Picnic pleasures

FOR the ninth year in a row the grounds of Stradbally hall will be transformed into a wonderland of colour, art, music and merriment for the most anticipated weekend of the summer.

FOR the ninth year in a row the grounds of Stradbally hall will be transformed into a wonderland of colour, art, music and merriment for the most anticipated weekend of the summer.

Electric Picnic will open its gates this Friday and will play host to some of the most renowned musicians, performers and artists from around Ireland and the world. This year’s festival sees all the usual favourites back for fans including The Salty Dog, Trenchtown, MindFields, Body and Soul, Casa Bacardi, the Theatre of Food, and a new dance stage out in The Forest.

The music line up always causes some controversy among fans but with a large number of strong contenders, this year is sure not to disappoint. The magic of the Picnic is that you will always come away with a new favourite group or act, and the weekend is full of discoveries.

Feeling like Alice wandering around wonderland for the weekend, it is nearly impossible to see everything at the Picnic but it sure is fun trying. Musical highlights this year include Sigur Ros, The Cure, orbital, Patti Smith, Squarepusher, The Roots, Elbow, Hot Chip, Grandaddy, Christy Moore, Richie Hawtin, Alabama Shakes, Grizzly Bear, Roots Manuva, Azelia Banks, Dexys, In Tua nua, Villagers, James Murphy, Lee Scratch Perry, Ben Howard, Dublin Gospel Choir, Riptide Movement, Ham Sandwich, Jerry Fish, The 2 Bears, The Vaccines, and Kormac’s Big Band to name but a few.

The comedy tent is also jam packed full of worthwhile funnymen and women for those who want to take a small break away from the music and madness for a while. Acts include David o’ Doherty, Abandoman, Steve Frost, Glen Wool, Dead Cat Bounce, Durrow’s finest export Bernard O’ Shea, Eric Lalor, Fred Cooke, Joe Rooney, Patrick Kielty, Gearoid Farrelly and many more.

Electric Picnic prides itself on being a family orientated festival and this year is no different. Last year Soul Kids broadened its boundaries embracing the whole of the enchanting Walled Gardens of Stradbally Hall. They filled this magical space with an abundance of creativity, fun, imagination and more than a sprinkling of fairy dust and magic.

Soul Kids will once again be offering the same free service for families, presenting an amazing assortment of activities, entertainment, workshops and performances over the course of the festival weekend with plenty of surprises. Parents are asked to register their children online. Everything in Soulkids is free.

The Global Green will also return as the place to slow down, celebrate the potential for cultural transformation and imagine a future that works for everyone. Global Green is a colourful and enchanting area at the Electric Picnic, which brings together a wide community of cultural creatives, activists, artists, social entrepreneurs and civil society organisations. Once again nestled between Village Green and Green Crafts and across from the main entrance of Body and Soul, Global Green is the place to re-charge with artisan food and coffee. For more on any of the events taking place, visit www.electricpicnic.ie. And remember to pack the wellies and rain gear.