GLASTONBURY KICKS OFF IN THE WET… ONCE AGAIN

GLASTONBURY '98 got underway this afternoon in wet and muddy conditions...

GLASTONBURY 98 got underway this afternoon in a near repeat of 1997’s wet and muddy conditions.

An NME staffer onsite reported at 4pm Friday that the rain which had fallen all night and most of the day had abated but the site was “very wet and muddy, it’s been raining constantly today. The paths around the site are very sticky underfoot and the music arenas are already pretty churned up. It is not as bad as last year yet but if it rains any more, it will be.” Last year’s Glastonbury is on record as the wettest and muddiest ever, with conditions likened to the Somme in reviews.

All the music stages are operatinging to schedule this year, unlike Glastonbury 97 where the second stage was a washout for most of the first day. Our man said: “There’s about four or five thousand people in front of the Main Stage (at 4pm), it’s pretty quiet and looks a bit empty but everyone’s hiding in their tents out of the rain.”

Thundery weather is forecast for the area for Friday evening and the outlook fore the rest of the weekend is not brilliant.

Festival-goers are continuing to arrive and it is expected that by late tonight (Friday) the vast majority of the 100,500 ticket-holders will be onsite.

Police have so far reported 173 crimes and 72 arrests, mostly drug-related and for theft.

Meanwhile, Internet users are able to stay dry at home and still get a look at some of the Glastonbury onsite action via an all-weekend live interactive web-cast sanctioned by festival benficiaries Greenpeace. This will be a 96-hour live streamed event broadcast live onto the web from a roving, wire free agent.

The camera will rove over a wide range of locations on the festival site; bringing backstage interviews with the bands and filming out and about amongst festival-goers. Other features will include visits to the alternative side-shows, circus tents and all the general merrymaking, mud, mayhem and mindbending close up.

The Presence TV Web-cast requires a modem and Real Video Player at the user’s end.