Thursday, September 08, 2011


Picnicers: 1. Rob Macnaughton & Glenda Gilson; 2. Irvine Welsh and Beth Quinn; 3. Gerry Quinn & Aoibhin Garrihy; (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Some are declaring it the best Electric Picnic ever, and it certainly was a great one. While the weather was a mixed bag the festival goers really appreciated the sun when it did shine and made the most of things when it lashed rain.

The MindField arena was a particular hit throughout the weekend and record numbers attended various events staged in the space, with the Science Gallery, Leviathan and the Arts Council stages noted as particular favourites. Another year older, but are we any wiser? Old questions, new arguments, inspired talk, brilliant ideas, great company, ways forward, hope and renewed energy and all of it terrific fun.

Among those performing at MindField were Booker Prize winners John Banville and Roddy Doyle, Nobel Laureate Jerry White, RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke and fiery London rapper Kate Tempest as well as Bob Geldof, Miriam O’Cllaghan, David McWilliams, Nick Kelly, Dylan Haskins, Irvine Welsh, Paddy Cullivan, BBC DJ Annie Nightingale, Michael D. Higgins made for a veritable smorgasbord of cultural talent.

The BACARDí Get Together arena returned to Electric Picnic in true festival style. The legendary arena provided a perfect place for music fans and VIPs alike to soak up the festival atmosphere together. With a beautifully designed set, an elaborate production, an eclectic set of DJs, the BACARDÍ bats and of course the highly skilled bartenders who created delicious cocktails all weekend; it really was the place to party at the Picnic.

Some of those spotted enjoying cocktails at the BACARDÍ area included ska and reggae group Toots & the Maytals, comedian Barry Murphy, Andrea Roche and her boyfriend Rob White and Irish footballer Sean St Ledger.

Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch, Melanie Morris, Derry Clarke, Amy Huberman and the Hardy Bucks were also spotted on the festival site throughout the weekend while Claudine Keane was a notable absence this year. The glamourous blonde, now living in LA, was always a regular at EP as her grandmother lives in nearby Stradbally.