Blossoming from a one-day event that was held first in 2004, Electric Picnic is now a three-day affair, and the biggest festival of its kind in Ireland. Regularly selling out well in advance – this year included – with numerous stages, and areas covering music, comedy, food, the arts, culture and more. It’s the Emerald Isle’s answer to Glastonbury. Taking place in Stradbally, Co. Laois from the 4th – 6th Sept 2015, this year’s event will see well over a hundred acts appearing during the weekend. Here, we identify eight to look out for.
1. Future Islands:
Combining an electro-pop aesthetic with impassioned vocals, Future Islands’ sound may be a joy to listen to. However, it’s the visual antics of lead singer Samuel T. Herring that really make them one of Electric Picnic’s must see acts. As far as quirky ‘dad-dancing’ goes, no-one does it better. Making their Irish festival debut, their set is sure to be among the most talked about of the weekend.
2. Grace Jones:
As a supermodel and former Bond villain, as well as a respected recording artist; there’s not much that Grace Jones hasn’t achieved during remarkable her career. When she last graced the Electric Picnic stage back in 2008, the superstar made quite an impression, with many citing her performance as the highlight of the weekend. She may be approaching the end of her sixth decade on the planet – a fact that her stunning looks defy – but doubtless she’ll be out to show the younger acts on the bill how it’s done.
3. Manic Street Preachers:
2014 was a landmark year for Manic Street Preachers. Releasing their critically acclaimed twelfth studio album ‘Futurology’ as well as celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the release of their landmark ‘Holy Bible’ album. The three-piece toured extensively, playing sold-out shows that focused on both releases. Following that extensive bout, 2015 has been a much quieter year for the band. However, the trio will be hitting Electric Picnic’s Main Stage as part of a small select run of festival dates. They may have once promised to release only one album before breaking up, but those attending will be glad that they didn’t.
4. Jurassic 5:
Hip-hop legends Jurrasic 5 are no strangers to Electric Picnic. As one of the small number of acts who appeared at the first ever event back in 2004, they may be in for a shock when they return to play a much bigger festival. With the capacity increased from around 10,000 to over four times that, the L.A. quintet are sure to pick up a few new fans with their alternative groove-laden sound. Expect urban soul from the concrete schoolyard.
Back in 1996, when a Fr. Damo Lennon asked a certain Fr. Dougal McGuire: “Who do you like best; Blur or Oasis?”, it was a timely reminder that the battle of the Britpop icons was raging even across the Irish sea. Stradbally might be on the opposite side of the country to the fictional locality of the inept priests of Craggy Island, but perhaps Fr. Dougal will be joining the thousands making their way to Co. Laois. Make your own mind up whose side you are on by catching Blur’s headline set on the Main Stage on Saturday night.
6. The Riptide Movement:
As one of Ireland’s hardest working bands, although only recently entering the wider world’s musical consciousness, The Riptide Movement have been touring and releasing music for the past eight years. With three albums under their belt including Irish number one ‘Getting Through’, the Dublin-based quartet will be out to affirm that with a just little bit of tenacity, it all works out.
7. George Ezra:
With a clutch of hits already to his name including ‘Blame It On Me’ and ‘Budapest’, the phenomenally successful George Ezra is guaranteed to generate one of the loudest sing-a-longs of the weekend. With the current rise of the singer-songwriter genre seemingly unstoppable, catch one of its figureheads at his biggest Irish show yet.
As one of the most lauded acts of the last few years, Chvrches need little introduction. Formed in 2011 the Scottish three-piece came to prominence with the release of their debut album ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ in 2013. Featuring prominently in many critics’ year-end polls, the album proved to be a smash with more than just the fans. With follow-up ‘Every Open Eye’ due for release in late September, expect the band to debut some of their forthcoming material at Electric Picnic.