Electric Picnic

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Electric Picnic
Electric Picnic 10 logo.png
Genre Indie, alternative, dance
Dates Late August/early September
Location(s) Stradbally Hall, Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland
Years active 2004 – present
Founded by Robert Laffan

Electric Picnic is an annual arts-and-music festival[1] 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 received widespread international acclaim, being described as "Ireland's version of Glastonbury" and "a great inspiration to Latitude".[2] 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 eclectic 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, 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. It is rapidly gaining ground on Oxegen as the most popular Irish music festival with the 2008 festival selling out faster than any other year. Oxegen, which sold out in record time for the 2007 festival, was slow to sell tickets for its 2008 festival, while Electric Picnic sold out its 32,500 tickets over 4 months in advance in 2008. The festival also incorporates other 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[3] (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.[4] 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".[5]

2004 festival[edit]

The 2004 festival was a one-day event, which was headlined by Groove Armada. Other acts include Arrested Development, Jurassic5, Grand Master Flash, Super Furry Animals, Plump DJ's and David Kitt.

2005 festival[edit]

Electric Picnic
Genre Rock
Dates 3–4 September 2005
Location(s) Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland

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".[6]

2006 festival[edit]

Electric Picnic
Genre Rock
Dates 1–3 September 2006
Location(s) Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland

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.[7] 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.[8] The festival's biggest casualty was Gnarls Barkley who had to cancel their appearance after rapper/singer Cee-Lo strained his vocal cords.[9] David McWilliams made an appearance as a celebrity.[10] 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.[11]

Journalist and television presenter Joe O'Shea was arrested for driving in an intoxicated state on his way home from the event.[12]

The Comedy Tent in 2006 featured PJ Gallagher, Des Bishop, Neil Delamere, and Eric Lalor.

2007 festival[edit]

Electric Picnic
Map of 2007 Electric Picnic
Genre Rock
Dates 31 August – 2 September 2007
Location(s) Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland

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.[16] 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.[17] The Sunday night was brought to a close by Primal Scream.

The festival was marred by the death of a 23-year-old fan.[18] 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.[19][20]

2008 festival[edit]

Electric Picnic
Genre Rock
Dates 29–31 August 2008
Location(s) Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland
Main article: Electric Picnic 2008

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.[25]

Sigur Rós, George Clinton and Sex Pistols[26] headlined. Other musicians appearing included Franz Ferdinand, My Bloody Valentine, German rockers Faust,[27] Tindersticks, The Breeders,[28] Grinderman, Goldfrapp, Gossip, CSS, Duffy, Foals, Hadouken!, Wilco, The Roots, Turin Brakes, Carbon/Silicon,[29] 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.[30][31]

Friday 29 August Saturday 30 August Sunday 31 August

Main Stage:

Main Stage:

Main Stage:

Friday 29 August Saturday 30 August Sunday 31 August

Electric Arena:

Electric Arena:

Electric Arena:

2009 festival[edit]

Electric Picnic
Genre Indie
Dates 4–6 September 2009
Location(s) Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland
Main article: Electric Picnic 2009

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.[2][32] The festival was launched on 15 April 2009, with tickets going on sale two days later.[2][33] The launch saw the announcement of forty-seven acts.[1] 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.

2010 festival[edit]

Main article: Electric Picnic 2010

Early bird tickets for Electric Picnic 2010 went on sale on 4 December 2009.[34] 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.[35][36]

2011 festival[edit]

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.[37]

2012 festival[edit]

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.

2013 festival[edit]

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).[38]

Despite fears that Electric Picnic would not return in 2013, Electric Picnic was subsequently scheduled to take place between 30 August and 1 September.[39]

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.[40]


  1. ^ a b "Nutty boys set for Electric Picnic". The Irish Times. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Electric Picnic signs new partnership deal + tickets on sale in April". Hot Press. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Fans prepare to feast on Electric Picnic". The Irish Times. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "Electric Picnic's diverse feast ranges from Sex Pistols to herd of man-made elephants". The Irish Times. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008. 
  5. ^ O'Toole, Leagues (25 June 2010). "Living on the edge". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 25 June 2010. "The two big events that bookend the Irish summer are Oxegen and Electric Picnic, both now enormously successful, award-winning, established brands. [...] Not all exactly household names, and that's very much the point, because the Picnic attempts to bring to life a microcosmic cultural experience where music is just the tip of the iceberg." 
  6. ^ "Electric Picnic Documentary at IFI". RTÉ. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Electric Picnic 2006 tickets on sale next week". RTÉ. 21 November 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Electric Picnic's line-up revealed". RTÉ. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  9. ^ "No Electric Picnic for Gnarls Barkley". RTÉ. 24 August 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "David McWilliams for Electric Picnic". RTÉ. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  11. ^ "RTE Two to broadcast Electric Picnic". RTÉ. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  12. ^ "Banned O'Shea backs morning breath checks". Irish Independent. 7 January 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Minotaur Shock for Electric Picnic". RTÉ. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  14. ^ "PJ Harvey to play Electric Picnic". RTÉ. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  15. ^ "Sparks added to Electric Picnic line-up". RTÉ. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ "Happy vibes the product of Electric Picnic's charms". The Irish Times. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  18. ^ "Man dies at Electric Picnic festival". RTÉ. 2 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  19. ^ "Post mortem due on man who died at Electric Picnic". The Belfast Telegraph. 3 September 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  20. ^ "Post mortem due after Electric Picnic death". RTÉ. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  21. ^ a b c National Radio Ads
  22. ^ Electric Picnic
  23. ^ Room Thirteen – Where Music Rocks
  24. ^ SiSi.tv :: View topic – Oxegen Linup 07!Daft Punk/Erol Alkan/Justice/Lektroluv
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  27. ^ "Faust to play Electric Picnic, Spiegeltent Cork". Hot Press. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  28. ^ "Sigur Ros and The Breeders confirm Picnic appearances". Phantom FM. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008. 
  29. ^ "Carbon/Silicon to play Electric Picnic". Hot Press. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008. 
  30. ^ "Amnesty International to celebrate 60th anniversary at Picnic". Hot Press. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  31. ^ "Electric Picnic UPDATE". Phantom FM. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2008. 
  32. ^ "A new name on the Electric Picnic hamper". The Irish Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009. 
  33. ^ "Electric Picnic tickets to go on sale from Friday". Evening Herald. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009. 
  34. ^ "Early bird tickets go on sale". Hot Press. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  35. ^ "Electrifying line-up for the Picnic". The Irish Times. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  36. ^ Ken Sweeney and John Meagher (25 March 2010). "Roxy Music to headline '70s-style Picnic". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  37. ^ "Electric Picnic tops Irish Festival Awards". RTÉ Ten (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  38. ^ "Electric Picnic brand damaged by band choices, founder tells court". Irish Independent. 9 April 2013. 
  39. ^ "Home | Electric Picnic". Electricpicnic.ie. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  40. ^ "Electric Picnic 2014". Electricpicnic.ie. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 

External links[edit]