Revellers flock to Electric Picnic

Jerry Fish entertains at the Picnic's press day earlier this week. Pic: Alf Harvey

Thousands of revellers will descend on a rural village today as the Electric Picnic opens.

The sounds, sights and tastes of the boutique-style festival will come to life as music fans set up camp in the grounds of the Stradbally Hall estate in Co Laois.

More than 30,000 welly-wearers laden down with rucksacks and tents are expected to arrive throughout the first day, to be headlined by Fatboy Slim eight years after he first performed at the event.

The crowd will swell to a record 35,000 by end of the three-day event, when Sunday only ticket holders arrive to mark the festival’s sell-out 10th birthday.

Promoters have warned would-be revellers still looking for tickets that fake ones could be circulating on a number of websites.

“No more official tickets will be released to purchase in advance of the festival,” a spokeswoman added.

AA Roadwatch said traffic will be heaviest in and around the venue this afternoon and tonight and on Monday morning, with several road closures in the area.

“Any motorists not attending the event are advised to avoid the area and take an alternative route,” it said.

Motorists are warned to take extra care when a group of 1,000 charity cyclists travelling to the event from Tallaght Stadium are on the road.

Public bus and train services will also carry fans from across the country.

Organisers – who recently signed a deal to run the event for another 10 years - also seem to have hit lucky with the weather, with Met Eireann forecasting a cool dry weekend with almost picnic-perfect skies.

The festival has grown from 10,000 music fans at a one day event to a three-day child friendly festival of music, arts, theatre and food.

More than 80% of tickets this year were snapped up by loyal revellers who were offered special deals for previously attending the event.

The eclectic sound of Bjork will hit the main stage on Saturday, along with Two Door Cinema Club and Disclosure, with Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys closing the weekend’s festivities on Sunday.

Hundreds of other artists, musicians and DJs will also be entertaining revellers across the sprawling estate.

Meanwhile, away from the music, there’s an array of delights including the Body and Soul Village featuring a Sacred Space tent for prayers and reflection and a range of holistic treatments, arts and crafts area, a comedy tent and a theatre of food.

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