Thunderstorms and torrential rain were today threatening to turn this year’s Glastonbury Festival into a wash-out.
Thousands of music fans arriving at the Worthy Farm site in Somerset last night were greeted with heavy downpours and even lightning as the glorious sunshine came to an abrupt end.
Weather forecasters have warned an expected crowd of around 150,000 to prepare for a mud bath – as rain threatens to waterlog the site and turn camp sites into bogs.
Festival organiser Michael Eavis said he was keeping his fingers crossed that there would be no repeat of the infamous mudfest of 1997.
He said: “It’s really starting to rain now. I can hear thunder. But it’s different from 1997 when the site was very muddy. We’ve had four or five days of good weather so the ground is firm.
“We’ve also spent a lot of money on the drainage, so the main site should be okay. I don’t know if the weather might spoil it but we’ll just have to see.”
US rock duo White Stripes are headlining the event tonight on the main Pyramid stage. On the other is Fatboy Slim, and festival-goers can also see The Tears - former Suede bandmates Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler – on the John Peel stage.
Coldplay and Basement Jaxx will headline on Saturday and Sunday respectively at this year’s festival.
The festival, which first began in 1970, boasts 11 stages and more than 200 performers, ranging from the well-established to untested and quirky newcomers.