Breaking into Glastonbury, stolen tents and all the mud – 30 years of highlights

This weekend 175,000 people will descend on Worthy Farm in Somerset.

After a fallow year, Glastonbury is back and more popular than ever.

With Stormzy , The Killers and The Cure headlining this year's festival the main question for anyone making their way to the fields is – will in rain?

Daily Mirror Special Correspondent Tom Parry has been a festival regular for almost 30 years and this year is no exception.

Here he shares his highs, lows and everything in between.

It's 29 years since I first packed my backpack and boarded a National Express bus for Glastonbury Festival.

A secondary school teenager back then, I was eager to join this anarchic coming-together of hippies, punks, ravers and crusties I'd read about in music magazines and become fascinated by.

My mum, however, had other ideas and – having herself heard about the drug-taking and widespread criminality that went on there – forbid me from going.

So I told her myself and two school mates were going camping in Weston-super-Mare. And then went anyway.

It was an unforgettable arrival.

On seeing our bewildered young faces as we strode nervously through what can best be described as an honour guard of drug dealers, a woman running an ice cream van asked where our parents were and offered to take us in.

All of us who've got the bug remember the indescribable elation as you see Glastonbury Festival through the trees from one of the surrounding rural lanes.

It's like the first time every time.

The anxiety of modern life lifts, if only for a few days.

We stayed the course though. It was a sensory bombardment from start to finish for three young lads. West country scrumpy fuelled our weekend.

It was several years later, when my mum bumped into one of my companions' mothers in Tesco, that she found out I'd actually been to Glastonbury.

By that stage the festival had started to become more popular and the stigma was less.

Since that first one I've totted up a further 20 visits to Worthy Farm. I've missed only three, or perhaps four, over nearly 30 years.

And despite having witnessed the extraordinary changes to the site and the organisation, I'm just as hooked to the idea of spending a few days on Michael Eavis' land now as then.

Because, as any Glastonbury veteran will tell you, there is no festival (in fact no large event of any kind) that comes close.

Put simply, it's the only place on the planet where I hope to be for the last weekend of June.

It is a temporary city that for five days becomes the greatest party on earth, in which nearly everyone gets along with their neighbours regardless of what they're like in normal life, and at which you can never be bored or fed up.

That's why getting hold of tickets has become such a nightmare. Glastonbury is too good to miss for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

I have, of course, had my ups and downs.

In 1994 (I think) my tent was stolen by a gang driving around the perimeter fence with a flat-bed truck.

One member of the gang would hurl the tent over, and the others would stick it on the back of the truck.

Another year in the 90s, I was sold a forged ticket by a tout stood by a Somerset hedgerow, and refused entry.

About half an hour later I paid a tenner to crawl through a tunnel under the fence.

I've been to the torrential rain festivals when every inch of every item of clothing is soaked through even before getting on site, and each footstep in knee-high clinging mud is hard work.

Yet none of these experiences have put me off.

This year I've managed to get a ticket through a friend who won a competition.

I feel incredibly fortunate, although my emotions are conflicted because my wife, who has come to love Glastonbury just as much, cannot be with me.

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