They came in their thousands; the young, the denim-clad, the beglittered.

Bay Dreams got under way yesterday without the reports of patrons' on-road "stupidity" - walking along highways, dangerous crossing attempts - that dogged the music festival last year.

Organisers expecting a crowd of 25,000 people for the main event would have been pleased to see the dawn of a warm and sunny - if overcast - day.

There was heavy traffic management around the venue, including manned pedestrian crossings and a 50km/h temporary speed limit on SH2 between the Sandhurst Drive on-ramp and the Te Maunga roundabout.


The long warned-of congestion around venue Bay Park was present as predicted, with traffic snarled in all directions as the festival got under way at midday.

Bridgette Irwin, who runs a sober driving service, said she lost track of how many people she transported to the venue.

She thought the traffic management measures in place were generally pretty sensible, even if they did make drop-offs less than convenient.

Most of the people she drove were from out of town and were pretty well behaved, she said.

"I haven't seen anyone vomiting so that's good."

Midway through the festival at 5.30pm, police had few problems to report.

A spokeswoman said two people had been evicted for being drunk and a couple of people had been warned for drinking on the street. There had been no arrests.

"Overall the crowd is in good spirits."

Tegan Lindsay and Mel Schwalger show off their heavily-gelled festival hair. Photo/Samantha Motion
Tegan Lindsay and Mel Schwalger show off their heavily-gelled festival hair. Photo/Samantha Motion

Auckland besties Tegan Lindsay and Mel Schwalger were only too happy to show off their glittering festival hair.

"We braided our hair this morning and then we stuck a tonne of hair gel and a tonne of glitter in it," Schwalger said, laughing.

It was their first Bay Dreams and each gave the festival "10 out of 10".

Lindsay said it was easy to move between the four music stages and the crowd had been "absolutely fine".

"I actually feel really safe. Everyone is just here to have a good time. People keep saying 'sorry' when they bump into you."

Schwalger said their highlight so far had been a genre-spanning set by drummer Sheldon Woolwright.

Their only criticism was too few bins - "not that anyone uses them anyway," Lindsay said.

Tauranga temperatures peaked at 25C at 2pm and the festival fashion reflected the heat with lots of short shorts, cropped tops and sunnies.