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Sunday, June 28, 1998 Published at 01:39 GMT 02:39 UK


Robbie lifts damp Glastonbury spirits

Robbie Williams: back after the sack from Take That

BBC's Esmond Holden wades through another wet Glastonbury festival
Robbie Williams lifted the dampened spirits of Glastonbury Festival - and even brought the sun out.

The former Take That star played the largest solo show of his career as thousands braved the mud at the main stage on Saturday.

Three years ago the star's appearance heralded his departure from Take That.

[ image: Glastonbury '98 is largest solo show of Robbie's career]
Glastonbury '98 is largest solo show of Robbie's career
He turned up, got drunk with Oasis and soiled his squeaky-clean image - prompting his split from the boy band.

Robbie told fans: "Last time I came here I got the sack - thank **** for that."

Williams continued his mockery of his Take That days by leading a thrash version of their hit Back for Good.

BBC correspondent Clinton Rogers on the Glasto mudbath
And as he played a cover version of The La's hit "There She Goes" the sun shone brightly for the first time since the event started two days ago.

But more rain later in the evening meant no let-up in the rivers of mud which have turned the site into a repeat of last year's quagmire.

On Saturday emergency services had to cope with a stream of injuries including sprains and broken bones caused by people slipping in the mud.

Festival-goers were urged not to light fires inside their tents after a number of people suffered burns as they tried to avoid the rain.

[ image: Rain dance: Fans lap the music up]
Rain dance: Fans lap the music up
Fears about health prompted a combined operation by welfare and medical volunteers, police and the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, who opened up a marquee for those with nowhere to stay.

Mary Treacy, the festival's welfare organiser, said: "Once they'd been given an initial drying-out, they were sent down to the medical staff who then looked for any signs of cold, but they weren't too bad."

She said her team of volunteers had seen fewer people this year who had suffered as a result of drugs.

Meanwhile, more than 130 people have so far been arrested during the festival - the biggest event of its kind in Europe.

Festival-goers brave the weather
Officers say they have dealt with 510 reported crimes, including robbery, theft, criminal damage and assault.

[ image: Now where did my tent go?]
Now where did my tent go?
Avon and Somerset Police said there were 73 drugs seizures, with officers recovering quantities of cannabis, amphetamine, crack cocaine and Ecstasy.

In one incident, two gate-crashers who climbed over the perimeter fence landed in the police compound. They were arrested after they were allegedly found to be carrying drugs.

It is the second year running that the festival has been dogged by bad weather. Last year's event turned into a huge mudbath after days of downpours hit the Somerset countryside.

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