Thursday 26 April 2018

A world-first stage and Ireland's next big thing: Five must-see spots at Electric Picnic

Three days and counting!

Swell time: The crowd at Electric Picnic's main stage. Photo: Damien Eagers
Swell time: The crowd at Electric Picnic's main stage. Photo: Damien Eagers
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Get ready for the music event of the summer.

More than 55,000 people will make their way to Stradbally for Electric Picnic, which sold out in record time this year.

During the three day festival, now in its 13th year, headliners The XX, A Tribe Called Quest, Duran Duran and Elbow will grace the main stage.

Every year, the festival strives to bring something new and this year, they’ve shaken a few things up.

"Musically, it's a tremendous line-up, but look deeper as well. There's a phenomenal amount to do this weekend. The list of things to do is really endless," according to Festival Director Melvin Benn.

"There's a huge amount of people bringing fresh ideas over all of the time. I can't stand still and the Picnic can't stand still."

Here are five things to do at Electric Picnic 2017.

The Salty Dog hits land
Gerry Fish and the Mudbug Club onboard the Salty Dog Saloon. Photo: Collins Photo Agency

The Salty Dog stage, located close to the main arena, is a indie-lover’s haven. In previous years, the area was solely made up of the 40-tonne trawler, which doubles as one of the festival's coolest stages.

This year, a bar and restaurant will join the impressive boat, as well as some quirky characters offering free tooth extractions.

“We have finally brought the ship to the harbour,” says Chaz Preston, co-producer for Salty Dog.

“This year, it’s an immersive and interactive experience.”

Fun fact: The trawler, which is originally from Cobh, stays in Stradbally all year as it's too heavy to move.

Music all around at the Red Bull Soundome


The Red Bull area is a solid favourite among those who want to keep going until the sun comes up. This year, they bring a world-first experience to the woods of Laois.

The Soundome is a 360 degree stage with 42 integrated speakers all around and subwoofers built into the floor, so party-goers will have a truly immersive experience.

The dome fits around 70 people at a time and will feature tunes from some of Ireland’s most-renowned musicians and performers.

Must See: Leo Pearson, who composed a lot of the specially-composed tracks will be at the Soundome decks.He will be putting his music to good use all three days of the festival.

Lip-sync battles at the 3Disco stage


Ever fancy yourself on Rupaul’s Drag Race or Lip Sync Battle? Well now you can do the next best thing.

The 3Disco stage is giving punters the chance to lip sync to a catalogue of songs. They’ll even have glitter and props, if you do want to go full-on Mariah Carey. Dublin drag act Davina Devine will be your MC for the weekend.

If that’s not up your street, you could at least pop over and have a laugh at fellow revellers giving it a lash.

Must See: Snapchat stars James Kavanagh and Doireann Garrihy will going head to head on Saturday evening at around 18.10.

See them before they go international

Chasing Abbey

Tullamore Trio Chasing Abbey may be the new kids on the block, but the last few months have seen them become Ireland’s next up-and-coming band.

The 'That Good Thing' singers will perform their unique hip-hop and dance act to Electric Picnic for the first time this weekend and Ro, Bee and TeddyC say it's like playing to a home crowd.

"There's going to be a lot of people we know there and a lot of people who'll hear our music for the first time, so we can't wait," Bee told

"To be playing Electric Picnic is actually a huge honour, really."

Must See: These Offaly lads will be at the Today FM stage on Friday night.


Food glorious food

Just Eat Retreat at Electric Picnic Launch -13.jpg
Pictured at the launch of the Just Eat Retreat Full Moon Party at Electric Picnic 2017 is Hope and Matilda. Pic:Naoise Culhane

When it comes to festival grub, Electric Picnic has always offered more than just the same-old food stalls you see at all the other outdoor concerts.

This year, they’ve pulled out all the stops, with a makeshift food hall serving cuisine you wouldn’t expect to find in the middle of a working farm.

The Hot House restaurant showcases the best of Irish food, including halloumi from Cork, lobster from Mayo and cake from Diva.

Tuck In: The vegetarian option may not appeal to everyone, but Lu's Chaat Stop's Behl Puri will hit the spot.

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