'Getting Lana Del Rey was a real coup' - Electric Picnic organiser

Lana de Rey

Kirsty Blake Knox

Electric Picnic festival organiser Melvin Benn has dismissed criticism that the 2016 line up lacks a killer headline act.

Some music fans have described the line up as underwhelming and familiar.

Benn says such critics are missing the point of the music and arts festival.

“I don’t think it’s true and I don’t think it’s the point of the Picnic either,” he told the Irish Independent.

“I think the point of the picnic is the whole rather than the singular parts… For me it is missing the point of the festival.

"Electric Picnic is a music and arts festival. If you only want headliners, the Aviva is the place not Stradbally.”

Mr Benn was quick to add that he thought all the bands and singers performing at this year’s festival were heavyweight musicians worthy of a place on the main stage.

“For me, the Picnic does have huge names. Lana Del Rey is a huge name and a significantly better performer than people give her credit for. That was a real coup.

He continued; “LCD Soundsystem - they may not be for everyone - but they are a hell of a name and they just headlined at Coachella festival which is the biggest festival in the US. I am very comfortable with the headliners that we have, we didn’t target anyone we didn’t get.”

This year, Benn has increased capacity by 4,000 with a total of 55,000 music fans flocking to Laois for the three day festival.

He will not increase the number next year as he wants “to let it settle at that”.

He is currently in negotiations for the 2017 acts but says he cannot reveal anything about the acts other than the fact they “play a guitar”.

Now in it’s twelfth year, several other areas have been added to the EP site. The Hazel Wood is an interactive theatre space in a woodland where you can listen to Shakespeare before taking a trip through the “Cerebral Fortress” which aims to take visitors through a maze based on the inside of your brain.

“By the time you get to the end your brain will be throughly mangled,” Harry White of Balls And Brains Productions explained.

There are insect rooms and a “frontal lobe” which Harry is “like a 90s bender squat party.”