Festivalgoers defied the national rail strikes crippling the UK’s transport system, as well as threats of camping in torrential rain, and queued for replacement buses today in a bid to make it to Glastonbury.
Fans were spotted in Manchester waiting for replacement buses to reach the music extravaganza in a last-minute bid to reach Worthy Farm amid the second day of rail strikes.
Mick Lynch’s militant RMT rail strikes resumed from midnight, meaning just 20 per cent of the 20,000 services which normally run over three days in the UK are in service.
Great Western Railway (GWR) is operating just five services from London Paddington to Castle Cary on Thursday, with a total of 24 between Wednesday and Friday.
And forecasters have put a yellow warning in place between 10am and 11.59pm today – with torrential lightning, hail and flooding expected across the country.
The mud synonymous with the iconic festival is set to make an appearance, with thunderstorms and torrential downpours predicted from today – meaning revellers will have to endure the start of the wet weather before Billie Eilish hits the Pyramid stage tomorrow.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as there will be spots of sunshine throughout the day and warm temperatures reaching 24C (75F) – so revellers shouldn’t find it too hard to dry off.
Fans who arrived early at the site were pictured making the most of the glorious sunshine as they gathered at Worthy Farm’s Stone Circle this morning, situated in a valley lying between two low sandstone ridges.
This year’s Glastonbury festival is the first since summer 2019, and revellers are ready to enjoy the star-studded line-up of music acts including headliners Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar over the course of the weekend.
But both extreme weather threats and militant rail strikes taking place this week has not stopped the revellers from starting their five-day festival weekend.
Festivalgoers were spotted in Manchester waiting for replacement buses to reach the music extravaganza in a last minute bid to reach Worthy Farm
Passengers with camping equipment board a train to go to the Glastonbury music festival at Paddington railway station – one of the five trains departing today
Pictured: Revellers were spotted in Manchester waiting for replacement buses to reach the music extravaganza in a last minute bid to reach Worthy Farm amid the second day of the rail strikes
Pictured: People gather on the hill emblazoned with the Glastonbury sign to enjoy the sunset
Pictured: Revellers leant against a wooden railing as they waited for replacement buses to take them to Glastonbury festival
An aerial view of the Glastonbury Festival site in Somerset this morning where fans have descended for the first time in three years
Love is in the air at Glastonbury Festival as a couple, believed to be Ed and Chelsea, got engaged when Chelsea ticked the ‘yes’ box on Ed’s T-shirt with a marker pen
Pictured: A couple were seen getting engaged today at Glastonbury to celebrate the second day of the festival
Fans were pictured making the most of the glorious sunshine this morning as they gathered at Worthy Farm’s Stone Circle, situated in a valley lying between two low sandstone ridges
Two revellers in front of the Tipi village at Glastonbury Festival on Thursday was pictured making the most of the glorious sunshine
In a statement on its website, the Met Office said: ‘There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds. There is a small chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life.’
They went on to say: ‘These torrential downpours may be accompanied by frequent lightning, whilst gusty winds and hail may also affect a few places.
‘The exact location of the thunderstorms will be hard to pinpoint, so the warning area will be kept under review and updated if necessary.’
Forecasters have put a yellow warning in place between 10am and 11.59pm today – with torrential downpours expected across the country.
The Met Office said there is a chance of further rail and bus cancellations due to lightning strikes.
It also warned of power cuts to some homes and businesses, while remote communities could be cut off due to flooded roads.
Flooding could also cause some road closures, with heavy traffic on the roads already expected around the UK due to rail strikes.
Met Office Chief Forecaster Neil Armstrong said: ‘The warm and sunny conditions continue on Thursday, but there will be an increasing risk of thunderstorms through the afternoon and evening which bring a risk of some torrential downpours.’
The risk of thunderstorms was issued for ‘much of England and Wales’ on Thursday, with cloudy starts in the far northwest with some patchy rain.
Exeter will see highs of 21C (70F) today, while Manchester will see humid cloudy weather of 27C (80C) this afternoon. Edinburgh will see warm sunshine hitting 22C (71F) today, while Belfast will see highs of 20C (68F).
Meanwhile, some bright spells are expected Friday morning in the south east, but will be swiftly followed by scattered showers by midday, with maximum temperatures of 20C (68F).
People gather at Glastonbury’s famous Stone Circle to watch the sunrise on Thursday morning
Festivalgoers were pictured gathered around a fire this morning to watch for the sunrise at Glastonbury’s Stone Circle
Crowds gather on the first morning of Glastonbury festival to watch the sunrise at the Stone Circle
Pictured: People gather to watch for the sunrise at the Stone Circle at Glastonbury Festival on Thursday
This year’s Glastonbury festival is the first since summer 2019, and revellers are ready to enjoy the star-studded line-up of music acts including headliners Billie Eilish , Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar over the course of the weekend
One festivalgoer walked through the campsite at the Glastonbury Festival today holding an umbrella to protect her from the glorious sunshine
But both extreme weather threats and militant rail strikes taking place this week has not stopped the revellers from starting their five-day festival weekend with a cheer
Hundred’s of festivalgoers line the streets in Manchester on Thursday amid ongoing rail strikes
Revellers were pictured with rucksacks filled with their camping supplies
This year’s much-anticipated festival, running from Wednesday to Sunday, will host huge stars from Diana Ross and Sir Paul McCartney, to Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar and Olivia Rodrigo
Deputy Chief Forecaster Daniel Rudman added: ‘From Friday onward the weather will become more unsettled. There is a risk of heavy showers and thunderstorms in the Glastonbury area on both Friday and Saturday, although these should be quick moving, some surface water might accumulate at times from the heaviest showers. Temperatures will start to dip as we go through the end of the week returning to near normal for the time of year, with highs likely around 18-20C.
‘Sunday is expected to be mostly dry and bright at first but with showers once again developing through the morning, some of which could be heavy, and possibly thundery. The unsettled pattern is expected to continue to dominate into the start of next week.’
The founder of the Somerset festival Michael Eavis was pictured officially opening the gate to Glastonbury this morning marking the official start of the four-day music spectacular.
The festival is returning for its 50th anniversary after a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
Eavis and his daughter Emily were stood at one of the festival’s many entry points and clapped as the first attendees entered the site.
Eavis, 86, told those entering the gates: ‘This is going to be the best show in town.
‘Wait and see. You better believe it.’
Just 60 per cent of trains will run across Wednesday, with walkouts planned for Thursday and Saturday.
This year’s much-anticipated festival, running from Wednesday to Sunday, will host huge stars from Diana Ross and Sir Paul McCartney, to Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar and Olivia Rodrigo.