Monday 26 September 2016

Longitude draws to a close as sunshine brings out 30,000 fans

Sasha Brady

Published 17/07/2016 | 18:59

Rebecca Slevin,Carla Kehoe,Tara Butler,Ciara Lawlor and Rachel Walsh Picture:Brian McEvoy
Rebecca Slevin,Carla Kehoe,Tara Butler,Ciara Lawlor and Rachel Walsh Picture:Brian McEvoy
Sam Moriarty,Baz Ashmawy and Ashveen Chilakwad Picture:Brian McEvoy
Jolanta Geruiskyte and Ellen Flood Picture:Brian McEvoy
Sam Moriarty and Ashveen Chilakwad Picture:Brian McEvoy
Eimear Devilly, Ben Farrelly and Kate Stafford Picture:Brian McEvoy
Baz Ashmawy Picture:Brian McEvoy
Logan Hassig Picture:Brian McEvoy
Orlagh Duggan and Jessica Howley Picture:Brian McEvoy
Sorcha O Connor,Laurencia,Julie Quinn,Mairead McCabe and Hannah Fletcher Picture:Brian McEvoy
Janine McDonnell and Andrea Wubben Picture:Brian McEvoy
Rosanna Davison Picture:Brian McEvoy
Samantha Mumba Picture:Brian McEvoy
Eoghan McDermott and Rosanna Davison Picture:Brian McEvoy
Gillian Fitzpatrick,Jeff Ledwidge and Julie Ledwidge Picture:Brian McEvoy
Eoghan McDermott Picture:Brian McEvoy

Day three of Longitude brings sunshine and smiles to festival-goers.

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A three-day exhibition of the many advantages (and pitfalls) of staging a music festival in the city. At its best, Longitude is a city playground for teens and adults, a day out in the park complete with a summer soundtrack and some of the capital's best gourmet pop-ups. As the festival draws to a close, though, its a scramble to get to buses, cars and taxis as 30,000 music fans depart from the gates of Marlay Park. The throngs of fans in the streets insurmountable, cutting through the chaos takes a while and some fans wait for hours to catch a lift home.

Eimear Devilly, Ben Farrelly and Kate Stafford Picture:Brian McEvoy
Eimear Devilly, Ben Farrelly and Kate Stafford Picture:Brian McEvoy

But on Sunday afternoon the mood is light and playful. People aren't yet anticipating the journey home as they welcome the first acts on to the stage. The sun is shining for the third day in a row. There's no mud, no mess, no moaning. A smell of sunscreen lingers in the air and plenty of thirsty punters have a pint in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.

This year, when it comes to festival fashion it seems less is more. But we won't complain about the lads with their tops off, showing off the hours they've put in at the gym and the ladies with their underwear on display because it's a sweltering hot day and who knows when we'll get the chance to bronze (or burn) our limbs again.

Limerick-based hip-hop outfit, Rusangano Family, kick off the Sunday action at the Heineken Stage. The trio have enough energy to light up the whole festival. They deliver a potent blend of rhymes over booming bass and sliced-up break beats. It's not even 4pm but the crowd are feeding off the their energy, giddily pumping their fists in the air as they bounce up and down. There probably isn't a better act to get spirits soaring for the day ahead. The cheerful energy they've created proves that Irish hip-hop culture is all about solidarity and youthful exuberance.

They're followed by All Tvvins and the Dublin duo keep the crowd going with their trademark frenetic energy, soothed with layers of melody and groove which cuts through the afternoon heat. They have a loyal following who proudly chant their lyrics at the top of their voices. The crowd numbers increase as the set progresses and the festival gets well under way.

Orlagh Duggan and Jessica Howley Picture:Brian McEvoy
Orlagh Duggan and Jessica Howley Picture:Brian McEvoy

Taking to the Main Stage at 4.30 is Australian Courtney Barnett. The audience go crazy for her witty lyricisms as she speaks directly to the crowd, carrying messages that resonate with the young audience. As Nobody Cares If You Go To The Party takes hold, a group of four fans jump so hard they crash into each other and fall to the ground. Giggling they manage to help each other back up, while one comments: "I'd do that again for Courtney. It didn't hurt but even if it did I wouldn't care. She's awesome."

By 6 it seems the festival is reaching its full Sunday-night capacity but it doesn't feel overwhelming. Everything seems to move with ease. It must be the good weather. Nobody seems to be in a rush to move anywhere, apart from the people at the roller disco who zip along on their skates, chasing the shadows of the person ahead.

Amid all the music and noise, people are chilling out at the 3Live Experience. Festival-goers give their phones some much-needed juice at the charging stations as a silent disco takes place nearby. While at the upstairs desk, lazy sun-worshipers sip mojitos and smile down at the action unfolding down below.

Longtitude draws a much younger crowd than Electric Picnic or Body and Soul and the energy amongst the teenagers can seem unhinged at times. As journalist Louise Bruton aptly tweeted: "Everyone over the age of 25 smiles at each other like we're all old war vets. Strangers with total solidarity."

Sorcha O Connor,Laurencia,Julie Quinn,Mairead McCabe and Hannah Fletcher Picture:Brian McEvoy
Sorcha O Connor,Laurencia,Julie Quinn,Mairead McCabe and Hannah Fletcher Picture:Brian McEvoy

But we're at a festival so it's to be expected. While it never feels menacing, it's a good idea to be grip your €6.50 beer with both hands to protect it from a collision with oncoming, disorientated limbs.

Back at the Main Stage the crowd starts to swell as one of the festival's main draws, Father John Misty deliver his indie-folk sound to an eager audience. Decked out in black, Sunday's sex symbol prances about the stage like a panther, occasionally dropping to his knees with impassioned outbursts as his soulful voice fills Marlay Park. There's a hint of Tom Jones about his thrusts and swagger, hips popping as he moves. The men are just as loud as the women in their appreciative shrieks. They lap it up as he moves from the chaotic bombast of I Love You, Honeybear to the spluttering synthpop of True Affection.

Jamie xx follows with a DJ set that spins remixes of some of his newest hits, including Gosh and the gloriously, sad and emotional Loud Places, a crowd favourite that sees groups of friends wrap their arms around each other as they chant the lyrics with feeling, faces turned to the sun. It's a moment that reminds you why festivals are so special, that shared solidarity between music fans in a field.

Sure what else would you be doing of a Sunday?

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