By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Wet, wet, wet: Festival goers arriving at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset this morning
Thousands of revellers sporting wellington boots and winter coats are beginning to arrive in Somerset as the Glastonbury Festival gets under way.
Rain-hardy revellers battled through the drizzle and mud to get to the campsites on 900-acre Worthy Farm for the start of Britain's biggest and best-loved music festival.
But the heavy rain and soft, marshy ground did little to dampen the spirits of those attending as they manfully battled through the elements.
Emergency supplies: A box full of cans of beer stands in the mud this morning
You've got to laugh: Hayley Davenport manages to keep a smile on her face as she carries her guitar through the mud. Left, another festival fan is more than prepared for the expected wet weather
More than 177,000 people are expected to attend the festival in Pilton to see the likes of U2, Beyonce and Coldplay perform.
Unlike last year's sun-drenched festival, music fans have packed woolly jumpers, waterproofs and wellies as they brace themselves for autumnal temperatures and regular downpours.
Barefoot bravery: Katie Featherstone and Lucy Loretto arrive in the mud clutching their festival gear
Nearly all donned their wet weather gear as as the damp conditions threatened to cause a repeat of the 2007 mudfest.
Weather experts even warned revellers making their way to the annual bash that they may need to brace themselves - for hail.
Met Office forecaster George Goodfellow said: 'The weather for the period of Glastonbury Festival is looking very unsettled but we could see the most intense showers on Thursday.
'When we get these intense showers at this time of the year we can see hail, which is a possibility for Glastonbury.'
Carefree: A festival goer laughs as he arrives at the Glastonbury Festival site with a dirty face - and the fun hasn't even begun
The Met Office has also warned night temperatures will drop to as low as six degrees - while heavy rain is already turning the 1,100 acre site into a mud bath.
A spokesman said: 'It's not going to be a typically wet Glastonbury but it won't be like last year's either.
'We're expecting some heavy showers for the first two days but it will gradually improve and while Sunday won't be that bright it could be quite warm.'
Determined: Two festival goers have a steely look on their faces as they battle through the wind and mud
But the weather is unlikely to put off excited festival-goers who will turn Worthy Farm into the south-west's third largest city after Bristol and Plymouth.
James Beal, 25, from Bristol, is making his fourth trip to Glastonbury and spent last year's festival basking in the heat wave.
He said: 'This year's event will be brilliant, regardless of whether it's wet and windy or sunny and bright.
'I think it's impossible for the weather to put me off, I'm here for the music and the atmosphere.
'I can't wait to see Beyonce; I hope Jay-Z makes a guest appearance - that would be amazing.'
Some revellers will be enjoying the festival fun in rather more luxurious surroundings than others, however.
Popping up next to the Glastonbury Festival is the latest venture in posh camping - deluxe tents which cost up to £1500 for the weekend.
Festival-goers with fat enough wallets can spend the weekend in safari-style bell tents with double beds, valet parking, wooden deck flooring and hot showers in an upmarket encampment just outside the festival.
And for those who need a pick me up after a hard night's raving, the so-called pop-up hotel offers full English breakfasts to guests.
Missing the point? The luxury on offer at the Pop-Up Hotel just outside the festival site
Event organisers are employing around 1,600 staff to look after the event, which is now in its 40th year.
Thousands of acts from local unsigned bands to the world's biggest rock stars will be appearing on stage over the five-day festival.
Taking centre stage on the famous Pyramid this year are U2, Coldplay and Beyonce while Morrissey, Primal Scream and Tinie Tempah are also expected to draw huge crowds.
Lesser known acts will perform on the 100 other stages and performance areas.
Wet weather gear: In scenes that could be repeated this year, a discarded pair of wellies lie at the exit of Glasto' 2009
Compare and contrast: Brollies provided a different kind of protection for last year's festival as sunshine beat down on gig-goers
Festival organisers are dedicating six per cent of the event's revenue this year to keeping the place clean and tidy.
The site will have 20,000 rubbish bins colour-coded for recycling, enabling the festival to recycle more 400 tonnes of waste.
This is being co-ordinated by 160 'green police' who patrol the vast site ensuring people don't drop litter or urinate in the stream.
A team of 950 people will clean up rubbish every morning and ensure the 4,600 toilets are acceptable to use.
How to walk onto the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2011
A drive around Glastonbury Festival Site 18/06/11
source : dailymail