Page last updated at 00:30 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 01:30 UK

Soggy Glastonbury starts rocking

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News at Glastonbury

Kings of Leon on the Pyramid Stage
Kings of Leon first played Glastonbury five years ago

US rock band Kings of Leon have closed the first full day of the Glastonbury Festival, as more than 130,000 fans partied on the Somerset site.

The band - three brothers and a cousin from Tennessee - topped the bill on the main Pyramid Stage.

Other performers on Friday included soul star Estelle on the Jazz/World Stage, Franz Ferdinand in The Park and Fatboy Slim in the Dance East tent.

Further rain fell but fans have so far been spared a full-on mudbath.

There is some mud across the site after heavy rain on Thursday night and showers on Friday.  

But it is not yet as bad as the quagmires of the previous two festivals, in 2005 and 2007. 

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis explains why the festival is so special

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be largely dry.

Kings of Leon singer Caleb Fountwill told fans their headlining slot came five years after the band played their first festival.

"That festival just happened to be Glastonbury," he said.

"We've worked all the way up to where we are now so here's to you guys. Thank you very much for letting us do this."

Saturday's headliner will be New York rap giant Jay-Z, whose appearance has caused controversy after some said a hip-hop star was not right for the top slot.

Everyone felt the same - they were banging them in and they were snapping
One Glastonbury reveller says the biodegradable tent pegs did not work as planned

He is expected to be preceded by Amy Winehouse, who appeared at a concert to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in London on Friday.

Tickets for the festival did not sell out for the first time in at least 10 years, with some blaming the line-up and others put off by the weather in previous years.

Organisers made some day tickets for Sunday available to those who had previously applied but these were not on general sale and have now all gone.

Glastonbury first-timer Keith Gorby, 27, from Limerick, said the event was "huge".

A look at how many people, stages, tents and loos there are at Glastonbury

"We've been here since Wednesday and we're constantly on the go, trying to see it all. I don't think in five days you could possibly see it all."

Lucy Coxhead, who is 19 and lives in Bury St Edmunds, was also making her first trip to Glastonbury.

She said there was "a lot more diversity" than at events such as the Reading Festival, with "bands you wouldn't normally pay money to see".

"We've been lost so many times," she said, adding she was "a little bit wet" and was "praying for sun".

There was some criticism of the biodegradable tent pegs, made from potato starch, which have been offered to fans and are designed to rot so they do not harm the cows that normally roam the fields.

"We were asked to make an effort with these and we did," said Bob Casey, a 55-year-old from Reading.

Fire near Glastonbury site
Major roads in the area have been closed

"In non-stress areas [with the tent] they're fine, but in stress areas they're a bit weak.

"Everyone felt the same," he said. "They were banging them in and they were snapping."

Police said the number of thefts from tents was up sharply on last year but there were fewer drug-related crimes.

A police spokeswoman attributed the increase in thefts - 127 by Friday morning compared with 19 at this stage in 2007 - to sunshine on Thursday.

"When we have had sunny weather in the past, we tend to find tent-thefts go up," she said.

A suspected thief was also detained by festival-goers after allegedly disturbing two women in their tent overnight.

The A37 near the site will stay closed until Saturday morning at the earliest after a fire at a scrapyard about a mile from the festival on Thursday.


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