The biggest ever Tennent’s Vital got off to an epic start yesterday, with tens of thousands of music fans, including Game of Thrones cast members and Kian Egan, descending on Belfast’s Boucher Road Playing fields to enjoy the first day of the festival.
Nashville rockers Kings of Leon thrilled fans with a storming headline performance, treating the crowd to a hit-filled set. Opening with The Bucket, other highlights included Use Somebody, Fans and Revelry plus new songs Mechanical Bull and It Don’t Matter, before an encore of Radioactive, Sex on Fire and Black Thumbnail inspired mass sing-alongs at Boucher Road Playing Fields.
Frontman Caleb Followill hailed the warm welcome the band received from the Tennent’s Vital crowd, saying: “You guys are wonderful, thank you so much! Tomorrow night’s crowd is going to have to be good to beat you guys. Thanks for coming out, we appreciate everything you’ve done for us.”
Bassist Jared even took time out to inform the crowd of Northern Ireland’s victory over Russia, raising a massive cheer when he held up a handwritten sign showing the score, before Caleb led the crowd in applause for the other outstanding acts on the Day 1 bill, saying: “I’d like to thank the bands that shared the stage with us – put your hands together for The Minutes, put your hands together for The Undertones, put your hands together for The Vaccines.”
Earlier in the day The Vaccines wowed the crowd with a blistering set, which featured their epic anthems including Teenage Icon, Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), and new single Melody Calling. Northern Irish legends The Undertones also enjoyed playing to the home crowd, saying: “Every time we play in Belfast we love it. The festival is great, there’s a good atmosphere, and it’s nice to still be asked to be a part of things like this.”
Dublin rockers The Minutes returned to Tennent’s Vital after playing last year, saying: “It feels really good to be asked back – Belfast crowds are great. Kings of Leon are probably one of the biggest rock bands in the world and The Undertones are one of the greatest rock bands ever. It’s a massive opportunity for a band like us to get our name out there.”
Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing from Tennent’s NI said: “What a fantastic start to this year’s Tennent’s Vital! We’ve seen some world class performances here at Boucher Road Playing Fields today, and the crowd have been phenomenal – it’s been wonderful to see so many people having a great time. We can’t wait to welcome Snow Patrol back to Belfast for their only European festival date this summer – it promises to be a really special moment for fans and band alike.”
Tennent’s Vital continues on Thursday 15th August when Snow Patrol play a massive homecoming show – their only European festival date this summer – with Jason Mraz, Kodaline and Foy Vance also featuring on the bill. The festival comes to a close on Friday, when Avicii, Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Naughty Boy and Tommy Trash take to the stage.