Glasto celebrates 40th anniversary

Glastonbury Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary today – and revellers are reaching for the sun block rather than the traditional wellies.

Glastonbury Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary today – and revellers are reaching for the sun block rather than the traditional wellies.

More than 140,000 people have descended on Worthy Farm, near Pilton, Somerset, England to help the world’s biggest outdoor music festival raise a glass to a remarkable four decades.

In 1970 organiser Michael Eavis opened his farm gates to 1,500 punters and charged them just £1 – which included milk fresh from his herd of cows.

Glam rock legend Marc Bolan headlined and history was made. Off-and-on ever since, thousands of people have arrived – by hook or by crook – in the hope of a party to end all parties.

Career-defining performances from heavyweights like The Smiths, Radiohead, Oasis, Blur, Pulp and more recently The Killers has made Glastonbury alternative music’s must-attend event.

And this year – unlike many – the sun is set to shine.The forecast is for mostly dry and warm weather, with the odd cloud.

Saturday and Sunday will see a greater risk of heavy downpours, but it is hoped the dry and warm weather will remain.

This year Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder headline with Florence and the Machine, Pet Shop Boys, Orbital, Hot Chip, Scissor Sisters, Dizzee Rascal and Snoop Dogg also promising some spectacular Glasto moments.

Music legend Lou Reed has been confirmed as one of the special guests appearing with Gorillaz.

Tonight cartoon rockers Gorillaz will headline the main stage after stepping in at the last minute to replace U2 after Bono's back surgery ruled them out.

Gorillaz – the brainchild of Blur’s Damon Albarn – are a virtual band made up of characters 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs.

But tonight Albarn and a host of stars including Lou Reed, Madchester pioneer Shaun Ryder and The Fall’s famously grumpy frontman Mark E Smith will perform.

Organiser Michael Eavis has predicted the headline show will be a “massive audio visual spectacle which will really ignite” the festival. It will be Albarn’s second Glastonbury headline slot in as many years after reforming Blur for a triumphant gig at last year’s festival.

Also on stage later will be American singer-songwriter Willie Nelson and punk favourites The Stranglers.

Tomorrow space-age rock outfit Muse headline the main stage while 80s electronic duo the Pet Shop Boys top the bill on the Other Stage. And on Sunday Stevie Wonder closes the festival.

Police recorded more than 88 thefts from tents by yesterday evening – up on 47 from last year.

Sergeant Carolyn Crocker said: “Overall the statistics show that crime remains low and the festival remains a largely safe environment.

“However it’s disappointing that a small minority feel the need to engage in criminal activity and spoil the event for others.

“We’re continuing to work closely with security and stewards to educate festival-goers to the dangers of leaving valuables unattended in tents.

“At the moment it appears that iPhones and cash are the main targets for thieves and this is so easily preventable.”

Yesterday Prince Charles visited the site to commemorate the work charities linked to the festival do, as well as mark the festival’s 40th anniversary.

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