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Electric Picnic is an annual arts-and-music festival which has been staged since 2004 at Stradbally Hall in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland. It is organised by Pod Concerts and Festival Republic, who purchased the majority shareholding in 2009. It was voted Best Medium-Sized European Festival at the 2010 European Festival Awards, and has been voted Best Big Festival at each of the last four Irish Festival Awards since they began in 2007.
The Picnic has been described as "Ireland's version of Glastonbury" and "a great inspiration to Latitude" by one of its business partners. US magazine Billboard calling it as "a magnificent rock n roll circus, a textbook example of everything a festival should be" and Rolling Stone describing it as "one of the best festivals we've ever been to". The 2008 event was described by The Irish Times as "the best Electric Picnic yet".
Electric Picnic differs from other festivals in Ireland in that the music choice is more electric than the other mainstream events (its history includes international acts such as Kraftwerk, Röyksopp, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, New Order, Björk, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, The Stooges, The Chemical Brothers, Gary Numan, The Flaming Lips, Sigur Rós and Sex Pistols), and there is more emphasis on quality festival services (such as food and sleeping arrangements) and a generally more positive and relaxed atmosphere. There is also an emphasis on eco-friendly initiatives.
Electric Picnic began as a one-day event in 2004, before growing to a weekend-long festival within a year. The festival incorporates attractions such as the 24-hour cinema tent, the Body and Soul arena (offering an ambient lounge with beanbags, massages and tarot card readings) and the Comedy Tent (curated by Gerry Mallon) and a silent disco. In 2008, Amnesty International attended the festival to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whilst renowned American Burning Man artist, David Best constructed a Temple of Truth on site. Electric Picnic has been described as an "enormously successful, award-winning, established brand" which "attempts to bring to life a microcosmic cultural experience where music is just the tip of the iceberg".
The 2004 festival was a one-day event, which was headlined by 2 Many DJs. Other acts included Groove Armada, Arrested Development, Jurassic5, Grand Master Flash, Super Furry Animals, Plump DJ's and David Kitt.
The 2005 festival took place on Saturday 3 September and Sunday 4 September. It is best remembered for Arcade Fire's performance which came before their subsequent mainstream success. Headlining acts included Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kraftwerk, The Flaming Lips, Röyksopp, Mercury Rev and The Human League.
The premiere of "Electric Picnic: The Documentary" took place at the Irish Film Institute on Tuesday 4 July 2006 at 19:00. The critically acclaimed documentary directed by Nick Ryan, was filmed by a small camera crew who recorded the events of Electric Picnic 2005. Narrated by musician Nick Seymour and economist David McWilliams, the documentary includes footage from Kraftwerk's first recorded live performance in twelve years plus interviews with the performing bands and comedians, with a few festival-goers and with the locals of Stradbally Village, who claimed: "We get more trouble at the Vintage Steam Rally".
In 2006 the festival gained momentum, with all 30,000 tickets (each costing €175 including camping) selling out more than seven weeks in advance. Presale tickets went on sale on Monday 28 November 2005. The event took place on the weekend of 1–3 September 2006, with the line-up being revealed on Friday 24 March. Artists who performed across the seven stages included Sparks, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Basement Jaxx, Rufus Wainwright, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gary Numan, François Kevorkian, Groove Armada, Damien Rice and The Frames. The Blue Nile's appearance was their only live performance of the year. The festival's biggest casualty was Gnarls Barkley who had to cancel their appearance after rapper/singer Cee-Lo strained his vocal cords. David McWilliams made an appearance as a celebrity. RTÉ Two televised the festival, with a special RTÉ Two Green Room being set up at Stradbally Hall Estate for presenters Tom Dunne and Jenny Huston.
Journalist and television presenter Joe O'Shea was arrested for driving in an intoxicated state on his way home from the event.
The Comedy Tent in 2006 featured PJ Gallagher, Des Bishop, Neil Delamere, and Eric Lalor.
Electric Picnic 2007 was once again a three-day event and ran from 31 August until 2 September. The festival maintained its current size of 32,500 festival goers and kept all the same elements plus some new additions. "Early-bird" tickets for the 2007 festival went on sale between Monday 11 December 2006, and Saturday 24 February 2007, costing €199, taking into account the VAT that must now be paid on all outdoor events. Full price tickets went on sale on Tuesday 3 April at a price of €220. The first acts were officially announced on Monday 2 April.
Besides the music other attractions included an inflatable church offering mock weddings, luxury tents, massage chambers, a fairground and silent disco. Acii Disco DJs began the festival on the Friday at 12 p.m. in the Bodytonic Tent. Amongst others to take to the stage on Friday were Björk, Hot Chip, Scott Matthews, Manic Street Preachers and Oppenheimer whilst the unnamed band responsible for The Good, the Bad and the Queen headlined the Electric Arena tent. The Sunday night was brought to a close by Primal Scream.
The festival was marred by the death of a 23-year-old fan. The incident occurred as The Chemical Brothers came to a climax at 2 a.m. early on the Sunday morning. Organiser John Reynolds extended his sympathies and said: "A young man took ill at the festival, was treated at the medical centre, removed to Port Laoise Hospital and was later pronounced dead." Gardaí said they were not treating the death as suspicious.
Electric Picnic 2008 took place at Stradbally from 29–31 August, attended by 35,000 people. Presale tickets went on sale on 9 November 2007 and full price tickets went on sale on Friday 28 March at 9 p.m., costing €240 including camping, with the various sites opening at 9 a.m. on Friday 29 August. Tickets had sold out by 17 June.
Sigur Rós, George Clinton and Sex Pistols headlined. Other musicians appearing included Franz Ferdinand, My Bloody Valentine, German rockers Faust, Tindersticks, The Breeders, Grinderman, Goldfrapp, Gossip, CSS, Duffy, Foals, Hadouken!, Wilco, The Roots, Turin Brakes, Carbon/Silicon, Conor Oberst and New Young Pony Club. Irish acts to appear included Kíla, The Stunning, Sinéad O'Connor, Christy Moore, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Boss Volenti, The Waterboys, The Flaws, Ham Sandwich, Fred, Super Extra Bonus Party, Jape, Lisa Hannigan, Le Galaxie, Cathy Davey, Gemma Hayes and Mark Geary. Also attending were Amnesty International, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a singalong of "Happy Birthday" on the Sunday night.
Electric Picnic 2009 took place at Stradbally from 4–6 September. The British promoter Festival Republic bought out the share of Aiken Promotions as well as a further majority shareholding in Electric Picnic in March 2009. The festival was launched on 15 April 2009, with tickets going on sale two days later. The launch saw the announcement of forty-seven acts. Orbital, The Flaming Lips, Imelda May, Brian Wilson, Basement Jaxx, Madness, Klaxons, Bell X1, Fleet Foxes and MGMT were some of the musical acts which appeared, whilst Tommy Tiernan headlined the comedy tent.
Early bird tickets for Electric Picnic 2010 went on sale on 4 December 2009. The festival was launched on 24 March 2010, with Leftfield, Roxy Music, Public Image Ltd., LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack, Modest Mouse, Mumford & Sons, Jón Þór Birgisson, Paul Brady, Imelda May and The Frames among the first acts to be confirmed.
Artists who played in 2011 included Arcade Fire, Pulp, The Chemical Brothers, Interpol, PJ Harvey, Beirut, Blonde Redhead, Zola Jesus, The Drums, Santigold, The Family Stone, Joan As Policewoman, Best Coast, 3epkano, Power of Dreams, Yuck, Foster The People, Alexandra Stan, The Undertones, Public Enemy, Jimmy Cliff, DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus, The Charlatans, Mogwai, Sinéad O'Connor, White Lies, OMD, Toots & the Maytals, Lykke Li, Midlake, The Rubberbandits, Death in Vegas, The Go! Team, Big Audio Dynamite, Boys Noize, Paul Kalkbrenner, Dave Clarke, Twin Shadow, Willy Mason, Trentemøller, Killing Joke, Health, Mundy, Gavin Friday, The Walkmen, Adam Beyer, Sharon Shannon, Ivan St. John, The Cast of Cheers, Micah P. Hinson, Caitlin Rose, The Potbelleez, Adebisi Shank, The Danger Is, Codes, And So I Watch You From Afar, and O Emperor.
The festival triumphed at the Irish Festival Awards, winning seven gongs, including Best Large Festival, Best Line up and Best Toilets.
Artists who performed at the 2012 festival included The Cure, The Killers, Elbow, Sigur Rós, Christy Moore, Orbital, Hot Chip, The xx, Wild Beasts, Patti Smith, The Roots, Crystal Castles, Grandaddy, SBTRKT, Mmoths, Metronomy, Bat for Lashes, The Maccabees, The Horrors, Richard Hawley, Azealia Banks, Ed Sheeran, The Jezabels, Michael Kiwanuka, Gavin Friday, Ryan Sheridan, Róisín O, Van Dyke Parks, Roots Manuva, Bell X1, Dublin Gospel Choir, Glen Hansard, Grizzly Bear, Willis Earl Beal, Alabama Shakes, Tindersticks, Fatoumata Diawara, Land Lovers, Eagle and the Worm, Solar Bears, Staff Benda Bilili, Little Roy, Lanterns on the Lake, Jonathan Wilson, Baxter Dury, Cranes, Milagres, In Tua Nua, Codes, Conor Linnie, Ocho and more to be announced.
The announcement of the 2013 festival was delayed significantly owing to a legal dispute regarding ownership of the festival between the festival's founder POD Concerts and its majority shareholder Festival Republic Dublin (FRD).
Despite fears that Electric Picnic would not return in 2013, Electric Picnic was subsequently scheduled to take place between 30 August and 1 September.
The initial line-up for the festival was announced on 25 April 2013 to much fanfare. The line-up included Björk, Fatboy Slim, Robert Plant, My Bloody Valentine, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Wu-Tang Clan, David Byrne & St Vincent, Eels, Noah & The Whale, Johnny Marr, Disclosure, Ocean Colour Scene, Hurts, Mick Flannery, The Walkmen, Baauer, Tiga, Warpaint, Savages, The Strypes, Poliça, Chvrches, Parquet Courts, Clinic, Deap Vally and Soak.
Electric Picnic 2014 took place at Stradbally from 29–31 August, attended by 41,000 people. Early bird tickets went on sale on 19 March 2014. A Full weekend ticket cost €154.50 if you could prove you've been to three or more Picnics, €174.50 if you could prove you've been to the Picnic once or twice before. Tickets then increased to €194.50 until 4 July and, €229.50 after that date. Sunday tickets were priced at €90. Sunday tickets had sold out by 13 June. Full weekend tickets sold out on 31 July
Portishead, Outkast, Beck
Foals, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini Chic Feat Nile Rodgers, Lily Allen, Blondie
Simple Minds . Sinead O'connor, Mogwai, James Vincent Mcmorrow James Murphy, Sbtrkt, St,Vincent, Bombay Bicycle Club, London Grammar, The 1975 Slowdive, Wild Beasts, Metronomy, Kelis, Hozier, Laura Mvula, Duke Dumont
The Stranglers, Flume, The Blades, Neneh Cherry, Hercules & Love Affair, Annie Mac Hamsandwich, The Strypes, Clean Bandit, Omar Souleyman, The Wailers The Horrors, Le Galaxie Djs Present Laser Disco, Temples, Bp Fallon & The Ghost Wolves, Sohn White Denim, Twin Shadow, Jungle, Fka Twigs, Bicep, Kaytranada, Sampha (Dj Set), Shit Robot Krystal Klear, John Wizards, Walking On Cars, Nick Mulvey, Cathy Davey, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Jenny Lewis, Asgeir, Wolf Alice Drenge, The Orwells, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Districts, Glass Animals, Seinabo Sey, Vaults Benjamin Booker, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Rustie, Phox, Moko, Nightbox, Sheppard, The Whereabouts We Cut Corners, The Minutes, Vann Music, All Tvvins, Booka Brass Band, Sleep Thieves, Spies, The Academic, Raglans, Orla Gartland, Buffalo Sunn, Daniel James, Acrobat, Matt Mcginn, Wyvern Lingo, Dublin Gospel Choir, Trinity Orchestra
Body & Soul Stage
Tune-Yards, Young Fathers, Perfume Genius, Kate Boy, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, Oum Shatt, Lau, Moodoid, Glass Animals, Olof Arnalds, Alice Boman, Dermot Byrne, Florian Blancke & Brendan O'regan, Join Me In The Pines, I Have A Tribe, Linkoban, Jon Gomm, Meltybrains? , Tommy Kd, C,R Avery, The Altered Hours, Buffalo Woman, Donal Dineen, Ronan O Snadaigh And The Occasionals, Sounds Of System Breakdown, Interskalactic, Viking Project, The Careers, Loah, Sleep Thieves, Grounds For Invasion, Youth Mass, Mongoose, Susan O' Neill & The Low Standards, Arioso, Grouse,
Kowton, Shanti Celeste, Replete, O,Utlier, Chris Farrell, Tr-One (Live), Talkboy, Unknwn (Live), Ghosts, Ryan Vail, Shane Mannion, Lake People (Live), Donal Dineen, Reid, Adultrock (Live), Discotekken, Gilbert Steele, Contour, Sol & Louche, Richem, P Disconaut, Djkidcam, Mikey Joyride Soro,
Maud In Cahoots, Ruff Chuff Live Crew, Come On Live Long, Leo Moran & Anto Thistletwaite, The Tav Jam Band, Wob! , Joe Fury & The Hayride, Punch Face Champions, Willow Sea & Guests, Aindrias De Staic And The Latchikos, Attention Bebe, Stevie G & The Deep South Soul Soundsystem, The Eskies, Simi Crowns, Noelie Mcdonnell & Band, Edft, I Am Niamh, Polyphonic X, The Amazing Few, Sinead White, The Ground Will Shake, Koukie, Floor Staff, Somerville, Eileen Keane, Malcolm London, Symphonic Funk, Tradiohead, Mikey And The Scallywags, Strange Boats, G,I,R,O, The Cold Draw, Louisiana 6, Shay Cotter And The New Blues, Analogue Wave, In The Willows,
Simon Amstell, David O'doherty, Seann Walsh, Jason Byrne, Rubberbandits, Abandoman, David Mcsavage, John Colleary, Patrick Mcdonnell, Steve Frost Improv Allstars, Aisling Bea, Bec Hill, Gunther Grun, Foil Arms And Hog, Eleanor Tiernan, Chris Kent, Jarlath Regan, Colm O'regan, Karl Spain, Colum Mcdonnell, Fred Cooke, Eric Lalor, Al Porter, Kevin Mcgarhen, Tomie James, Trevor Browne, Steve Bennett, Danny Dowling,
The Mobile Home Stage|Trailer Park
The Young Folk, The Whereabouts Get Back: The Story Of The Beatles, Pearl Tn, Hustle, Storyfold, Kevin Doyle's Elvis: The Way It Was, C,R, Avery, Harvest: A Tribute To Neil Young, The Trampz, Ghost Estates, Clive Barnes, Kingston, Viking Project, This Side Up, Tucan, Cult Called Man, Kevin Sheridan, Moo! , Throwing Halos, Risky Business, Prison Love, Cuan And Lukas (Dj), John & Mandy, White Chalk, My Fellow Sponges, Eric Butler And The Revelators,
Jimmie Lee's Juke Joint|Trailer Park
Eric Butler And The Revelators, Dave Clarke Byrd Band, Reverend Jm's Panic Workshop, Sal Vitro, Dark Lanes, Keywest, Red Empire, Richard Farrell & The Last Tribe, Huey & The Hobgoblins, Prairie Dawgs, Crow Black Chicken, Whistle, Oki's Wagon
Cathy Davey, The Districts, Pearl Tn, Terry Hooley, The Minutes, Alien Envoy, Booka Brass Band, King Kong Company, Bronagh Gallagher, Deke Diggler, Pilgrim Street, Pete Pamf Sextette, Phil Cosby, Corner Boy, Cult Called Man, Deep Down Detox, Prison Love, The Square Pegs, New Secret Weapon, This Side Up, Sean's Walk, Camembert Quartet, Andy Allday, Stephen James, Nick Thornley's 50s Vinyl, Salty Dog Allstars Parallel Lines, Marie-Therese, Julian Lloyd's Love Breakfast, Raglans, Nick Sergent, Aidan Kavanagh's Caribbean Calypso King, Skazz
Trenchtown, Main Stage Inna Live Yard
Solo Banton, Capitol 1212 A M,A,D, Jah Lex, Mr,Williamz, Dirty Dubsters, Cian Finn, Ri Ra, Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble, Arubdub, After The Ibis, Bles, Skazz, Belfast Reggae, Crazy D, Synergy, Interskalactic, Timothy Starr, Ras Tinny & Baby Ewe, Joyful Noiz, Tt Dub, The Bionic Rats, Johnny Dread, Glenn Brown, The Dodgy Few, Junior Spesh, Oi Oi Soundsystem, Tom Beary, Lionheart, Dj Kali,
Trenchtown, Roots Inna Da Woods Arena
Revelation Sound System, Mialodica, Benji Revelation, I Kingdom Soundsystem, World Bass Culture, Fyahred, Dan Taliras, Worries Outernational, Proff Ruff Chuff, Explosion Soundsystem,
Trenchtown, Treasure Beach Stage
Will Softly, Dave Barry, Slick Normal, Nigel Woods,
Red Bull Music Academy
Boddika, Joy Orbison, Dark Sky, Sunil Sharpe, Dorian Concept, Rift, Clu, Republik Djs, Kobina, Handsome Paddy, Colm K
Dimitri From Paris, Greg Wilson, The 2 Bears, Nancy Whang, Ejeca, Pleasurekraft, Jonas Rathsman, Billy Scurry, Ghostboy, Mother Djs, Disconauts, Get Down Edits, Decent Perks, Discotekken, Kelly-Anne Byrne,
Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow
Propellor Palms, Duke Special's Gramaphone Club, Felix Sonnyboy, Gangs, The Minutes, Jerry Fish, Together Disco, Guilty Boy Association, Sally Cinnamon, Camille O'sullivan, Richard Egan, The Frank & Walters, The Lost Brothers, R,S,A,G, Interskalactic, All The Luck In The World, I'm Your Vinyl, The Kilo 1977, Shir Madness, Foxy P Cox, The Pony Girls, Crow Black Chicken, John Blek And The Rats, Brian Deady, Chanelle Mc Guinness
Electric Picnic 2015 took place at Stradbally from 4–6 September. The first acts were announced in March 2015. There was speculation that the capacity would be raised from the present 42,000 to 47,000 to cater for increased demand. The headliners were Sam Smith, Blur and Florence and the Machine.
List of electronic music festivals
Review of the 2005 Electric Picnic Festival
Review of the 2005 Electric Picnic Festival
Review of the 2006 Electric Picnic Festival
The Ticket at Electric Picnic 2007
Electric Picnic 2008 Playlist
Electric Picnic V Oxegen 2009, FIGHT!