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EDITIONS
Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 00:55 GMT 01:55 UK
Peaceful start to Glastonbury
The 1m fence and watch tower at Glastonbury
Watchful eye: Security measures have cost 1m
Police at the Glastonbury Festival say so far crime is well down on the last festival two years ago with the huge security fence around the site in Somerset helping reduce burglaries and muggings.

About 100,000 people have camped out to see artists such as Coldplay and Rod Stewart and 60 bands are due to perform on the festival's two main stages throughout the weekend.

So far just 143 offences - the majority thefts - have been reported, compared to 340 at the same stage two years ago, police said, with 71 arrests.

The new strict security measures have been hailed as a success so far, with no reports of significant numbers of gatecrashers getting through the 1m "super-fence".

Tents at Glastonbury 2002
Security is tight this year
But the impregnability of the fence has led to a spate of ticket thefts, said police.

There have been 25 reported thefts of Glastonbury tickets outside the site.

"The people trying to get into the site to burgle tents and mug festival-goers can't breach the security without tickets, so they are stealing them outside," said an officer at Avon and Somerset police.

Surprise

An estimated 85,000 fans and crew were on the Somerset farm site by Friday morning, with another 50,000 still to arrive.

Acts appearing on the festival's first proper day included headliners Coldplay, Nelly Furtado, Ash, Garbage and The Waterboys.

Proceedings were kicked off by the 40-strong Shibusashirazu Orchestra, from Japan, who were the first group to play on the Pyramid Stage.

On Saturday festivalgoers will see mystery guests as well as The Charlatans, the White Stripes, Starsailor, Ian Brown, No Doubt, Jools Holland, Orbital, Mis-teeq, and Kosheen.

And the last day of the festival will include Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Isaac Hayes, Badly Drawn Boy, Rolf Harris, Air, Groove Armada, and Belle and Sebastian.

Festival first-timers

On Thursday, a ticket tout scam was foiled when 20,000 of forged tickets were discovered in a van outside the site.

Fans who did get in had two days to set up their tents and soak up the atmosphere before the music started in earnest.

There were a number of low-key and impromptu performances on Thursday, ranging from a group of drummers who enchanted revellers at the stone circle, to dance DJs blasting out house music from their own pyramid stage.

Fan Leah Mann, 29, from London, said: "There's a big group of us that have come down this year. We've been coming for the last 10 years and this looks like it's going to be quite a good one."

Australian Billie Atherstone, 24, from Melbourne, added: "This is my first time here. I usually go to festivals in Australia, which are much smaller. This is beautiful, it's really chilled, it's just like an extended Sunday afternoon."

Rock act Ikara Colt paid tribute to Who bassist John Entwhistle, who died on Thursday, by dedicating a track to the performer.

Live coverage began on BBC Choice at 1930 BST, and on BBC Two at 2335 BST. BBC Radio 1 is also covering the festival throughout the weekend.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Sillito
"The security seems to be working"


Festival focus

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The history of Glastonbury

Glastonbury history


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