If you missed my previous post here. Here’s a quick recap; the lovely folks at ESB and Darragh Doyle of Boards.ie supplied me with two camping passes to head down to Stradbally for Electric Picnic last weekend. My previous post surmised all the fun and frolics had on Saturday, this post will detail what went down on Sunday.
Saturday night ended early in the morning, with a failed attempt to find the rave in the woods and stumbling upon the Salty Dog and Reggae Beach venues instead. The Salty Dog featured a full jazz band with vocalists playing from a wooden ship in the forest and the Reggae Beach featured Bob Marley inspired merchandise, some deck chairs, a DJ and some Jerk Chicken stands.
Also of particular highlight on Saturday was a late-night spontaneous performance bollywood style by the staff of the Hurly Burly restaurant in the Body + Soul area who gave it socks and entertained the b’jaysus out of astonished punters.
Kicking off Sunday morning was the Dublin Gospel Choir at the main stage at 12pm, which is where we headed after a hasty breakfast bap from the Organic Kitchen. I recall a nifty cover of Mumford & Son’s ‘the Cave’, which outdid the later performance of the original, in my opinion. Our listening was brief as we were dashing to catch fellow Culch.ie David Maybury give a talk / book-reading at the Literary tent in the Mindfield. David entertained the kids young and old with paragraphs from his upcoming book ‘Hatched‘ while encouraging youngsters to try cracking eggs with their bare hands. Maybury was the warm-up act for fellow children’s writer David Donohue, who enthralled us with the world of backwards spelling.
From the Mindfield we jaunted over to the Body & Soul area to catch the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Electric Proms. It was packed. Definitely should have been a Main Stage slot, but nonetheless people sat in trees to get a good view. The Orchestra whipped through Star Wars, Mission Impossible and all the film favourites. Some big band numbers with guest vocals from Jerry Fish amongst others and some classical repertoire including Beethoven’s 5th.
Grabbed a delicious lunch at the Flaming Cactus then headed over to the Green Crafts Field. The Green Crafts Field featured every craft known to man from ringmaking, blacksmithing and copper working to basket weaving, felt crafting and pottery. There was a lovely patch of sand with handmade white flags protruding from it, you took a tag wrote down a wish and tied it to a flag. A very lovely, simple idea.
Ultimate clashing on Sunday saw Two Door Cinema Club start 20mins before Fight Like Apes. However, the two respective bands were playing the Electric and Crawdaddy Tents, which were right beside each other. Twenty minutes into their set Two Door Cinema club had played their two biggest numbers ‘Undercover Martyn‘ and ‘Something Good Can Work‘ that was plenty for us and we skipped over to FLApes.
Donned in matching Adidas trackies the boys took the stage while May Kay ran out a few seconds later launching into ‘Poached Eggs‘ the set included old favourites ‘Jake Summers‘ and ‘Lend Me Your Face‘ before an unexpected rendition of ‘Push It‘. Such a fun band, great set.
We rounded off our Electric Picnic with a trip back to the Main Stage. Grabbing a Gourmet Burger on the way, we sat at a piano under a tree for shelter/table from the rain. A Mumford roadie approached us and asked if he could sit and play, we were entertained to the sounds of ‘Golden Brown’ by the Stranglers as we ate burgers in the rain. Only at Electric Picnic.
I must mention a hidden gem at the festival was Velvet’s Luxury Loos. Located beside the Comedy Tent these were fully flushing, loo-roll filled toilets complete with hot water sinks and soap. If you’ve been to a festival you know how amazing these facilities are to have and they were free! All you had to do was queue.
The rain was starting to come down when we made it to Mumford & Sons. Their set was pretty disappointing. Sure, the hits were great to bounce around to but the slow stuff really struggled to hold the Main Stage audience attention. Then the rain got worse. We had two options; stay and get soaked to see the National and Massive Attack or cut our losses and get out before the rush. So we chose to beat the crowds and stay relatively dry, listening to the National and Massive attack live on 2FM. (Didn’t stop us from getting lost on the way home though!)
Great weekend and a wonderful place. The effort that goes into the whole aesthetic of the festival is wonderful. My only criticisms are;
- There was no iPhone app with timetables etc a definite must for next year.
- The information staff seemed a little clueless and had no maps to give you.
- The sound from some tents was much from than from others which led to sound bleeding a lot of the time. There should be a max volume for all tents which is adhered to. It was kind of insulting for smaller bands or speakers to be drowned by the noise of a nearby venue or tent.
But once again huge thanks to ESB for the tickets. We dropped by the Picnic Power tent which was a fully cycle-powered Karaoke booth and a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed one guys attempts to hit the high notes of Don’t Stop Believing!
Most of the successful acts from Electric Picnic have all scheduled follow-up gigs around the country including; Imelda May, Two Door Cinema Club, Fight Like Apes and Villagers. Check out Ronan Murphy‘s blog for details http://www.swearimnotpaul.com/