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Saturday, June 26, 1999 Published at 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK


Arrests up at Glastonbury

Glastonbury crowds: Potential rich pickings for thieves

Glastonbury Festival has been hit by a mini crime wave with police reporting more arrests than this time last year.

Glastonbury 1999
Avon and Somerset police say they are dealing with 525 reported offences and have arrested 160 people.

Most of the arrests were for thefts from cars and tents or for drug offences. Police say cannabis, LSD and cocaine have been seized.

Supt John Buckley, Festival Site Commander for Avon and Somerset Police said: "The number of arrests is 40 higher than this time [Saturday morning] last year which shows our determination not to allow crime to spoil the festival for the vast majority of law-abiding fans.

"A number of people have been ejected from the site for criminal and anti-social behaviour and will not be readmitted."

There have been 426 thefts from property and 46 robberies reported to police.


[ image: Glastonbury: Where Mud is more than a 1970s band]
Glastonbury: Where Mud is more than a 1970s band
While the main focus will remain on centre stage, many of the 100,000 rock fans were also keeping an eye on weather reports which predicted showers for Saturday afternoon.

However, there has so far been no repeat of the last two years, when torrential rain has turned Glastonbury into a mudbath.

Extra drainage fitted on the site was not needed as music fans soaked up the sun on Saturday.

But of course the main focus will be on the music. Saturday's highlights will include the Manic Street Preachers, Underworld, Super Furry Animals and Cast, plus punk poet Patti Smith joining newcomers like Ooberman in the New Bands tent.

The Clash, Joe Strummer and The Cardigans will also strut their stuff, while Skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan will play in the acoustic tent.

Cashpoints in the canvas

The 600-acre site at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, which is normally home to cows grazing, has become a temporary urban oasis, providing food from around the world, as well as markets, therapists, and tattooists.

Cashpoints and mobile phone facilities are even available.

And the only problems reported so far at the festival have been medical. Most people "heeded advice to cover up in the sun", according to a spokeswoman for Festival Medical Services.

Medical staff said they had seen few people with major problems.

Many of the 758 visits to medical tents (recorded by last night) were for sprains and breaks caused on the dry uneven ground or for camping-related problems like burns from stoves.

Two people needed hospital treatment after suffering serious burns when cooking gas cylinders exploded in tents in separate incidents.

The majority of music fans were able to enjoy the day's entertainment, which featured REM, The Beautiful South and Hole on the main stage.


[ image: Vincent Bethell: Campaigns for the right to go naked in public]
Vincent Bethell: Campaigns for the right to go naked in public
A slight diversion to the delights on offer was provided by Vincent Bethell, who paraded around the site wearing factor 15 sun cream - but nothing else.

He handed out leaflets to passers-by about his campaign to permit public nudity, which has involved him staging similar protests in London.

"It's an abuse of human rights I'm not allowed to be myself," he said. "I'm campaigning for the right to be naked in public. I'm interested in the relationship between mind and body."

There is live coverage of Glastonbury all weekend on BBC Radio 1, BBC Two, and on the digital TV channel BBC Choice. For more details, click here.





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In this section

Glastonbury's unforgettable weekend

Festival fans praised by police

Glastonbury: A weekend in pictures

Glastonbury Diary: Part 4

Glastonbury Diary: Part 3

Glastonbury Diary: Part 2

Glastonbury Diary: Part 1

Three decades of Glastonbury

Eavis' labour of love

The early years