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Organisers were expecting about 5000 festival-goers on site at Robrosa Station in the Cardrona Valley by the time the first act took the stage at 5pm.
The attendance last year was 10,000, which caused long queues at check-in and at other facilities, including the beer tent.
While waiting for the music to start, this year's festival-goers were busy banging in tent pegs, or sitting around providing their own entertainment.
Scott Davey, dressed as Wally from the Where's Wally? series of books, said he had been singing to his immediate neighbours.
He and Kate Medlin, both from Dunedin, decided to dress up after being impressed by a group dressed as dinosaurs last year.
They were looking forward to the appearance of Canadian band The Funk Hunters.
About 80% of festival-goers were expected to camp over the festival's two nights.
Trent Moody, of Christchurch, said after his $16 tent was sprayed with the logo he would be loath to part with it. His tent had successfully passed a test to show it was waterproof.
Rain was threatening throughout the afternoon but stayed away, and a pleasant, cool breeze was blowing up the Cardrona Valley as Martine Harding, of Wanaka, did a soundcheck. Her band, Arma Del Amor, was the first act due on stage.
Festival co-founder Alex Turnbull said there was a ''good mood'' around the festival grounds. There were no queues and cooler temperatures were appreciated by those who had seen too much of the sun the day before.