working in three shifts, and plans for the policing operation have been under way since the end of the last festival.

Inspector Shirley Eden said: “For there to have been 40 crimes so far at a festival of this size is pretty good.

“I work in Bath in my day job and would say the populations are roughly equivalent. The number of crimes you would expect in Bath in a 24-hour period is on a par with what we’ve had here. Our message to people is to protect their property and put it in the free lock ups.

“We’ve had officers in plain clothes on site who’ve seen people sleeping, with their mobile phones clearly on display next to them.

“I know people want to relax and chill but they need to look after their stuff. The majority of people here are not criminals and are not looking to steal, but there’s always going to be some crime.”

There have also been arrests for drink driving and theft from a motor vehicle, police said.

Liam Gallagher, rumored to be playing a set with his band Beady Eye, could be seen arriving at Castle Cary – the nearest railway station – by train yesterday morning.

James Wilby, forecaster with Meteogroup, said: “You always expect there to be a deluge when it’s Glastonbury but luckily that doesn’t seem the case.

“There’s a fair bit of cloud around but it’s starting to brighten up, with temperatures up to 20C yesterday. It’s pretty pleasant and will stay dry.

“This morning will be dry and bright but there’s a chance of rain in the afternoon, with a damp end to the day. It will be more typical of the conditions you’d expect at a festival. It could potentially get a bit muddy, but there will only be a millimetre or two of rain.”

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), James Wilby said.

Forecaster Tony Gray from the Met Office said: “On Friday there’s a chance of light rain first thing in the morning, but then it should be cloudy. Saturday you’ve got a chance of some sunny intervals after lunchtime and high temperatures reaching 19C.

“Sunday much the same – a bit overcast, but sunny intervals for the afternoon and evening, highest temperature 19C. Monday it’s basically overcast until 10am, followed by cloudy conditions.”

Glastonbury organizer 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.

Michael 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.

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 Glastonbury Festival is also offering some more unusual acts alongside the chart toppers – with 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.

The unlikely combination of shorts and wellies was the order of the day as temperatures rose during the afternoon, with ice cream vans and bars alike enjoying a roaring trade.

Many chose to enjoy the sun while sitting at the stone circle, overlooking the whole site, while others were still pouring in through the entrances.

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