The gates to Glastonbury Festival will officially open today after a three-year hiatus, with music fans set to enjoy high temperatures alongside the infamous showers and mud on Worthy Farm.
Festival-goers will have had to battle travel delays and transport chaos on their journey to Pilton in Somerset, amid three days of major rail strikes.
This year’s weather outlook promises to be “one of two halves”, meteorologist Tom Morgan from the Met Office told the PA news agency.
Temperatures could reach 27C at the 900-acre site – 9C higher than usual – in the lead-up to the the world-famous event.
However, the mud synonymous with Glastonbury is still set to make an appearance, with showers and thunderstorms predicted from Friday onwards.
Mr Morgan said: “The forecast at Glastonbury to start off with on Wednesday and Thursday is going to be very warm.
“There will be plenty of sunshine around so it will more likely be an issue with dehydration, heat exhaustion and sun stroke.
“Temperatures could reach 26C or 27C, quite a lot of strong sunshine around given that we are in mid-June, we’ve got very high levels of UV and grass pollen as well so that will be the story on the first couple of days.
“From Friday onwards, it turns a bit more showery – brief downpours with some sunny spells in between.
“We could see longer spells of rain later in the day on Friday and into the weekend it generally cools down.
“Temperatures return back to the average which at this time of the year is around 18C or 19C.
“There will still be a risk of showers this weekend, and potentially the chance of the odd thunderstorm but it might be that they miss Glastonbury.
“At this stage it is a little bit early to say for definite but there is certainly quite a high chance that there will be some heavy showers at times through the weekend.
“In between that there will be some sunny spells but temperatures will be a lot lot lower and a lot more comfortable if you’re standing around listening to music, generally a more pleasant temperature through the weekend.”
The much-anticipated festival, hosting a population of 200,000, returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary after the pandemic forced organisers to cancel twice.
Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and rapper Kendrick Lamar will headline the Pyramid stage, while Diana Ross will fill the Sunday teatime legends slot.
More than 80 artists are set to perform, including US pop star Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra.
The band, whose song Stefania earned them the winner’s title at the singing contest in Turin last month, will be taking to Shangri-La’s Truth Stage on Friday.
They will bring their brand of “Ukrainian folk music, rap and hip hop” to the music bill for this year’s star-studded line-up, which also includes a number of other Ukrainian acts amid the Russian invasion of their country.
Kyiv folk quartet DakhaBrakha will perform on Sunday afternoon on the Pyramid Stage, while Go_A will open the John Peel Stage on Saturday with a performance of electronic folk music and soaring vocal melodies.
Ukrainian Eurovision winner Jamala from 2016 will also bring an anti-war message to the site and there will be talks about climate change, Black Lives Matter and Russia.
The Glastonbury line-up also includes new acts such as Arlo Parks, Doja Cat, Easy Life, Fontaines DC and Griff, alongside established names including Crowded House, Primal Scream and Supergrass.
Pet Shop Boys will be headlining The Other Stage in a “long-awaited” performance, while former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant will appear alongside American country and bluegrass star Alison Krauss, following the release of their second collaborative album.
This year, the BBC will bring audiences coverage across all four of the linear TV networks, radio, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and online, from headline shows on the Pyramid Stage to emerging artists on the BBC Music Introducing stage.
Coverage will be brought to audiences by some of the BBC’s best-loved presenters, including Clara Amfo, Dermot O’Leary, Jack Saunders, Lauren Laverne, Vick Hope and Zoe Ball – all broadcasting live from Worthy Farm.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has encouraged visitors to enjoy the festival “safely and responsibly” by being “mindful of continuing health risks” including Covid-19, the monkeypox virus and heat-related harm as the temperatures rise.
They have asked festival-goers to re-familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the viruses and to ask the organisers for assistance if they become unwell.