Glastonbury clean-up starts here: Festival-goers head for home, leaving farm a rubbish tip

Their faces looking more than a little jaded and their expressions downcast after several days of hard partying, the 140,000 Glastonbury revellers headed home today.

After The Verve drew the legendary festival to a close last night, the music fans slowly started winding their way, wearily carrying their belongings on their backs.

They must have been thankful that this year, for once, the rain had all but completely stayed away from Worthy Farm in Somerset - sparing them the usual mudbath.

But judging from their demeanour, the weather was little comfort as they reconciled themselves to the fact the festival was over for another year.

Rubbish tip: A group of girls make their way through the garbage-strewn field

Over for another year: Weary festival-goers heading for home today

And it was not only the music fans who looked the worse for wear. After days of revelry, Worthy Farm had been transformed from a green paradise to a rubbish tip.

Utterly deserted but for small groups of grubby fans, the ground was dotted with plastic bags and drinks cartons as far as the eye could see.

For organisers Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily the clean-up starts now but after all the controversy this year over headline acts and poor ticket sales, they will be relieved to hear the festival is already being dubbed the best ever by fans.

Valdi Rajania, 28, from Birmingham, said: 'I've been to the last three, and this was the best ever. The weather has been good, the music great. The atmosphere has been really positive.

'It makes a real difference without the mud. I have heard some say 'it's not Glastonbury without the mud' but I'm happy enough without it.'

The exodus from Worthy farm begins as the 2008 Glastonbury festival ends

Rubbish tip: Worthy Farm, the home of Glastonbury, needs a serious clear-up

The exodus from Worthy farm begins as the 2008 Glastonbury festival ends

Ankle-deep: Plastic bags and empty drinks cartons litter the ground

Rory Cleland, 17, a student, from Sheffield, said his first Glastonbury had been a 'crazy' experience.

'It's been brilliant, I've loved it,' he said. 'This is the first year my parents let me come. I had to watch it on television last year - being here is just crazy.

'I'll be back next year, if I can get a ticket.'

This year's event had been dogged by poor ticket sales right up to last week and heavily criticised for giving Saturday's headline slot to rapper Jay-Z.

But speaking backstage over the weekend, Mr Eavis insisted the controversial decision not to give the slot to a traditional band had been vindicated.

Heading home: Two revellers leave the festival site laden down with their belongings

Jaded: Two music fans wend their way, carrying their tents on their backs as another, below, takes a moment on the rubbish-strewn field

Monday morning, 30th June ,The exodus from Worthy farm begins as the 2008 Glastonbury festival ends.

He said: 'Jay-Z was absolutely brilliant. He was a triumph in the end. When he came out it was incredible. Everyone knew all the words to all the songs.'

It was incredible to 'bring hip-hop from the streets of New York to Glastonbury', he added, saying: 'We've a much younger audience this year.

'It's like Sunday school at a nice local church. You have to have youngsters there, otherwise we just all grow old together.'

Britpop veterans The Verve, however, added to the controversy last night by taking a dig at Mr Eavis during their performance.

Lead singer Richard Ashcroft told the crowds: 'I want to thank Emily Eavis for inviting us to play Glastonbury, and I hope her dad realises why she booked us now.'

Jay-Z on stage

Controversy: RapperJay-Z on stage on Saturday night. Organiser Michael Eavis (below) later branded his performance was a triumph

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis talks to the media

Amy Winehouse also introduced her own touch of mayhem on Saturday when she appeared to attack a fan after descending from the stage during one of her hit songs.

The organisers today were upbeat about the event, saying on the official website that it had been a 'vintage year' and they would see fans in 2009.

Richard Ashcroft of The Verve

Jibe: Richard Ashcroft from The Verve took a dig at Mr Eavis as the band closed the Festival last night

But Mr Eavis is said to have told other members of his team that he is unlikely to repeat choosing a controversial headline act next year.

He reportedly does not want to take such a big financial risk after this year's event struggled with ticket sales.

For the first time ever, tickets for the three-day festival only sold out on the last day and tens of thousands of tickets were still on sale two months ago.

Many criticised the choice of Jay-Z, saying it flew in the face of Glastonbury's tradition of showcasing rock bands and would alienate its traditional support-base.

Oasis star Noel Gallagher said in April: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

'If you start to break it then people aren't going to go. I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance.'

At least this year's weather provided some light relief.

The mud only returned briefly on Friday after some on-off showers and the rest of the time the ground was bathed in sun.

Glastonbury has become synonymous with mud in recent years, with storms and flash flooding in 2005 causing tents to float away.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now