The gates to the Glastonbury Festival will officially open today after a three-year hiatus, and music lovers will enjoy high temperatures as well as Worthy Farm’s infamous downpours and mud.
Festival goers will have to contend with travel delays and traffic chaos on their way to Pilton in Somerset amid three days of major rail strikes.
This year’s forecast promises to be “one of two halves,” Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan told the PA news agency.
Ahead of the world-famous event, temperatures on the 900-acre site can reach 27°C – 9°C warmer than usual.
However, the dirt that is synonymous with Glastonbury will still show up, with showers and thunderstorms forecast from Friday.
Mr Morgan said: “The forecast for Glastonbury starting Wednesday and Thursday is going to be very warm.
“There will be a lot of sunlight around, so it will most likely be a problem with dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunstroke.
“Temperatures can reach 26C or 27C, quite a lot of bright sunshine considering it’s the middle of June, we also have very high levels of UV and grass pollen so that’s going to be history in the first couple of days. .
“From Friday onwards, it gets a bit rainier – intermittent downpours with sunny gaps in between.
“We could see longer periods of rain later in the day on Friday, and it usually cools off by the weekend.
“Temperatures are returning to the average value, which at this time of the year is about 18 or 19 degrees Celsius.
“There is still a risk of showers this weekend and possibly a strange thunderstorm, but they may miss Glastonbury.
“At this stage, it’s a bit early to say anything definitive, but it’s certainly very likely that there will be heavy showers at times over the weekend.
“There will be periods of sunshine in between, but temperatures will be much cooler and much more comfortable if you’re standing and listening to music, usually more pleasant weekend temperatures.”
The long-awaited festival, which is attended by 200,000 people, is returning to celebrate its 50th anniversary after the pandemic forced organizers to cancel it twice.
Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and rapper Kendrick Lamar will headline the Pyramid stage, while Diana Ross will fill the Sunday Tea Party Legends slot.
More than 80 artists will take part in it, including American pop star Olivia Rodrigo, High Flying Birds Lord and Noel Gallagher, as well as Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra.
The band, whose song Stefania won them the title of winner at the vocal competition in Turin last month, will perform at Shangri-La’s Truth Stage on Friday.
They will bring their brand of “Ukrainian folk music, rap and hip-hop” to this year’s music list of this year’s all-star line-up, which also includes a number of other Ukrainian artists amid the Russian invasion of their country.
Kyiv-based folk quartet DakhaBrakha will perform Sunday afternoon on the Pyramid stage, while Go_A will open the John Peel stage on Saturday with a performance of electronic folk music and soaring vocal melodies.
Ukrainian Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala will also bring an anti-war message to the site, and there will be talk of climate change, Black Lives Matter and Russia.
Glastonbury’s lineup also includes new bands such as Arlo Parks, Doja Cat, Easy Life, Fontaines DC and Griff, along with established names including Crowded House, Primal Scream and Supergrass.
The Pet Shop Boys will headline The Other Stage in a “highly anticipated” performance, and former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant will appear alongside American country and bluegrass star Alison Krauss following the release of their second album together.
This year, the BBC will reach audiences across all four linear TV networks, radio, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and the web, from flagship shows on the Pyramid stage to emerging artists on the BBC Music Introbbing stage.
The coverage will be presented to viewers by some of the BBC’s most beloved presenters, including Clara Ampho, Dermot O’Leary, Jack Saunders, Lauren Laverne, Vic Hope and Zoe Ball – all broadcast live from Worthy Farm.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) urged attendees to enjoy the festival “safely and responsibly”, “keeping in mind the ongoing health risks” including Covid-19, monkeypox and heat-related harm as temperatures rise.
They asked the festival goers to re-familiarize themselves with the symptoms of viruses and contact the organizers for help if they become ill.