Sunday, 15 September 2013

Electric Picnic 2013

Finally, the write up for this year's fantastic Electric Picnic Weekend, Stradbally, Co Laois.

This year, all 35,000 tickets sold out. There were some generous early bird offers which I think must have helped. Keep an eye out for next year.

We arrived Friday.
We started with The Dionnes on the main Body and Soul stage, doing classic Motown covers in lovely shimmery silver dresses. Their voices were so fabulous, I wondered if they were from the Dublin Gospel Choir. Anyone know?

Then Hudson Hawk on the Main Stage who I really enjoyed. They started as buskers.

I also dropped into the Theatre of Food. It's always well visited; Nevin Maguire was doing his thing and seemed genuinely excited to be there. Also a wogious poet on The Word Stage. Ah well.

There were a couple of half-hearted showers but we sheltered at the Bacardi bar with the now traditional Mojitos. We had watched the lovely, bouncy barmen being trained early in the art of pouring a measure from a height. Try it at home! Then a lovely green chicken curry.

We caught a bit of Daithi earlier at the main Body and Soul Stage, a whizz on the fiddle, really popular with the crowd.

I didn't enjoy Friday so much. The other big tents were closed so it was only the Main Stage and Body and Soul so the crowd was jammed for Fat Boy Slim - all elbows in the boobs. And it was cold.

We saw Ronan O'Snodiagh later in the Irish tent in Mindfield who was fantastic. He had a kind of electric bodhran and also a Hang. His kids were joining in from the side too.


Started off with the traditional coffee and people watching in Body and Soul.

There were some new art pieces dotted about the place and lots of red-headed men.

Caught some of Josephine's set at the Rankin Woods Stage (used to be Crawdaddy). There were lots of female singer-songwriters this year.
Felt like death. Got a massage.

Watch John Murry at the Rankin Woods Stage. He's a singer from Mississippi who's intensely personal album The Graceless Age has to be checked out on Youtube. A highly charged set left the audience mesmerised and made me tear up at the end.

Went to Fossetts Circus. I think this is the first circus I've ever been to. I decided that the type of performance (juggling, clowning, a very good magic show) is the same as the entertainment that they had in medieval times and earlier.

Pieminister Pies for lunch. And a few Paulener (strong)

Mindfield was dedicated to Seamus Heaney and in between the shows on the Literary Stage, the were playing poems read by the man himself. Quite a few of the interviewees read a poem too. We dedicated our happy death poem to him at our show. It was quite moving.

Met up with the Divas in the Literary Tent to see the writer Stuart Carolan (Love/Hate) and actor Aidan Gillen (Love/Hate, Game of Thrones and The Wire) Three of my top TV programs of recent years. They seemed taken aback by the crowds in the tent and hesitant at times. Interviewed by Sinead Gleeson.

Robert Plant - total legend on the Main Stage giving new twists to Led Zep classics.

And the highlight Bjork. Magical, genius, mad, amazing. Dress by Alexander McQueen. Backed by a 14 strong icelandic choir. Heaven. And moving. I teared up again.

Saw Prison Love, a super bluegrass kind of band on the Trailer Park stage late at night. I'm pretty sure I saw them last year. Great fun.


Starting again with Body and Soul on an overcast day.

Then our Poetry Divas gig. (Photo castaboldeye) fueled by smuggled Diva fuel (Gordon's gin and tonic in a can.) We had a great reaction and an ever increasing audience. Lollipops and bubbles. High Shoes, Drinking and seductive potatoes - we had I all. We were propositioned from a red-headed man in the crowd and buoyed by the reception. It was great to meet some of the audience afterwards. Thanks everyone. Kate Tempest and BP Fallon both dropped by, which was nice but unnerving.

Kalle Ryan and the Brownbread mixtape show was a great mix of comedy and passion on The Word Stage.
I also then caught Erin Fornoff whose poem about catching coals with her brother I particularly liked.

Then Colm Keegan and Stephen James Smith, inveterate performers both who got a great audience reaction.

Chilling Out.
Eric Lalor on the Comedy Stage was disappointing. A Ballymun comedian who just wheeled out the old stereotypical favourites for stale laughter.
Hermitage Green on the Electric Arena Stage are an unsigned band (not for long) in the Mumford league.
I had a wander around the Green area. There was lots of craft but it was focused more on workshops so you only go to see people trying stuff out rather than the professional masterpieces.

And the grand finale - the inimitable poet Kate Tempest - a legend and a sweetheart. Fantastic.


Unknown said...

Thanks for this. I've never been to Electric Picnic but am enticed to make it next time! Love the pics of the trees.

floating boater said...

Enjoyed that. I must definitely go next year.

Nicki Griffin