THE cream of the musical crop; the best of the world’s sculpture and art; theatre; comedy; fun, frolics and more was what the 9th Electric Picnic promised and that it delivered last weekend.
Apart from a grey cloudy start to Friday morning, the sun shone down on Stradbally for the weekend as nearly 35,000 festival revellers descended on Cosby Hall. From early Friday morning people flowed into the campsites to settle in and get ready for the weekend.
Kicking off the Picnic festivities on the Main Stage were Kormac’s Big Band who got everyone in the mood with laid back beats and a fantastic brass section. Alabama Shakes were one of the most anticipated acts on Friday and they did not disappoint, especially with ‘Hold On’ chanted back to the band by thousands of fans.
Other highlights on Friday included Christy Moore and Ed Sheeran while for electronic fans Ritchie Hawtin and Matador brought down the house in the Little Big Tent. After a long day’s fun on Friday, weary bones and tired heads were eased back into the festival spirit with blazing heat and sunshine and the sublime Trinity Orchestra.
The orchestra performed Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and were one of the highlights of the whole weekend, and a talking point for the lucky ones up early enough to see them. Saturday night’s big headliner was The Cure who proved to be a bit disappointing, with hardly any crowd interaction and a long drawn out set.
Sunday’s big bands did not disappoint though as Lee Stratch Perry lifted spirits and got people ready to fight another day. Elbow were also one of the highlights performing on the Main Stage on Sunday evening. The Killers finished the night on the Main Stage but there was plenty else to keep people dancing with Hot Chip packing the Electric Arena, Glen Hansard performing in Crawdaddy and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy performing in the Little Big Tent.
Huge crowds arrived on Sunday using day tickets, which proved to be very popular in their second year on sale. This year definitely saw a different crowd to the usual Picnic festival goers, possibly attracted by a headline act like The Killers – festival organisers may have sold more tickets but this possibly took away from the friendly atmosphere that the festival has become known for.
Although organisers had emphasised that security would not be tightened this year after this summer’s incidents in the Phoenix Park, there was definitely evidence that it had been, with a strong Garda presence and tighter restrictions on the gates.
Apart from the music, the wonderful Body and Soul delivered yet again – a good place to chill out from the masses and enjoy the magical landscape created in this wonderful oasis. Mindfields was also another interesting area, where people could take a break from the music and catch up on some interviews and spoken word.
Another year over, there were lots of tired but happy people leaving the grounds on Monday, after a weekend of great music and fun, already taking about next year. And with it being the Picnic’s 10th birthday, no doubt they will be back bigger and better then ever.