Village Festival Guide - Electric Picnic
Village puts its finger on the festival of the summer
Electric Picnic has become the must see event of the summer for those with more discerning taste in music. It helps that the ‘boutique' part of the festival ensures that showers are available, tents are not burnt and fights are non-existent, unlike other festivals we would not care to mention. But this lack of savagery is far from the only reason that EP (as it is commonly known) sold out in record time, even at €240. The atmosphere and the music on show is consistently better than any other festival in this country. This years line-up includes some of the seminal music acts of this or any other era.
Friday night highlights have to include Bjork. The Icelandic pixie has been producing some of the most interesting, strange and beautiful music (and videos) for over a decade, yet many fans have yet to see her live in this country. Her shows feature bizarre costumes, dancers and visuals that guarantee her stage to be jammed, as befits a true headline act.
The Good, The Bad and The Queen are Damon Albarn's new band. The ex-Blur main man has gathered a motley crew or London geezers who are also legendary musicians, from giant bass player Paul Simonon of the Clash, guitar player Simon Tong of The Verve and Tony Allen, drummer for African jazz master Fela Kuti. This collection could easily be called a supergroup.
Hot Chip are English electro-pop of the highest order. You may know their music from any party you have been to in the last year, especially in houses where people like to dance.
Modest Mouse are an American band whose song has graced your TV screens on a Fanta ad, the one with the funky people skipping over a huge rope on the street. Finishing the night on the main stage are LCD Soundsystem. They played last year in the afternoon, where their raucous antics were diluted by the sunshine. This time they take their rightful place at the midnight hour.
For those who always like to dance, the BodyTonic and the Sweetness and Light tents keep the party going until 2am, finishing with Detroit DJ legend Derrick Carter.
Saturday is the big day. The music starts early, just after 12pm. The wealth of bands, musicians and DJ's on the five stages is staggering. A small selection would have to include (in vague chronological order) Irish enormo-band The Jimmy Cake, art rockers !!! (pronounced Chick Chick Chick) then Sri Lanka by way of London noisenik MIA, Derry legends The Undertones followed by the very loud Architecture in Helsinki, happy British poppers the Magic Numbers, ex-Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, electro originators Erasure, New York hip-hoppers the Beastie Boys, The Jesus and Mary Chain and festival stalwarts the Chemical Brothers. If you want to stay away from the main stages, you might be inclined to catch San Francisco rockers Deerhoof and fiddle playing Final Fantasy or French electronic chatuese Nouvelle Vague, to name but a few.
Day three is once again full to the brim of must-see acts. To make a decision to go to one tent requires heart-wrenching choices. Seeing UNKLE requires missing Sonic Youth. Seeing The Fall means missing Horace Andy. Iggy and the Stooges clash with The Go! Team. Such is the fate of the music lover at a festival like EP.
As always, kids under 12 go free to EP. This year there are lots of unusual activities for them, including the Lambert Puppet Theatre and Fossets Circus.
In a nod to the fact that the hurling team of our editor is playing in the final this Sunday, it should be mentioned that the GAA tent will be showing the big game in the afternoon.
Aside from the music, hurling and circuses, this year there is a distinctly green tinge to the whole affair. For a refundable deposit of €3, recyclable plastic cups will be available to all. Recycling areas will be abundant. The Cultivate centre in Temple Bar will be taking Carbon confessions in a specially constructed confessional. Check out www.electicpicnic.ie to see the myriad of ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint while still having fun in the countryside and to pick your perfect line up.