Glastonbury: Thursday

Crowds at Glastonbury Festival 2004 by John Bownas
Crowds at Glastonbury Festival 2004 by John Bownas

Much like the football, Thursday at Pilton Farm was a game of two halves. Rain stopped play in the morning, but bright sun baked the mud in the afternoon and left smiles all around...

[l-zone2]Although Thursday broke wet and windy, 52,000 people were already on site 24 hours after the Glastonbury Festival gates opened on Wednesday morning. Clearly the poor weather had not put off the tens of thousands of festival fanatics who had made their plans months ago to make the most of Glastonbury 2004.

Wednesday night had ended well, with the clouds holding back and the temperature holding up until the small hours. Having been whipped by rain and battered by strong winds all day, the early doors crowds made the most of the break in hostilities by congregating around pints of hot spiced cider and strumming campsite guitars well into the night. However Thursday morning got off to an inauspicious start, as canvas roofs drummed out beats that would rival the dance tent, and half-dried mud was once again doused with rain and returned to the gloopy consistency that had been sucking boots from feet throughout the previous day.

[r-zone3]But Michael’s cloudbuster had obviously been deployed just in time, because by early afternoon the Glastonbury world was painted a very different colour. Whilst still brown underfoot, cobalt blue skies meant that revellers were soon splayed on rapidly drying grass as brightly coloured flags whipped in a breeze that was helping to speed-dry the site.

[l-zone1]As England took to the field against Portugal, thousands moved to the various screens that were broadcasting the match. Although the match didn’t go England’s way, the spirit of the crowd wasn’t dented substantially, and authorities were expecting another relatively quiet night, and hoping for a repeat of the incredibly low crime figures of the first day, which saw only 4 reported crimes – against 37 in the same period last year.

There is a buzz of expectation across the festival, and thousands more guests will be rolling up tomorrow to fill in the gaps in the campsites in time for the first day of programmed entertainment… not to say that the last two days haven’t been entertaining of course!