The weather can’t dampen the spirits of the 70,000 revelers who make the pilgrimage to the Electric Picnic

After three years of catching up, not even a looming weather warning could dampen the enthusiasm of the 70,000 revelers who made their way to Stradbally Hall to pay homage to the Electric Picnic Festival.

The belief that it was finally back on the calendar after two dismal years was the overwhelming emotion among many in attendance, ranging from students celebrating their Leaving Cert results to those who were there at the very beginning of 2004.

Some revelers had gotten the party started early by descending on Thursday, and by Friday afternoon a steady stream of festival fans had made their way into the venue before the first bands performed.

Shortly after 6 p.m., Irish sensation Denise Chaila opened the festival on the main stage – for once even the weather cooperated.

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

Festival Republic’s Electric Picnic boss Melvin Benn 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 of the 70,000 in, so we’ve definitely broken the backbone. Some of them will come down after work and the Gardai did a fantastic job with the traffic.

“It’s a big day. You can tell that people have waited too long. There will be people here today who brought their infants but didn’t have infants when they bought their tickets in 2019. So you can only imagine some of the changes that have happened in people’s lives.”

As usual, the dress code was “anything goes,” but Lycra shorts, fanny packs, crop tops, and lots of glitter were the order of the day. A sturdy trolley was also the most popular accessory when it came to accommodating all of the camping gear – not to mention the beer crates – at die-hard weather tents.

Showing its cross-generational appeal, young families made the most of the Little Picnic area while down at the Jimi Hendrix campground the mood was sky high.

Westmeath friends Claire Jessop and Sonia Lotjek said their EP experience was “amazing” and were happy the weather held out.

Arriving on Thursday, the couple said it would be down at the Laois venue by Sunday “if we can make it”.

“I stayed here last night and it was very busy but it was so good. We look forward to Meghan Thee Stallion, Picture This and then DJs like Fred Again and Annmarie,” said Sonia.

Hannah Farrell of Dublin’s Bluebell celebrated her 25th birthday.

She was planning to see Dermot Kennedy on the main stage tonight and then the Arctic Monkeys on Sunday. She said the atmosphere was “amazing”.

“Everyone’s buzzing, can’t wait to see what the weekend brings. I think it’s way overdue, people are really excited to see it again,” she said. “The acts are really good this year, I think everyone needed it to be back.”

Several new areas were added this year including Fish Town and The Theater with performances by Ballet Ireland on the programme.

The main stage was also repositioned to increase its capacity, and there was also a nod to sustainability with the Heineken Greener Bar, where patrons were encouraged to reuse their mugs.

But the festival also saw the return of some of the old favourites, including the Inflatable Church, where the party was in full swing as some couples in love signed on to exchange vows in a carnival atmosphere.

Among them was five-year-old couple Regina Muldoon, from Cavan, and Chris Fitzpatrick, from the UK, as they waited their turn to say ‘yes, I do’.

Regina was wearing a fluffy wedding dress that she had borrowed from the nearby boutique and was holding a bouquet of flowers. The weather can’t dampen the spirits of the 70,000 revelers who make the pilgrimage to the Electric Picnic

Fry Electronics Team

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