Saturday, September 03, 2022

By Cate McCurry, PA

Festivalgoers are bracing themselves for heavy rain as a weather warning looms over Electric Picnic.

About 70,000 people made their way to Stradbally for Electric Picnic, the largest music festival in Ireland, that sprawls across a 600-acre site in Co Laois.

The event has returned after a two year absence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thousands of people poured into the grounds for the long-awaited event.

Electric Picnic festival
Festivalgoers at the Electric Picnic festival (Niall Carson/PA)

However, Met Éireann has issued an orange weather warning for the county with intense rain showers expected late Saturday night.

Campers struggled with the wet weather on Friday night and Saturday and have faced muddy campsites throughout the day.

Fans have been warned to protect themselves from the heavy showers expected late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

The forecaster warned of torrential downpours as well as potential thunderstorms and lightning strikes in the early hours of Sunday.

Those staying on campsites have had to wrap up sleeping bags, clothes and seal up tents to avoid a wash-out.

Electric Picnic festival
Revellers arrive for the Electric Picnic festival (Niall Carson/PA)

Despite the poor weather, many groups of friends and families made their way to different stages and tents to see the various acts.

Dermot Kennedy, Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys are the headline acts at the festival.

Other big acts include Snow Patrol, Denise Chaila, Megan Thee Stallion, and Picture This.

Meanwhile, the HSE has warned of “high strength” drugs being found at the festival.

The drug was discovered at the HSE’s anonymous drug testing facility at the festival.

Concert fans can anonymously submit drugs and substances to the “surrender bin” at the HSE tent.

In a tweet, the HSE said its lab had identified a Mybrand purple skull pill which is approximately two times the average adult dose.

It has urged people to exercise caution.

The HSE tweeted: “Higher strength equals high risk. Its important for people to follow harm reduction if they use MDMA.

“Start low, go slow and leave at least two hours before considering to take more.”

Acts performing on Saturday include Kneecap, Lyra, Anne-Marie, The Kooks and Annie Mac.

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