With numerous stages spread across the huge estate there was plenty for picnicers to choose from as the sunshine arrived. With memories of 2022’s washout well and truly banished, crowds flocked to the arena and its various surrounding areas such as the wooded Trenchtown and Salty Dog, to enjoy the huge variety of acts.
In the Electric Arena, American singer Nessa Barrett drew a sizable crowd to listen to her sultry wide-screen anthems. Pop perfection with cool chic and loud guitars, the New Jersey girl seemed to be having an absolute ball up on stage. “I'm so fucking happy to be here!” she exclaimed; “I love you all!”, she continued before blowing kisses to her mutually adoring fans.
On the main stage, Tom Odell praised Electric Picnic for being; "the best fucking festival in the whole wide world". There's really no place anywhere, I'd rather like to be than here", he gushed ahead of debuting unreleased new song 'Black Friday'.
Of course it was The Smiths' classics that drew the biggest response, with an early inclusion of ‘This Charming Man’ bringing with it a huge singalong. The incredible one-two of ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ into ‘How Soon is Now’ meanwhile proved almost euphoric.
Referencing the amusing moment in 2019 that saw him go an impromptu crowd surf when the power went down, Johnny said; “Electric Picnic we have returned to the scene of the crime! Last time I was here I ended up in the middle of the crowd, and someone stole my fucking shoe!”
Closing out with “a disco song from Manchester” in an extended ‘Getting Away With It’, and a joyous ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’ - dedicated to “all my folks in Kildare”, the icon took his bows to an uproarious applause.
Elsewhere the likes of ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)‘ perennial favourite ‘Candy’ saw the arena light up with the crowd singing along to every word.
Going on late into the night, producer Fred Again closed out the main arena while The Coronas brought things to an end in the Electric Arena.
Electric Picnic continues on Sunday (3rd September) with Rick Astley, Gavin James and The Script, set to perform. The Killers meanwhile will bring Electric Picnic 2023 to a close.