After three years of high demand, even looming weather warnings couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 70,000 raucous enthusiasts who trekked up to Stradbury Hall to pay tribute to the Electric Picnic Festival.

The relief of finally being back on the events calendar after two grueling years was the strongest emotion among many of the attendees, from students celebrating their Leaving Cert results to the first entrants of 2004.

Some revelers arrived on Thursday to get the party started early, and by Friday afternoon, before the first band played, a steady stream of festival fans had arrived at the venue.

Irish sensation Denise Chaila kicked off the festival on the main stage just after 6pm.

Conditions remained dry and damp despite the gloomy forecast for the weekend.

Melvin Benn, boss of Festival Republic’s Electric Picnic, said the atmosphere was “fantastic”.

“I couldn’t be happier. We’re open and the rain hasn’t come yet. The bands are about to arrive and we’re in a very good place,” he told .

“So far we’ve gotten about 55,000 out of 70,000, so we’ve definitely broken the back of it. did.

“Today is a big day everywhere. I see people waiting too long. There are people here today who brought infants when they bought their tickets in 2019 but didn’t.” So I can only imagine some of the changes that have happened in people’s lives.”

As usual, it was an “anything goes” case when it came to dress code, but Lycra shorts, bumbags, crop tops and glitter hors d’oeuvres were all strict. Sturdy trolleys were also the most popular accessory when it came to carrying all of your camping gear, not to mention the trays.

As evidence of its multi-generational appeal, young families were making the most of the Little Picnic Area while at Jimi Hendrix’s campground.

Westmeath’s friends Claire Jessop and Sonia Lotjek said their experience with the EP was “incredible” and they were delighted that the weather was holding up.

The pair, who arrived Thursday, said they’ll be at the Riesch venue until Sunday “if we make it.”

“I came here last night and it was really busy, but it was great. I’m looking forward to seeing Megan Thee Stallion, Picture This and DJs like Fred Again and Anne-Marie,” said Sonia. .

Hannah Farrell from Blue Bell, Dublin was celebrating her 25th birthday.

She was scheduled to see Dermot Kennedy on the main stage tonight and the Arctic Monkeys on Sunday.

“Everyone’s been buzzing and I’m excited to see how the weekend unfolds. I feel like we’re way past the deadline, but people are really excited to see it come back,” she said. The act is really good.I think everyone needed to come back.”

Several new areas have been added this year, including Fish Town and The Theatre, with performances by Ballet Ireland.

The main stage was also relocated to accommodate more people, and sustainability was addressed with the Heineken Greener Bar, where patrons were encouraged to reuse their cups.

But the festival also brought back some old favorites, such as the inflatable church. There, the party was in full swing as infatuated couples signed up to exchange vows in a carnival atmosphere.

Among them were Regina Muldoon from Cavan and Chris Fitzpatrick from England who waited five years for their turn to say ‘I’ll do it’.

Wearing a gorgeous wedding dress from a nearby boutique and holding a bouquet of flowers, Regina said the atmosphere was “wonderful” and she was looking forward to the celebrations that followed.

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