By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Pensioner pop? A grey-haired woman pushes a walking frame through crows of young festival fans at Glastonbury yesterday
If you think music festivals should remain the preserve of the young, look away now.
Undeterred by the mud, rain...and throngs of youngsters, this grey-haired Glastonbury fan pushed what appeared to be a walking frame through the crowds yesterday.
She and thousands more had descended upon the 900-acre site at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, which was churned up by a second morning of torrential rain.
Many were left queuing to buy wellies, umbrellas and waterproof ponchos, but as you might expect from the older generation, this lady looked well kitted out.
Mudbath: Welly-clad music fans put on brave faces despite hundreds of tents flooding and treacherous conditions underfoot
The festival begins in earnest at 11am today when bands take to the main pyramid stage. Up to 170,000 are expected to attend
But although fans seem undeterred by predictions of another downpour tonight, the weather has already caused some problems. On-site medics have treated dozens – many of whom have hurt themselves slipping over in the mud.
But music fans put on brave faces despite hundreds of tents flooding and the treacherous conditions.
Quagmire: A festival-goer carefully walks through a puddle. There'll be a lot more where those came from
Desperate measures: Site workers try to suck mud from the market areas close to the Pyramid Stage in an attempt to dry them before the main event begins
Dare to bare: With conditions this bad, the only solution is...shorts. As small as possible, so there's less to get a soaking. Negotiating tricky patches with aplomb will be the order of the weekend for the best dressed festival goers
Tent city: Aerial view of the Glastonbury Festival taken today. Over the course of a few days Glastonbury becomes the home to thousands of party goers creating a temporary town twice the size of the city of Bath
Glastonbury Festival organisers in tractors have been dumping tonnes of straw and bark onto the ground in a bid to combat the boggy conditions.
A week of wet weather has saturated the 1,100-acre site and turned large areas into a huge bog with mud up to eight inches deep.
In for a penny... Tom Wilder, 17, from Kent, gets into the festival spirit and performs a dramatic slide in the Glastonbury Festival mud
Having far too much fun: Spirits are high despite the deluge. And welly manufacturers must be having a field day too
Baling out: Market traders lay straw down in market areas close to the Pyramid Stage. Ach! is that a speck of mud on my leg? (right) It certainly is.
U2, Morrissey and Biffy Clyro will take to the famed Pyramid Stage tonight as the festival gets into full swing.
Coldplay will headline the main stage on Saturday night and Beyonce on Sunday. Acts appearing on other stages include Chipmunk, Chase And Status and Primal Scream.
Avon and Somerset Police said 36 arrests were made on Wednesday - the opening day - for a variety of offences including possession of drugs, theft and assault.
The half-mud princesses: Flower child Mila from Wales arrives in her floral carriage, aka pushchair, while four-year-old Lyra Warrilow from Rugby enjoys her third Glastonbury dressed as a princess. Spot the handy waterproof all-in-one under that sparkly skirt
A quantity of drugs, some believed to be Class A substances and legal highs, were recovered and taken away for examination.
However, festival organisers just said no to the chance to have the sewage analysed for drugs.
Dr John Ramsey of St George's medical school, University of London, has pioneered a method of detecting even miniscule quantities of legal highs and illicit substances in human waste and was hoping to test his project at Glastonbury.
Those tiger feet: A pride of big cats take the necessary precautions with their paw-wear. But where's the sunshine?
Despite the fact that the scheme had the backing of the police, Glastonbury officials vetoed it, with the festival's founder, Michael Eavis, telling The Guardian: 'The drug culture these days has changed beyond belief. What a cheek to even suggest there's a problem.'
General crime at the festival has dipped from last year's levels, according to Inspector Chris Morgan, from Avon and Somerset Police. He said: 'We are pleased with the way the festival has been going so far.
Treacherous conditions: Festival goers traipse through the mud around an ice cream van at the Glastonbury Festival. Anyone for a 99?
'It is early days but reported crime is lower than the same time last year but our proactive patrols have made a higher number of arrests - demonstrating our determination to ensure that all festival goers have a safe and happy time here - despite the mud.'
There are eight regular police officers and 40 special constables patrolling the site at Worthy Farm near Pilton, Somerset. Diving face down through Britain's biggest mudbath, teenage reveller Tom Wilder ensured the Glastonbury cheers started early.
Clouds cleared over the Pilton hills last night, but the rain returned this morning and is due for a reprise later today - the best weather is not expected until Sunday.
More than half the ticket-holders for the sold out event will have squelched their way to the site by tonight. But early arrivals' efforts to secure prize camping spots were confounded by yesterday's monsoon-like conditions.
Hundreds of tents were flooded within a few hours as torrential downpours began shortly after gates opened and fans began streaming in.
That sinking feeling: One happy festival goer enjoys her mud bath, left, while this colourful character, middle, seems less impressed by the goo underfoot. Meanwhile someone else, right, looks as if he's had a bit too much of everything, not just mud
Campers hauling their bags and beers along the slippery thoroughfares were even told to pitch tents on hills to escape the worst of the wet conditions.
Marc Saunders, 31, from Bath, pitched his tent in driving rain with his five-year-old daughter Sam and wife Sarah.
He said: 'We say it's "go hard or go home". We're thrilled to be here, the place is magical - even in the mud.' Another early arrival, 19-year-old James Street, from Belfast, was caked in mud from head to toe after slipping in a puddle.
Go hard or go home: Muddy revellers chill out at the stone circle during the evening celebrations. Finding a high spot out of the mud was a good plan
Nearly there lads, watch it doesn't all fall out...A group set off to pitch their tent. Have they got the kitchen sink in there?
He said: 'I'm drenched, obviously. But it's great just to be here with my pals.
Legendary place, legendary line-up. We're not interested in the headliners - there's so much more to see.'
The first of the main acts take to the Pyramid Stage tomorrow, when the wet weather is expected to return. Among a host of theatrical events at the site will be Glastonbury's own version of La Tomatina.
Other new elements for this year include The Spirit of 71 stage, with acts that played at the festival 40 years ago.
It started well: Festival goers and assorted druids cheer as they gather at the Stone Circle to see the sun set at Worthy Farm, Pilton
Beyonce, who fell in love with the Somerset festival after watching husband Jay-Z perform three years ago, is believed to have cleared her diary to party in Pilton over three days.
Rapper Jay-Z is even money with bookmakers Ladbrokes to join his wife on stage this Sunday.
When Somerset farmer Michael Eavis organised the first festival 41 years ago, he combined a typical pop festival with a more traditional harvest-type event.
Aerial view: Over the course of less than a week Glastonbury becomes home to thousands of party goers in a temporary town twice the size of the city of Bath
At the first ever Glastonbury in September 1970, around 1,500 people paid just £1 to see Marc Bolan and T-Rex headline the event - with free milk thrown in.
When the second festival was organised a year later the date was moved to coincide with the Summer Solstice in June.
The first Pyramid Stage was built on the Glastonbury Stonehenge leyline for the event, which added a spiritual element to the festival.
Friday, 24 June 2011
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER