A blistering set from dance pioneers Orbital last night closed the Main Stage on the first day of All Together Now, though the festivities were overshadowed by what was happening off site on the roads to Waterford’s Curraghmore House.
Earlier Fontaines DC enjoyed a sort of homecoming, playing their first Irish gig since bagging a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut Dogrel - tunes such as ‘Boys in the Better Land’ and ‘Liberty Belle’ had bodies flying at the stage barrier, while the gentle slope towards the stage afforded a vantage point for those seeking a more genteel evening, including the many families in attendance.
Honourable mentions too go to Nenah Cherry and King Kong Company whose sets both garnered positive word of mouth from those who were there last night.
Unfortunately for many the story of Friday was the interminable delays in getting to the site. Impromptu gridlock parties broke out at some of the approaches to Curraghmore House, as festival goers got out of their vehicles and danced to tunes blaring from car radios.
Kind locals offered water and snacks to frustrated motorists stuck in tailbacks, some even providing their bathrooms to the relief of delayed attendees.
At the campsite war stories were traded, tales of woe of the journeys endured to make it this far. Some wondered how seemingly hundreds of cars idling at a standstill for hours on end fits with the festival’s sustainability ethos.
Just hours into All Together Now 2, there was an obvious improvement needed for the third installment - sort the traffic management.
A statement from the organisers citing the “complex network of surrounding country roads” to the 15th century house did little to appease the anger with some, who questioned why the promoters Pod increased the capacity on last year’s festival ii the site apparently lacks the adequate infrastructure to get everyone through in a timely manner.
But that’s behind us now. Fontaines and Orbital were a welcome remedy to travel sickness - or sickness of travel - and with the likes of Hot Chip and Jon Hopkins tonight there’s no doubt there’ll be plenty of movement in Waterford tonight.