Entertainment Festivals

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Sunshine and high spirits mark first day of Electric Picnic

Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
William Dunne (20), Luke Cagney (21) and Daire O'Brien (23) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Sasha Brady

With sunshine and high spirits Electric Picnic got off to a good start on Friday.

Music fans gathered early to enjoy performances from the likes of RTE Concert Orchestra, The Divine Comedy and Hudson Taylor before the bulk of the crowd arrived shortly after 8pm.

For many opening day commuters, arriving to the site was a bit of a breeze compared to previous years. Festival organisers introduced early entry on Thursday for 5,000 eager picnickers to ease opening day congesting. That, coupled with extra security, ensured everything ran smoothly.

By 9pm the main stage swelled with festival-goers as they ran to the grasslands to catch London Grammar. Hannah Reid’s haunting and sometimes moody vocals may not seem like the most obvious festival fodder but the set time was ideal was for the slightly work-weary crowd. It gave everyone a moment to decompress from the week and cross over into festival mode.

Emily Brennan (30) from Kilkenny, Fiona Whelan (30) from Kildare, Emily Connor (30) from Mayo and Therese McManus (30) from Melbourne Australia at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Emily Brennan (30) from Kilkenny, Fiona Whelan (30) from Kildare, Emily Connor (30) from Mayo and Therese McManus (30) from Melbourne Australia at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Michelle Kearney from Castledermot Kildare, Tori McGeer (18) from Carlow, Pamela McGeer and Maggie McGeer both from Castledermot pitching their tent at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Sophie O'Brien (22) , Leah Fleming (21) and Alison Kelleher (21) all from Cork at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Katie Spillane (19) and Laura Storan (18) both from Nenagh Co Tipperary at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Melissa Simms (20) and Lauren Dent (21) both from Killiney Dublin at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Cousins Niamh Bryson (21) from Knocklyon and Deirdre Whyte (23) from Tempelogue at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Emma Naughton (21) , Alison Walsh (19) , Grace Campbell (19) amd Olivia Naughton (18) all from Naas Co Kildare with their Rickshaw at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Niamh Donohoe (20) and Tanya Nazipova (20) both from Mountmellick Laois at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Robyn Collins from Castleknock taking a look at the Yarn Bombers area by Sr. Columba at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Co Laois.
Melissa Simms (20) and Lauren Dent (21) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Revellers making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Michelle Kearney from Castledermot KIldare, Tori McGeer (18) from Carlow, Pamela McGeer and Maggie McGeer making their way to Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Cousins Niamh Bryson (21) from Knocklyon and Deirdre Whyte (23) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Sarah Kelly (20) and Leah Farrell (20) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Emma Naughton (21), Alison Walsh (19), Grace Campbell (19) and Olivia Naughton (18) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Cait Sweeney (25) from Phibsboro Dublin and Christina Karlsson (24) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
William Dunne (20), Luke Cagney (21) and Daire O'Brien (23) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Luke Cagney (21) at Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Over at the Electric Arena, the pace was a lot more frenetic as Los Angeles rapper Vince Staples took to the stage. Arriving alone, dressed all in grey and playing against an orange backdrop, he needed nothing but his music and lyrics. His politically charged songs addressed the summer of racial strife but while the crowd seemed to know every word, the politics took a backseat to dancing.

By 11pm every area of the festival appeared to be operating at full capacity. At the Today FM stage, music lovers of all ages danced to everything from Whitney Houston to Oasis and the full gamut of 90’s dance anthems. One over-enthusiastic dancer was heard yelling, “It’s like being at a wedding but if the wedding was in Copper’s.” That’s a good thing.

The xx closed Friday night’s action on the main stage, revving the crowd up with their hits Crystalised. Islands and Angels. By the time they closed their set, it seemed the crowd’s transformation into full-blown festival-goers with an itch for mischief was complete. For most but not all.

At midnight the party was just getting started but some people were already heading back to their tents. A group of young women lead the exodus from the stage.

“We’re going to take it easy tonight,” said Caroline Reid from Cork. “We want to do some of the foodie bits tomorrow and you don’t want to be dying for that. Sure the Happy Pear have a demo at 3.”

Probably the most Electric Picnic thing you’ll hear all weekend. It’s not all about the music you know.

Online Editors

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment