International pop stars join 35,000 revellers for a Picnic
IRELAND'S second-biggest music festival gets under way next weekend with the return of Electric Picnic to Stradbally, Co Laois.
More than 35,000 revellers will make the annual pilgrimage to one of Europe's most highly regarded festivals, as some of the world's biggest acts prepare themselves for the Irish stage.
International artists Mumford and Sons, Hot Chip, Sea Sick Steve and Fever Ray will all be keen to impress the Irish fanfare while home-grown acts The Frames, Cathy Davey and Two Door Cinema Club will all be eager to entertain on home soil.
However, organisers insist the Electric Picnic is about much more than just music. There are a variety of attractions including a theatre, a circus, burlesque can-can girls, 1950s cocktail boudoirs, a pantomime, a healing village, a silent disco, political debates and a cinema. All this is incorporated into the three-day experience until Sunday evening.
Sunday Independent columnist Eamon Delaney will appear on Saturday night to debate Irish neutrality with controversial Scottish anti-war MP George Galloway.
The two previously clashed on The Late Late Show in 2006 on the subject of the Iraq War.
The Electric Picnic is widely acknowledged as Europe's most family oriented music and arts festival. Parents can bring up to two children, under the age of 12, to the festival at no additional cost, with special family areas constructed to cater for the younger brand of hippie.
The Electric Picnic has grown at a phenomenal rate since its humble beginnings as a one-day festival in 2004. Music and art lovers have ensured that it has been a sell-out since its inception, and, despite the recession, more than 35,000 people are expected to pay the €240 ticket price to attend the festival, which some say is only eclipsed by the UK's iconic Glastonbury festival.