SO the festival they call the greatest show on earth has landed in Somerset once more, writes Clinton Rogers.

In my time with the BBC, I covered 26 Glastonbury Festivals – and few of my friends or broadcasting colleagues can understand me when I say I’m glad to see the back of it!

I’m sure as a punter it’s fun – if you like either baking heat or clinging mud (choose your year!) – and compost toilets are your thing.

Don’t get me wrong; I have some terrific memories (mainly good) of hearing great music and interviewing everyone from Shirley Bassey to King Alfred (at least he said he was King Alfred!)

The celebrities varied dramatically between those who were super-helpful and pleasant, like Tom Jones and Paul McCartney, to those who … just weren’t.  I don’t think I’ve met a man ruder than Van Morrison. Shame really, because I rather like his music.

Then there are those who come with quite extraordinary demands.  Violinist Nigel Kennedy apparently asked for two air-conditioned trailers - one for himself and one for his dog!

I actually went back to the site this year, for the first time in more than a decade, to be given a tour of the quite extraordinary medical services that are provided on site.

They are run by a charity called Festival Medical Services, set up more than 45 years ago when the festival first started.

Now you have to remember that when the festival is in full swing it’s a city twice the size of Bath!  And the potential for illnesses and injury on site to overwhelm local health services is very real.

Festival Medical Services have their own hospital tent at Glastonbury.Festival Medical Services have their own hospital tent at Glastonbury. (Image: Supplied)

That is why Festival Medical Services set up a full-scale hospital on site.  In total there are 800 medical staff there, including doctors, nurses, dentists and psychiatrists. And all of them are volunteers.

They told us that this year they were excepting to treat around 5,000 patients. And they were ready for everything from sun stroke to drug overdoses, from alcohol poisoning to broken bones. They have X-ray facilities on site and the ability to plaster broken limbs.

On top of that the charity fund-raises throughout the year so it can provide critical health care in war torn and troubled areas around the world. A truly amazing group of people. It was a pleasure to see them at work but I was pleased to leave the site – it’s an age thing!