It was a throwback to the old pre-bypass days for Mitchelstown, Co Cork, yesterday afternoon as bumper-to-bumper cars crawled their way northbound through the town to this year’s Indiependence Music and Arts festival.
Shops along the town’s main street — once the main Cork-Dublin road — showed up for the occasion, many throwing out the bunting and giving their window displays a musical theme to tie in with Indie 17.
Many of those same businesses had weekend specials on offer to tempt festival-goers to make the 20-minute walk from the Indie site on Deer Farm to the north of the town into their shops.
Traffic picked up again on the north of the town, an adjacent industrial park provided a handy access and drop-off point for those not availing of the parking.
The campsites themselves opened at 10am and, by 5pm, when the main arena hosting the festival’s stages, bars and other attractions opened, vast swathes of green were submerged in a multicoloured range of polyester peaks as fans pitched their tents, made their home for the weekend, and got to know their new neighbours.
Inside the arena, a main stage marquee and second ‘big top’ stage are surrounded by food vendors, bars, and the odd outdoor dance venue.
A relatively dry summer means conditions underfoot are extremely favourable so far, with all areas navigable by trainers — the classic festival wellies have yet to be called upon.
And as for fashion, the Indie 17 crowd, as with their predecessors, have shown contempt for the cool temperatures and occasional light showers by turning out in shorts, vests, and tank tops.
Pictures: Kieran Frost
Raising Jupiter had the honour of being the first act to get proceedings underway, and the rock duo were well into their set by the time the first music fans had made their way into the beer hall — a large deer shed converted for the occasion.
English singer-songwriter Tom Odell, no stranger to Mitchelstown having played Indiependence in 2014 was followed by a Sigma DJ set to close the main stage last night. The Coronas, who are well familiar with the festival, return for their fifth appearance tonight.
The back catalogue of The Manic Street Preachers is older than many revelers in attendance this weekend and they promise to supply an anthemic finale on Sunday night.
Most weekend ticket-holders are now on site, with daytrippers due today and tomorrow. While tickets will be available on the gate tomorrow, those planning a trip to Mitchelstown today have been advised that Saturday tickets are sold out.
“We’re delighted to get Indie 17 underway,” said Indiependence organiser Shane Dunne.
“There’s been a lot of hard work over the last few weeks to get the site in great shape for the weekend and a credit to the crew who worked on it. There’s been a steady stream of campers arriving here since this morning and everyone has passed through without any major delays. We’re expecting 10,000 people on site per day over the weekend, with a limited amount of Sunday Day Tickets still available at the box office.
“We hope everyone here has a great weekend and enjoys some fantastic music over the next couple of days.”
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