Glastonbury Festival returns after three year wait

People throw their arms up and celebrate as they arrive on site for Glastonbury Festival.
People are starting the long-awaited celebrations as Glastonbury 2022 kicks off. Credit: PA

The wait for music lovers and performers alike is finally over as Glastonbury Festival kicks off for the first time in three years.

Thousands of people made the journey to Pilton in Somerset early this morning to be some of the first through the iconic gates and officially welcomed on-site by festival founder Michael Eavis.

Despite rail strikes impacting travel for millions of people across the country this week, revelers still made it to the queue in their thousands ready for five days of music and arts.

The atmosphere is building as campers set up at Worthy Farm.

The rail disruption does mean roads around the site are expected to remain busy over the next five days with more cars and coaches taking people to Worthy Farm than in previous years. You can keep up to date with local travel here.

Those lucky enough to bag a ticket for this year's festival - the first since the huge celebrations planned to mark its 50th anniversary in 2020 were cancelled in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic - say the event is worth the wait.

"We're buzzing, we've missed it for two years and it's the 50th anniversary so we're very excited."

Some of the eager campers arrived as early as 10pm last night to make sure they were through the gates in plenty of time for prime tent positions.

Others made their way carrying heavy cargo in their luggage to keep them going till Sunday: "Beers, food, more beers, cider, lager, vodka, rum."

Festival founder Michael Eavis, who started the Glastonbury phenomenon in 1970 as a small local gathering with tickets priced at £1, says the atmosphere is still a joy after decades: "There's about three million people that want to come, not bad for a dairy farmer!"

Although the main stages don't host performances until Friday, there are bars and cinemas available to revelers on Wednesday, with smaller stages and tents beginning to play amplified music from Thursday.

Ahead of this year's lineup, take a look at Glastonbury through the years: