Sunday 23 October 2016

Wellies and wheelbarrows at the ready - it's Picnic time

Published 05/09/2015 | 02:30

Festival goers arriving at the Electric Picnic in Stradbally
Festival goers arriving at the Electric Picnic in Stradbally
Lissy Starr at the Electric Picnic in Stradball

They came armed with wheelbarrows, mattresses, glitter and wellies. The first of the 48,500 Electric Picnic revellers arrived in Stradbally early in the morning determined to make the most of the three-day festival.

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"You know what they say about early birds," Benita Hickson (20) from Rathgar said. "They get a good camping spot."

A 3km tailback meant it was slow getting through the gates but frustration dissipated once cars had been unloaded and a few well deserved drinks downed. "It's an awful trek getting here but once you get through the entrance you don't remember the traffic jams," Aisling Byrne (21), from Terenure, said. "You just want to listen to the music."

Dry shampoo, blister plasters and a never-ending supply of baby wipes were deemed festival essentials.

John and Ciara Kelly from Loughrea carted their supplies towards the camp site in a rusty wheelbarrow. "We're travelling in style," Ciara said. "We've left the kids at home and can't wait to see The Vengaboys. It's going to be a trip down memory lane."

The Coronas, Belle and Sebastian and Ham Sandwich were among the key players yesterday evening, with Underworld headlining.

Jamaican singer Grace Jones, aka May Day in 1985 Bond film A View to Kill, stole the show when she strutted out on stage. "The woman is an icon!" an excited fan in the pit screamed.

Today, 90s band Blur will chant about Parklife while soulful singer Sam Smith and Future Islands belt out hits.

"It's a really eclectic line-up this year," David O'Hara (22) from Dublin's Man O'War said. "That's what makes Electric Picnic so great. Plus, I think it's the only time of the year I can get away with wearing a bandana."

Families headed towards the Body and Soul area to chill out. Sisters Suzanne O'Connor, Samantha Whelan and Irene Lalor from Stradbally arrived with their children.

"It's a great day for the kids," Suzanne said. "They get their faces painted and go to the circus. It's a very safe environment and we get to listen to great music."

Boxer Andy Lee, Laura Whitmore, Amy Huberman, Roz Purcell and boyfriend Niall Breslin are all planning on heading to Laois over the weekend.

Irish Independent

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