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Jamie Gibbs

This is why it always rains at Glastonbury Festival


Is it all a nationwide conspiracy between the Met Office and poncho sellers to make the UK’s biggest festival as soggy as possible?

Tents in rain

The word "Glastonbury" seems to go hand-in-hand with "rain" and "mud" these days, with people being more shocked when the rain stops than when it starts.

glastonbury goers be like 'who cares about a bitta rain'...

— coxy (@holcox) June 28, 2014

Festival-goers might try to fool themselves into thinking "This time it’ll be different. This time it won’t rain".

Imagine not a single drop of rain at Glastonbury­čÖî­čĆ╝

— Gabi Peters (@gabipetersx) May 29, 2015

But the sad truth is that in the 29 festivals held since 1970, it has rained 80% of the time.

So, why does this happen?

It’s a good question, and one that Travis put to the punters in 1999.

The south-west of England tends to be wetter than most other parts of the UK, and the area around Glastonbury seems to get more rain in June than in the surrounding months.

These showers are caused by convection – the warmer weather in June heats the ground, causing the warm air above it to rise.

As it rises, it then cools and then falls as rain. This part of the country sees it more in June because that’s when things really start to warm up.

Any nearby hills and mountains force the air higher up, causing more rain in the general area.

Glastonbury is about 10 miles south of the Mendip Hills, so all that extra June rain hitting the hill is going to head towards the festival-goers sooner or later.

In the case of Glastonbury and rain, it’s literally a case of wrong place, wrong time.

How to rain-proof yourself

That's one way to avoid the #glastonbury rain #cosy

— Colin Blackstock (@colinblackstock) June 28, 2014

Given the likelihood that you'll probably be caught under the Glasto rain, you might want to consider a few rain-proof items:

  • Wellies

  • Long socks for wellies

  • Socks, socks and more socks

  • Poncho

  • Waterproofs (jacket and trousers)

  • Tarp/groundsheet to sit on

  • Bin liners/carrier bags for muddy clothes

  • Umbrella hat


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