Oh dear, forecasters fear a mud-fest

More than 80,000 revellers, undeterred by gathering storm clouds, were setting up camp at Glastonbury Festival yesterday.

More than 80,000 revellers, undeterred by gathering storm clouds, were setting up camp at Glastonbury Festival yesterday.

Drizzle greeted early arrivals and forecasters warned festival-goers they would be "extremely lucky" to avoid thunderstorms looming over the Mendip Hills in Somerset.

But organiser Michael Eavis said he still believed his Worthy Farm site would avoid the worst of the weekend's wet weather.

"This is the best place in Britain to be at the moment," he said. "We have been so lucky with the weather, I promise you.

"It's not even raining - there was some drizzle for about an hour-and-a-half."

Mr Eavis said record numbers had arrived early for the world-famous music and arts event, which officially gets under way today.

"The amount of early arrivals has doubled from 2005 and I am delighted because it is better value for them," he said.

"We were walking around the site at about 12.20am and they are all so excited."

Sunny spells with intervals of heavy rain have been predicted throughout the weekend. Michael Dukes, forecast manager for MeteoGroup UK, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Low pressure is dominating, so it is not good news for festival goers.

"Today will be brief sunny spells with heavy showers - and revellers should not be surprised to see a thunderstorm at some point.

"These short-sharp thunderstorms are the type that are likely to produce local flooding. So muddy scenes are likely."

Traffic has been building around the site as rush-hour traffic came to a standstill in nearby Shepton Mallet this morning.

Mr Eavis said festival-goers travelling by car would be better advised to use the East Side car park where there is less traffic.

The festival confirmed that an estimated 70 to 80 people whose tickets went missing in the post would receive duplicate passes at the gates.

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