THE biggest event to take place in Southampton in 17 months has got under way.

Up to 15,000 revellers are expected to descend on The Common today for the Let’s Rock festival, a glorious celebration of the decade that fashion forgot.

Long queues are now snaking around The Common as festival-goers, many clad in neon colours with perms, shoulder pads, leg warmers and 80s fashions, have their Covid vaccination or test status checked on arrival.

Inside the arena, there’s dancing to pop princess Toyah, who opened Let’s Rock dressed in sequins and performing her 80s hits including Echo Beach and It’s A Mystery.

Elsewhere, storm troopers are patrolling the site, while music lovers enjoy a boozy picnic in the sunshine, have glitter painted on their faces or have a go on the giant bouncy castle slide.

Synth pop legends OMD and Love Is All Around and Goodnight Girl crooners Wet Wet Wet each play an hour long set tonight, but before that the bill includes the likes of Five Star, Marc Almond and Midge Ure’s Electronica.

Let’s Rock Southampton 2020 was cancelled during the pandemic and this year’s festival was postponed to today from its usual early July slot to allow government restrictions to ease.

The colourful celebration of all things retro first arrived in Southampton in 2014.

2019 was the most successful summer series in Let’s Rock’s history, with 12 festival locations across the UK and a total audience of over 150,000.