So, that’s it for another year, Electric Picnic has come to a close and the thousands who made their way to a field in Stradbally for the weekend have started the recovery process.
This was one of the most enjoyable festivals that I have ever attended. Across the weekend I tried my best to make it to as many different aspects of the festival as I could, from podcast recordings, drama performances, to social commentary talks, I tried to get to everything. Festivals like Electric Picnic provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in an atmosphere and environment of creativity and artistic expression, and across the weekend I found myself constantly challenged and inspired by the creativity and imagination that I was surrounded by. People will have their opinions on the weekend, but for me it was a thoroughly enjoyable and motivating experience.
Anyway, while there I tried my best to get to as much music as I could as well, obviously, and here is a selection of the acts that I felt were the standouts across the weekend
(Before we begin, honourable mentions to Ryan Cahill, Dan Elliott, George Ezra, and Daithí who were also incredible.)
Sunday night at a music festival like this is a difficult time slot to be given, some audience members are looking for a big send off to their weekend while others are tired after three days of alcohol, dancing, and little sleep. With this in mind, there is no better act to rise the crowd at this time than the fantastic Kilkenny multi-instrumentalist, R.S.A.G. (Jeremy Hickey). It was another typically energetic and captivating performance from one of the most interesting and imaginative artists in Irish music at the moment.
Right, it’s official, Dua Lipa is the biggest music artist on the planet at the moment. From the moment the first bars of Blow Your Mind (Mwah) exploded into the night air and the twenty-three year old performer runs on stage she has the whole festival in the palm of her hand. Striding around the stage with an undeniable confidence, Lipa dominates the show powering through an incredible set list where every song could easily be a highlight. New Rules is as wonderful an experience as you would imagine it to be. A true superstar.
On Friday I had the absolute pleasure of seeing my favourite band of all time, Delorentos, play three times. A chat and acoustic set in the Hot Press tent, a fantastic set on the Electric Arena, and then a set on the Salty Dog stage at midnight all served to demonstrate that they are one of the best bands on the go at the moment.
As I said in the opening paragraphs of this post, I tried my best to make this a weekend of different and new experiences, and with that in mind I made my way to the Big Little Tent on Sunday night to see Dance/Electronic artist Peggy Gou perform. While I like to sometimes listen to tracks of this kind of music, it wouldn’t be something that I ever thought I would go see, but there was something compelling about being in a packed tent surrounded by people who were unashamedly losing themselves to the music being created. I went along intending to stay for about twenty minutes, ended up staying for the whole set. Captivating.
This year’s festival was my first ever time seeing the mercurial Dublin band King Kong Company perform, and it was easily one of the highlights of the festival. A powerfully energetic and imaginative performance featuring some mind blowing vocals by Susan O’Neill and outstanding visuals.
A star. An absolute star who is well on her way to taking over music. Watch this space.
For the past few months I have really been enjoying the music of the American singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers. I went along to the show expecting to enjoy the set, but I was blown away by just how good it was. Rogers is after building up an excellent collection of songs and they were performed here with an enthusiasm and command that was stunning to watch. Rogers seemed properly overwhelmed at times by the reaction she was getting, and I personally can not wait for her return.
Tickets for next year go on sale this Friday. Get on it!