We’re from Preston – we don’t care about the rain at festivals

Clare Thornhill, 26, (left) Charlotte Gillett, 22, and Lucy Judge, 23, (right), all from Preston, Lancashire, arrive to catch the catamaran passenger ferry at Portsmouth, Hampshire, to cross the Solent to get to the Isle of Wight Festival which is being headlined by Bon Jovi, The Killers and The Stone Roses.

Clare Thornhill, 26, (left) Charlotte Gillett, 22, and Lucy Judge, 23, (right), all from Preston, Lancashire, arrive to catch the catamaran passenger ferry at Portsmouth, Hampshire, to cross the Solent to get to the Isle of Wight Festival which is being headlined by Bon Jovi, The Killers and The Stone Roses.

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This weekend is the unofficial start to the festival season – the Isle Of Wight Festival, where this year you can see The Stone Roses, The Killers and Bon Jovi headlining.

It began last night and will also be shown on Sky Arts.

Thousands of music-lovers have been piling on to ferries to the Isle of Wight for the first of the major summer music festivals.

Bon Jovi, the Killers and the Stone Roses will headline the Isle of Wight Festival with Bob Geldof reforming the Boomtown Rats after a 26-year break to make a special appearance on Sunday.

Rumours have started to spread that Geldof will join Bon Jovi on stage in the festival climax on Sunday.

Festival-goers have been promised by the organisers that there will not be a repeat of last year’s scenes of chaos when heavy rainfall turned the car parks into mudbaths.

But Clare Thornhill, 26, from Preston – who was heading across with friends Charlotte Gillett, 22, and Lucy Judge, 23 – said: “We’re used to the bad weather.

“We’re from up north, this is nothing to what we get at home.”

Martin Payne, 36, was arriving with 13 friends to celebrate his stag do.

Pushing a trolley with a dozen crates of beer and cider, he said: “We’re going to have four days of drinking and cavorting, well, not too much cavorting.

“The wedding’s not until September so I’ve plenty of time to recover.”

The big news, however, is always Glastonbury, which this year starts on June 26.

It has a cachet most other festivals dream of, and now the organisers have finally managed to persuade The Rolling Stones to join in (they’ll be headlining on the Saturday night) they’ve pipped other festivals to the punch once again.

The wrinkly rockers will be the filling in an Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons sandwich over those three days, although if none of those tickle your fancy there are plenty of other bands you can watch – from the comfort of your sofa if you haven’t managed to get tickets, as even the BBC’s interactive service lets you choose from a long list of acts and assorted highlights over the weekend.

Of the other big-name festivals, T In The Park at Balado in Kinross-shire, Scotland has Mumford & Sons, Rihanna and The Killers, while Latitude, which takes place in mid-July, has an especially good line-up this year - Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals top the bill in Suffolk.

Kraftwerk particularly will be a special occasion. The German electronic pioneers are planning to hand out 3D glasses to everyone in the 50,000-strong crowd to enjoy the experience.

Leeds and Reading return to their alternative roots this year, with Eminem, Green Day and Biffy Clyro headlining, while V, in Stafford and Chelmsford, is offering Beyonce and Kings Of Leon.

A recent survey showed that the average age of a festival-goer is 36.

They’ve never been cheap, but festival prices have certainly increased.

Tickets for three-day festivals start at around £150 - Glastonbury was £205 plus a booking fee this year - and while that’s not bad value if you see, say, 20 bands over the weekend, it’s a lot to fork out in one go.

Add in transport, food and drink, perhaps the odd T-shirt, camping essentials you need to stock up on before you get there, and costs quickly spiral but there’s till time to get involved this summer.