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Glastonbury Festival beckons music lovers to England

London: Well over a 100,000 music lovers are beginning to descend on a 900-acre farm in Somerset in England for the annual Glastonbury Festival that runs June 24-27.

For a change, forecasters have predicted high temperatures and sunshine for the event -- a far cry from the torrential downpours once synonymous with the festival.

The music begins Thursday and headline acts like Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder take the stage.

All 140,000 tickets to this year`s event have been sold and in an attempt to ease traffic flow, the festival organisers opened up the site`s car parks Tuesday night itself.

A festival spokesman told local newspaper Midworth and Petworth Observer: "If the weather is good - which it is expected to be - we expect more to turn up than last year."

The Festival takes place in a beautiful location -- 900 acres in Pilton in the Vale of Avalon, an area steeped in symbolism and mythology.

It`s where King Arthur may be buried, where Joseph of Arimathea - who, according to the Gospels, donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after his crucifixion - is said to have walked.

And the site is really big -- more than a mile and a half across, with a perimeter of about eight and a half miles. Glastonbury town is around seven miles from the venue.

The first Glastonbury Festival was held in 1970. It was the brainchild of a farmer, Michael Eavis. Only the year before, another farmer, Max Yasgur, had hosted the iconic Woodstock Festival in the US.

Eavis visited the Bath Festival in England in 1969 and was inspired by the performance of Led Zeppelin. He and his wife Jean, hosted a free festival for 1,500 people with an entry fee of one pound in 1970.

It was inaugurated on Eavis` Worthy Farm, the day after Jimi Hendrix died. The word got around and it developed into the festival it is today - the largest open-air music and performing arts festival in the world.

The festival is best known for its contemporary music, but also features dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and many other arts. Over 700 live acts are played on over 80 stages in the course of four days.

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