CRIME, RAIN FALLING FAST AT GLASTO 2003

Arrests are significantly down on last year, and despite the mud underfoot punters turn out in big numbers for the first performances of the weekend...

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL has seen a 50% drop in robberies in 2003 compared with last year, thanks to increased security presence on-site.

On day one of the festival, organisers this morning (June 27) report that robberies are significantly down, and their bid to clamp down on trouble outside the site with a greater number of police, stewards and security officers has also proved successful, with no crime reported in the surrounding village of Pilton.

Last night, crack squads of security worked in conjunction with police at the main gate to the festival site to stop thieves posing as stewards from stealing people’s tickets. People wearing jackets similar to security officers’ were stopping people entering the site, asking to see their tickets then running off with them. Several people were arrested and taken off site.

In total, so far there have been 60 arrests – 20 more than last year – and 57 crimes have been reported, only two more than last year.

The hospital tent has been kept busy, with 524 people treated. There were 149 minor injuries, and 17 people treated for the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Although the weather remained fair overnight, rain set in this morning, and conditions have begun to get a little muddy underfoot, but festivalgoers remain in good spirits.

Highlights early in the day included The Darkness, who opened the Main Stage, with frontman Justin managing to squeeze in a costume change from leather trousers to a white, fringed sequin suit during their set, which saw a huge turn-out from the crowd. Har Mar Superstar was accompanied by five scantily-clad gyrating dancers from Manumission, the Ibiza club where he will be DJing during the summer. Echo And The Bunnymen played a set of classics including ‘The Back Of Love’, ‘The Cutter’ and ‘Killing Moon’, with frontman Ian McCulloch paying tribute to festival organiser Michael Eavis, saying: “Michael Eavis – what a dude! I think he should have a muzzie (Scouse for moustache) with that beard though.”

Click back to NME.COM for more updates and gossip throughout the day…