Sunshine and high spirits mark first day of Electric Picnic
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.
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.