More than 50,000 music fans will this weekend converge on Laois village Stradbally for Electric Picnic, the 13th outing of the music and arts festival.
LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey, the Chemical Brothers, New Order, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will headline the main stage over the three-day festival, which starts on Friday.
Tickets for the Picnic sold out in record time last March, just nine days after the first announcement of a line-up that also includes the 1975, Bell X1, Super Furry Animals, Years & Years, Nas, and The Shins.
Familiar venues and installations such as the Salty Dog, Trenchtown, and the Other Voices stage make their return as does the Body & Soul area which will host stages, zen gardens, and a spa right in the heart of the festival site.
Minefield will once again host debate, theatre, poetry, and scientific demonstrations for those seeking thought-provoking sides with their musical main course, while Miriam O’Callaghan and Al Porter host a ‘Sunday Brunch’ chat show with special guests.
Porter will also grace the festival’s perennial comedy tent, along with a roster including Dylan Moran, David O’Doherty, and Reginald D Hunter.
The Theatre of Food celebrates its sixth appearance at Electric Picnic, and its gastronomical guests will include Clodagh McKenna, Roz Purcell, Kevin Thornton, and Happy Pear twins David and Stephen Flynn.
The promoters have also opened a manmade lake on the site to picnic swimmers. Located on a path from the Jimi Hendrix campsite, the lake will have lifeguards on duty and be open to competent swimmers and children accompanied by adults.
The Global Green pop-up eco-village returns, and will see Cultivate, the sustainability collective based in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, bring together cultural creatives, activists, artists, musicians, foodies, gardeners, farmers, hackers, social entrepreneurs, and slam poets.
Once the festival concludes, the eco-village will accept donations of tents, sleeping mats, and coats for refugees in Calais.
Organisers also unveiled the all-new Hazel Wood area which, they say, boasts “a programme of mesmerising storytelling through interactive theatre, immersive hauntings, shadow puppetry, visual displays, commedia dell’arte workshops, visual art and more”.
Another new addition buried deep in the woods is Anachronica, ‘the remains of a hidden and forgotten city’, which will host a number of DJs playing into the early hours of the morning.
Performance group Loosysmokes will perform unscheduled acrobatic displays high in the treetops across the weekend, and those who feel like indulging in a bit of pop nostalgia will be catered for at the Electric Ireland Throwback Party, where Bananarama, Snap, and Smash Hits will be reeling in the years with slices of vintage pop cheese.
Those heading to Electric Picnic are advised that the campsites will open at 4pm tomorrow for campervan and caravan site ticket holders only, while the rest of the campsites will open at 9am on Friday. Sunday ticket holders can enter the site from 11am.
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