| 9.5°C Dublin

Simply Electric

WELLIES and waterproofs were cast aside for flip-flops and shorts as Electric Picnic kicked off in style last night.

A crowd of around 32,000 enjoyed the music at Stradbally, Co Laois, where the party was in full swing until the early hours.

The civilised celebrations followed performances from Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, Jonsi, Eels, Modest Mouse and Janelle Monae.

Drag queens, fire floats, funfairs and gourmet food stalls ensured visitors were in high spirits before the first of the 200-plus performers even hit the stages, of which there are more than a dozen.

Dry campsites yesterday made for plenty of happy campers but the rain is expected to create muddy conditions from today.

Electric Picnic veteran Jean-Anne Bond, from Sutton, said: "It's the best opening day I've ever experienced. The weather has just been amazing so far. It's such a pity it won't hold, but we're Irish so we're well used to partying in the rain."

Also among the festival goers spotted on the opening day were English comedian Phill Jupitus of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Grouse Lodge Studios owner Paddy Dunning, fashion designer John Rocha and British comedian Stephen Frost.

Celebrities making their way to the festival today include Sean Penn, supermodel Christy Turlington, Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and her Twilight actor fiance Jamie Campbell Bower, and newlyweds Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman.

Hollywood beauty Natalie Portman is rumoured to be jetting in, while 90210 star Annalynne McCord is expected to watch Swedish star Robyn's set before playing hostess guest at the Wright Venue.