Gates open for the biggest Electric Picnic festival

Some 40,000 music fans expected to attend sold-out event this weekend

 

A sell-out crowd of 40,000 people are heading for Stradbally this afternoon for the Electric Picnic.

This is the 10th year of a festival whose place in the summer calendar is now assured.

Tonight’s headliners include a mixture of retro and contemporary on the main stage.

Cavan wunderkids The Strypes will be followed by Blondie in what is likely to be their last festival performance in Ireland.

Oxford hipsters Foals and the Pet Shop Boys, who have been regular festival performers in Ireland, complete the line-up.

The weather has started off badly in Stradbally where it is raining at present. Further outbreaks of rain are expected later today and murky conditions will persist.

The good news is that the weather will start to improve this weekend and over the weekend.

Tomorrow will see sunny spells with highs of 16 to 17 degrees while Sunday will be better still with highs of 20 degrees.

AA Roadwatch is reporting “nothing out of the ordinary just yet” in terms of traffic congestion for those on the road to the festival.

The gates of the main arenas opened at 2pm.

Promoter Melvin Benn of Festival Republic said this year’s crowd was up 8,000 on last year and said the site could cope with the additional music fans.

There is an extra campsite this year while the existing campsites have been expanded and there is a new campervan entrance.

The arena is also bigger to accommodate the greater numbers.

“The site is as green as the lawn tennis at Wimbledon,” he said. “We don’t need a contingency. We have a plan in place. We are 100 per cent in good shape for it.”

He attributed the growing size of the event to the recovery in the economy and an “aggressive pricing structure”.

Tomorrow 1990s shoegazers Portishead will be followed by Chic in what we are told will be their last Electric Picnic performance.

Sunday’s line-up includes Outkast, Beck, Sinead O’Connor and Lily Allen.

The festival will have an official taxi rank for the first time close to the Stradbally site. There will also be a shuttle bus service from Portlaoise train station running until Monday afternoon.