SMILING revellers abandoned their raincoats as the sunlight-filled fields of Co Laois saw tens of thousands of music fans setting up home for the weekend at this year’s Electric Picnic festival.
Gardaí were also put on alert yesterday that ex-British prime minister Tony Blair might make a surprise appearance at the Stradbally site ahead of an interview on the Late Late Show.
Promoters of Ireland’s grandest boutique festival – the seventh year running – say they are hopeful its 32,000-plus tickets have nearly sold out.
And while temperatures of up to 22º Celsius are expected over the weekend, partying music fans can expect some rain and possibly thunder this evening according to Met Éireann.
But rainy showers are unlikely to phase punters, with artists and groups like The Frames, Imelda May, Seasick Steve and Leftfield taking to the main stage this evening.
Tomorrow night will also see the hypnotic group Massive Attack take on the main stage as well as Brooklyn indie rock band The National.
Aside from musicians, festival-goers will have the opportunity to hear debate and discussions from some of the world’s “brains,” such as controversial, former British MP George Galloway, economist David McWilliams, Irish politicians Eamon Ryan and Dan Boyle, as well as renowned drug smuggler and author Howard Marks.
Motorists are warned to be prepared for traffic build-up going to and from the festival area, especially on Monday morning and afternoon.
And if revellers find the mud and rain gets to them, those needing a clean-up are being offered a special opportunity to show off their own musical talents.
Festival-goers will be able to sing along to their favourite hits – in a shower.
The ESB Showeraoke – backed by radio DJs – will play anything from a Tom Jones classic to a Mumford and Sons’ ballad and wannabe performers can indulge in all their singing glory on their very own stage! Those scrubbing and humming the best will receive spot prizes and goodie bags.
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