Picnic packs a punch

TORRENTIAL rain on Friday night and another downpour on Sunday failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of revellers who made their way to Stradbally for the eighth Electric Picnic.

TORRENTIAL rain on Friday night and another downpour on Sunday failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of revellers who made their way to Stradbally for the eighth Electric Picnic.

Although this year’s line up had many big names on the list, one of the most anticipated for locals was this year’s Laois Bands for Electric Picnic winner – The Little Smoke. Opening the Cosby stage on Friday afternoon, the four piece looked relaxed and confident as they set their fans up for what was to be a great weekend of music, fun and frolics.

Meeting the standard of previous years the 2011 Picnic was full of colour and vibrancy as the Cosby Estate was transformed into a magical wonderland which tickled the imagination of adults and children alike. As ever, children and families were welcomed and catered for, with a Soulkids area and family camping. The Body and Soul area provided respite for weary bodies throughout the weekend, with a wide variety of alternative treatments, chilled out music and plenty of places to recharge the batteries.

Other highlights included the Mindfield area for those who wanted to expand their thinking, and the Theatre of Food. As with other years all tastes in food were catered for with everything anyone could think of, from ostrich to falafel.

Musical treats over the weekend were plentiful with DJ Shadow and Boys Noise providing energetic sets on Friday. Saturday was the day most people were looking for, with a host of amazing sets including Chemical Brothers, Trentmoller, Dave Clarke, James Blake, Toots and the Maytals and Public Enemy blasting the speakers. Although Sunday’s closing act Pulp provided a very poor set, all in all the music lived up to the high expectations of the Picnic fans.

Although the attendance was down on last year and some essential elements missing, (such as hygienic toilets in the campsites) all in all the festival gave its revellers what they wished for – great music, good fun, amazing art and the cream of the musical world in 2011.