Glastonbury, Britain's largest music festival, officially kicked off this morning, with the opening acts hitting the numerous stages at Worthy Farm in Somerset.

Now in its fifth decade, Glastonbury has grown from a relatively small gathering of 1,500 hippies on the dairy farm in 1970, each paying £1 and receiving free milk, to a family-friendly festival costing £205 pounds a ticket with an attendance of 135,000.

Over 2,000 acts are set to perform at this year's event over the course of the next three days, with Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons and The Rolling Stones the main headliners.

Here we run down some of the main records associated with arguably the hottest ticket of the festival season.

Liam Gallagher and his band Beady Eye kicked off this year's proceedings with a surprise appearance on The Other Stage.

The singer headlined Glastonbury in 2004 with his former band Oasis, who remain holders of the record for fastest selling pop album in the UK after their third studio album, Be Here Now, selling 663,389 copies in just three days between 21-23 August 1997, including 350,000 copies on the first day.

While the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Jake Bugg and Rita Ora among the acts performing today, Friday's main draw is likely to be Sheffield band The Arctic Monkeys, who are headlining the Pyramid Stage for the second time.


The band first headlined in 2007, a year after the release of their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which set holds the record for best selling debut album in the UK in one week by a group after wracking up sales of 363,735 copies between 21 and 28 January 2006.

After years of speculation that they may finally grace the festival's prestigious main Pyramid Stage, this year's festival at last sees rock veterans the Rolling Stones play Glastonbury.


Due to a large percentage of the profits from Glastonbury being donated to charity, acts who play the festival traditionally forego their usual fees to play, a gesture that shouldn't have been too big a squeeze on the finances of the Stones who hold the title for wealthiest band. In 2010 lead singer Mick Jagger had an estimated fortune of $313 million (then approx. £202 million), followed by guitarist Keith Richards with $289 million (then approx £187 million).

While the Stones maybe one of the oldest bands rocking stadiums around the world, they're by no means the oldest act performing at this year's festival. One such performer who can boast more stage experience than Jagger and Richards is British TV institution Sir Bruce Forsyth.


The Strictly Come Dancing host is set to make his Glastonbury debut this weekend at the grand age of 85, when he performs songs from his solo album These Are My Favourites on the Avalon Stage.

Sir Bruce made his TV debut in 1939 as an 11-year-old on the BBC show Come and Be Televised and has gone on to have a career stretching over 72 years, in turn setting a record for longest TV career by an entertainer (male).

While Glastonbury has rightly earned its reputation for its incredible Pyramid stage line ups over the years, the festival is about more than just music, with comedy, cabaret, theatre, film screenings, poetry, book readings, and more taking place over the huge 900 acre site.

Glastonbury has also served as the place for a number of notable world record attempts in recent years.

In 2007, the festival's Lost Vagueness field was the venue for a successful attempt at the record for most couples kissing simultaneously, when 6,837 loved-up pairs puckered up in an attempt organised by dating website

In 2010 mobile phone company Orange set a record for the most people tagged in an online photo after 7,053 festival goers were tagged in a panoramic snap of the crowd at the Pyramid Stage for the company's 'Glastotag' website.

Glastonbury was also the starting point for the Greg Parmley's epic attempt at the record for most music festivals visited in 30 days in 2011.

The British biker followed up his visit to Worthy Farm with trips to 25 other music summer events.