Portlaoise Youth Café burst into life last Thursday night when eight young local musical acts and a spoken word performer wowed Electric Picnic judges in the Electric Youth competition for a place to perform at the magical Stradbally festival.
Four acts were chosen on the night to bring their energy and talent to the Hazel Wood stage at Electric Picnic this August 30 to September 1.
One of those acts was Alica Laffan, an 18-year-old with a huge passion for music. Alice made a massive impact as her natural talent flowed easily behind the mic. Watch the video above of her beautiful rendition of Run With Me by Hudson Taylor.
She also sang an original song on the night, her first time to ever sing her own songs in front of an audience, it proved to be a hit with the judges.
The nine acts who battled it out in the Electric Youth competition grand finale included Tia Burke and her band, Cillian Deegan, Diarmuid Flaherty, Cathal Kavanagh, Cliodna Molloy, Niamh Doyle, Midlands Irish Sign Language Choir, Glory Anumundu, Alice Laffan, Conor McLaughlin and Laois Music Generation band Paper Planes which consists of Anna kelly, Ellen Rowney, Llyod McCarthy and Tadgh O’Dwyer.
Each act performed two songs on the night, some covers and other originals.
Glory Anumundu continues to make a name for herself on the spoken word scene impressing the judges and audience with two original poems.
Tia Burke is a 17-year-old songwriter who plays the guitar and sings with her band. She oozed the confidence of a seasoned star on stage last week to impress the judges earning her spot at the Picnic.
Paper Planes are a local young band who also earned their spot on stage. Watch their performance here.
All four of these young Laois acts will take to the stage at the Hazel Wood thanks to the bond that has been formed between the festival and Youth Work Ireland Laois (YWIL).
Competitive heats were held on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the final on Thursday.