Friday was never going to be my day, and I knew that on the way in the door! The reason the festival pulled me in was the lure of the Villagers and Vampire weekend on the Saturday and Kraftwerk on the Sunday, so Friday was only ever the bit stuck on. I went with the intention of getting the lie of the land a few drinks in the sun at the end of a long week.
You enter Marlay by the entrance up beside Lidl, and you could drive/ park quite close to the venue, which was surprising. The festival is in the centre of the park, so you have to walk through it for about five minutes before you make it to the entrance. After being metal detected by security and having my very annoying arm band put on so tight that blood is barely making it to my left hand (despite shouting ‘don’t put it on too tight’ when the guy was doing it, but maybe I scared him!) I entered the venue. The main stage is surrounded by trees, with the three smaller venues across the stream/ lake and accessed by various bridges. There was very little noise bleed between the venues, and it seemed well thought out.
The foodstalls all surround the main stage, and it’s the usual crew with the groumet burgers and pie minister in attendance. There’s a long bar in this area, and it was easy enough to get served, but the downside is that pints of Heineken (only) are €6. The Celtic tiger is alive and well!
I missed most of Django, Django’s set which was disappointing, as they were possibly my favorite band playing that night and I was surprised they were on so early. Foals are next on the main stage, who are not really my cup of tea, so I went to explore the smaller stages, with Jessie Ware working the crowd in the Heineken stage, and Rhye providing possibly the best set of the night in the Woodland Stage. Phoenix finished the night on the main stage, who provided some decent indie pop and had the crowd bouncing. As a prelude to the next two days, it was an enjoyable night, and I’m looking forward to the treats in store later on today…