Belfast was rocking last night as the mighty Kings Of Leon got the Tennent’s Vital festival off to a roaring start.
Tens of thousands prepared for anything the weather could throw at them swarmed through the gates of the Boucher Road playing fields armed with colourful ponchos and welly boots.
Music lovers were buzzing as they trudged their way through the muddy field to find the best spot to watch the impressive line- up.
When Derry punks The Undertones are the warm-up act, the night is bound to be something special.
Deborah Kelly (25) from Belfast agreed.
“It’s a brilliant atmosphere, it’s electric,” she said.
“We are here to see Kings Of Leon but we are here for the craic and to have a good time.”
Kieran McElmeel (28) said: “This is a great night, everybody should turn up, it’s fantastic.”
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the release of The Undertones classic hit Teenage Kicks, and the band were determined to make the most of their biggest gig.
There was lots of dancing and singing as seasoned pros and newcomers to the festival got in to the swing of things.
It was Ashleigh Stanley (23) from Greenisland’s first time at Vital.
She said: “It’s top notch. Everybody is buzzing, there is nothing bad about it, everyone is just enjoying it together.”
The first night of the newly expanded three day festival didn’t just have music on offer. There were countless rows of food and ice-cream vans available to cater for a variety of tastes.
Emma O’Neil (19) from Lurgan only booked her tickets yesterday at the last minute. She said: “The festival is nothing like I expected it to be — but in a good way.”
Excitement was building as The Vaccines played their set, knowing that the Kings Of Leon weren’t far away.
The Grammy award-winning American rockers were the name on almost everyone’s lips.
Jillian Magee and Karen Miller from Newtownards said: “We haven’t seen anything like it.
“We saw them at Slane Castle a few years ago and as soon as we knew they were coming back again we had to go.”
Among the Kings Of Leon fans was Gavin Rafferty (25) from north Belfast. He said he keeps coming back to Tennent’s Vital because “there are no problems, it’s just a really good time”.
The opening night has left a lasting memory with many already planning their return next year.
Natalie Montgomery (29) from north Belfast can’t wait to come back again. She said: “It’s been a brilliant atmosphere and I couldn’t have had a better night if I tried.
“I’ve never been to anything like this before and it’s met my expectations big time. She added: “Everyone is getting on great and having a great time.
“I’m desperate to come back again.”
Last night was just the beginning, with more than 90,000 fans expected to attend the festival over the next two days.