Entertainment Festivals

Tuesday 16 September 2014

No Electric Picnic ticket? 8 other things to do this weekend (aside from cry)

Published 28/08/2014 | 15:52

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Broken Heart Therapy can help, apparently (picture posed)
Broken Heart Therapy can help, apparently (picture posed)

When tickets for the ultimate festival of the summer suddenly sold out a whopping four weeks in advance, many sorry festival fans were slapped with a shock of Garthgate proportions in the midst of a Longitude comedown. Poor souls.

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Since then the most fervent of Electric Picnic fans have been spending their days, and possibly a small fortune, entering competitions in the frail hopes of bagging two golden weekend passes.

It's like the early days of the Lotto when we sat in front of our living room tellies eying the screen in wide-eyed anticipation.

With the festivities due to kick off at Stradbally tomorrow, however, if the golden tickets haven't been secured by now, chances are The Disappointed will be spending this weekend looking for something else to do.

Yes, we know, nothing compares to the Picnic, and if you want to spend your weekend wandering the roads of Stradbally in the hopes of hearing a few cords from 'Holding Out for a Hero', then work away.

If you'd rather a few ideas on how to spend the weekend more productively, here are a few suggestions...

(1) Take to the bed and sob dramatically.

No, we jest...

(1) Get your gig on.

Believe it or not there are bands and DJs who are not playing the Picnic.  One such group is Trouble Pilgrims who play The Workman's Club in Dublin on Friday at 8pm. 

Entry is a bargain €12 and for your cash you can expect a lovely mix of material from all of the Radiators from Space albums, classic cover versions as well as songs from Pete Holidai's solo album The Devil's Guitar in their live set.

Close your eyes and pretend you're knee deep in mud at Stradbally but hit your own bed at the end of the evening.  It's not all bad.

(2) Direct your own festival.

Make a Spotify playlist of all the songs you wanted to hear from your favourite artists at EP, pitch a tent in the back garden, don your wellies and have a beer.  Invite fellow Disappointeds and you're sorted.

Now you won't be bereft if Sinead doesn't sing 'Nothing Compares to You' and you'll have access to your very own VIP loo (assuming you maintain your loo to sparkly VIP standards).

(3) Go see a play.

Flex your cultural muscles with some theatre.  Frost/Nixon is on at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway from 8pm Friday.  It costs just €15/€18 and it's staged by new drama group Cairde MOL.  Ease yourself into the weekend.

(3) Catch a feminist film.

Not just for girls, the first Feminist Film Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday and includes the Irish premiere of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a doc about the renowned US Emmy and Tony winner who passed away last month.

The festival aims to help counteract the mis/under representation of women in film and also raise funds for charity Sasane in Nepal (http://sasane.org.np), a non-profit charity organisation run by and for victims of sex trafficking who provide women with education, support and training.

Screenings (€10 for film and short) take place at The New Theatre, 43 Essex St, Temple Bar, Dublin.  Check out http://feministfilmfestivaldublin.com for more info.

(4) Have an X-Factor-fest. 

It's the first episode of the new series and, whilst you may have spent the past few months insisting you won't succumb to the Saturday night takeover this year, you know that in reality you are powerless to resist, so you might as well run with it from the start. 

What will Cheryl wear?  What nuggets will escape Louis' mouth?  How high will Simon wear his trousers?  How tight will Dermot wear his?  The Picnicers may never know the answers to these questions.  Bless them.

(5) Build a bug hotel in a bog.

Yep, you read that correctly.  You can help to build a hotel for creepy crawlies at Abbeyliex bog on Saturday from 2pm.  Admission to the bog is free and there's no booking required.  Sure it'll be just like being at Stradbally. 

If you're not convinced (don't worry, we're not either), there are loads of other events happening as part of National Heritage Week, including the Feis Teamhra at the Hill of Tara Visitor Centre in Meath on Sunday. 

It's at 4pm, free, and will have music and poetry from Susan McKeown, Paul Muldoon and more.  Check out www.heritageweek.ie for more events.

(6) Take stock.

Whilst the rest of the nation jostles for space at the Main Stage for a glimpse of Outkast and queues for the portaloo in the rain (probably), take advantage of the extra room everywhere else. 

Expect lighter traffic (unless you live in Stradbally, in which case, sorry for your trouble), shorter queues for everything from coffee to nightclubs, seats on public transport, bike lanes.  Stand back and appreciate.

(7) Partake in some armchair sports.

Dublin and Donegal face off in the football on Sunday.  It's going to be epic, apparently.  And Saturday sees American football in Dublin at The Croke Park Classic - the University of Central Florida host Penn State in their 2014 Season Opener.  It's the first time UCF and Penn State have played outside the United States so witness some history in action.

(8) Sort out your underwear drawer. 

Play matchmaker to your lonely, single socks.  You know you need to.

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