Sunny skies accompany Day 1 of Music Midtown

Heidi and Gary Eveleigh might be in their 50s, but don’t assume they’re at Music Midtown to catch veteran acts such as Elton John and Van Halen.

As the couple walked from the Belk Stage on Piedmont Park’s Oak Hill Friday after listening to indie rockers Vinyl Theatre, they intended to return shortly to hear Swedish dance-pop singer Tove Lo.

“I think there are too many of the older acts on the lineup. Hall and Oates? I saw them in the ’80s!” Heidi Eveleigh said with a laugh.

She and her husband live in Johns Creek and have made the annual trip to Midtown Atlanta since the festival returned in 2011. The couple turns the weekend into a staycation and holes up in a nearby hotel for easy access to the park.

More than 150,000 people are expected to attend Music Midtown through Saturday — when gates open at noon and artists will include British crooner Sam Smith, classic rock icons Van Halen, newcomers Elle King and Catfish and the Bottlemen, and, yes, Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Tickets are $125 for the two days, but, as Live Nation Atlanta President Peter Conlon pointed out, even fans who only come for the Saturday lineup are getting a bargain.

“You couldn’t see two of these acts for $125. And, with this weather,” he said, gesturing to the cloudless sky and searing sun, “you should come out just to see the crowd.”

When gates opened at 4 p.m. Friday, a sizable cluster of fans was primed to stream through the entrances on 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive (there are five entry points throughout the park). This year, electronically encoded wristbands have replaced tickets, which promoted rapid entry.

Irish quartet Kodaline kicked off the festival — 20 minutes later than scheduled — on the Electric Ballroom main stage with their melodic pub rock. Other early performances Friday included the percussive, electronic-dusted music of Tove Lo, the smart blues of Irish singer-guitarist Hozier and a randy set — complete with stripper pole — from rapper August Alsina.

One group of young women said alt-synth rockers Panic! at the Disco — who will perform Saturday — were their main draw at the festival, but they had a couple of ideas of how they would spend Friday night.

The trio — Megan McKinley, 23; Olivia Metzdorf, 19; and Mary Victoria Raynes, 20 — planned to hit the Drake stage early to ensure a prime viewing spot to watch the Canadian hip-hop star.

But they also were interested in that older British guy who would command the second headlining stage.

“I mean, if Elton John is playing,” Raynes said, “it seems like you should take advantage of the opportunity.”