Sunday 19 November 2017

Missed out on tickets to Electric Picnic? Here are the festivals you can check out instead

Electric Picnic isn't the only big ticket this summer. There are alternatives offering everything from reggae to wellness events
James Vincent McMorrow
James Vincent McMorrow
Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream
Lisa Hannigan
A Tribe Called Quest

Sasha Brady

After months of anticipation, the line-up for Electric Picnic has been announced. If you thought that the big reveal would boost ticket sales, you were wrong. By 11am every single ticket had been snapped up. The line-up wasn't listed until midday.

The scramble for tickets to an event shrouded in mystery proves that the biggest draw for those who make the annual trek to Stradbally isn't the headline acts, it's that old cliche, 'the vibe'.

This year's lineup - which includes hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest, alongside Duran Duran, Chaka Khan and The xx - divided opinion but once festival-goers find themselves among the music, mud and mayhem, they'll wonder why they ever complained in the first place.

For those who didn't get their hands on a ticket, there are plenty more options around the country. With the summer heating up, if you can handle a Portaloo queue at 5am and €7 pints, the rest is a breeze.

BD Festival:

Glendalough House

April 14

Glendalough House, Annamoe, Co Wicklow

Tickets from €44.05

The festival formerly known as Barn Dance returns to give people an excuse to swig warm cider on Good Friday when all the pubs are closed. As the woodland gathering celebrates its 10th birthday, it pulls in electronic music acts like Dax J, Huxley and cover band Smash Hits.



May 3 and 4

Beaulieu House and Gardens, Co Louth

Day tickets from €40, weekend tickets €85

A teeny-tiny (read: intimate) festival that celebrates homegrown talent and campervan culture. A decent family-friendly option, it operates a BYOB policy to tip the balance in favour of the cash-strapped. Overhead, the Albatross share a bill with The Riptide Movement, Kila, Lankum, Orchid Collective and Corner Boy.

Forbidden Fruit:

Bon Iver

June 3 - 5

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

Day tickets from €59.50, weekend tickets from €145.50

The ultimate June Bank Holiday celebration and boasts a line-up made for dancing with Orbital, Aphex Twin, Hot Chip, Nicolas Jaar, Fatima Yamaha and Snakehips on the bill. Unwind with a mellow Monday line-up curated by Bon Iver, which includes Flying Lotus and Lisa Hannigan.

Life Festival:


May 26 - 28

Belvedere House and Gardens, Co Westmeath

Tickets from €159

Known for its dance music focus, the festival will host the likes of Rudimental, Maya Jane Coles, Nina Kraviz and Duke Dumont across its four stages. There's also the joyful mix of fancy-dress and lakeside views.

BARE In The Woods:

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: The Sugarhill Gang performs at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors October 3, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

June 9 - 11, Garryhinch Woods, Portarlington, Co Laois

Day tickets from €50, weekend tickets from €125

Ireland's fastest-growing boutique festival returns for its fourth year, following the sold-out success of the previous two years. The eclectic line-up features hip-hop pioneers The Sugar Hill Gang, reggae legend Natty Wailer, Irish festival favourites King Kong Company, My Tribe Your Tribe, The Hardy Bucks and plenty of unsigned acts hoping to convert festival-goers to their fanbase.

Body and Soul:

loah eve north.jpg
Loah. Photo: Eve North Photography

June 23 - 25

Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath

Tickets from €135-€195

The Summer Solstice used to be an Alice in Wonderland-style affair that celebrated the bizarre and provided a welcome escape from flower crowns and over-zealous teens. But lately it's started to feel like Electric Picnic Lite. This year the festival hopes to return to its leftfield beginnings with an over-20s age-limit and a non-starry line-up which includes Metronomy, Lambchop, Sleaford Mots, Vitalic, Loah and Elaine Mai.

Sea Sessions:

Sea Sessions (3).jpg

June 23 - 25 Bundoran, Co Donegal

Day tickets from €49.50, weekend camping from €99.90

This surf, skate and music festival beat all the big players and was crowned IMRO Live Music Festival of the Year in 2016. Headline acts this year include The Coronas, Primal Scream, Badly Drawn Boy, Mr Scruff, Wyvern Lingo and more. If you want a break from the soundsystem you can partake in tag rugby, beach football tournaments and an ultimate Frisbee competition.

Belsonic Music Festival:

‘I just need to dance’ — Regine Chassagne and her husband, Win Butler, onstage

June 6 - 30 Ormeau Park, Belfast

Tickets from €58

An outdoor music festival which hosts a different open-air concert every night. Arcade Fire, Jess Glynne, The Chainsmokers and superstar DJ Martin Garrix are some of the acts confirmed.

The Summer Sessions at Trinity College:

James Vincent McMorrow

July 6 - 11

Tickets from €44.05

Not your traditional festival but a series of six one-day concerts in the grounds of Trinity College. Line-up includes jazz supremo Gregory Porter, James Vincent McMorrow, Bell X1, Pixies, Two Door Cinema Club and alt-J.

Simma Down Festival:


July 8 Grangecon, Co Wicklow

Tickets from €45

We don't know if it's the fresh air or their Happy Pear diet but the people of North Wicklow radiate an infectious sunny vibe all-year round, so we're expecting this family-friendly festival to transport us to the tropics of Trinadad. No acts have been announced yet but expect plenty of reggae, dancehall, afrobeat, samba and grime.



July 14 - 16 Marlay Park, Dublin

Day tickets from €69.50, two-day tickets from €129.50, weekend tickets from €189.50

Longitude can feel like the messier, more brazen, little sister to Forbidden Fruit. Grime heavyweights Stormzy, Skepta and Wiley will join The Weeknd, Picture This, Dua Lipa, Jack Garratt, Glass Animals and Jorja Smith at this year's festival.


10 Castle Palozza.jpg
Carla McMahon and Laura O’Curry at the Castlepalooza music festival being held this weekend in Tullamore, Co Offaly

August 4 - 6 Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co Offaly

Day ticket from €59, weekend ticket from €109

The August Bank Holiday has, in previous years, been one of the wettest weekends on the calendar. But we live in hope. Festival-goers won't mind donning the raincoats for a line-up that includes Girl Band, Wild Beasts, David Kitt, Heroes in Hiding, King Bones and the 'keep the party going' DJs Lumo Club.


mb indiependence SOC 23.jpg
Ariana Barrett, Aisling Kiely and Edelle Notte at Indiependence in Cork

Aug 4 - 6 Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Tickets from €119

In the foothills of the Galtee Mountains, headliners Manic Street Preachers and The Coronas will mix with Sigma, Frank Turner, Tom Odell and more to play to a 10,000-capacity crowd.


A street sign outside The Berdard Shaw advertising Bodytonic's Beatyard festival. Photo: Bodytonic Facebook

August 5 and 6, Dun Laoghaire Marina

Day tickets from €59, weekend tickets from €89

Take the DART to Dun Laoghaire for Mark Ronson, Air, this year's Choice Music Prize winners Rusangano Family, disco queen Candi Staton and DJ sets from Horse Meat Disco, Larry Heard, Romare and Fish Go Deep. There's also foodie paradise, Eatyard, which features over 50 food stalls.

Another Love Story:

Another love story festival

August 18 - 20, Killyon Manor

Tickets from €155

Brought to you by the people behind Happenings and Homebeat, it feels more like a fancy sleepover in a stately manor than a festival. The line-up is yet to be announced but last year Meltybrains?, Saint Sister and Talos topped the bill.

Groove Festival:

The two-day Groove Festival is now in its 5th year

August 19 and 20, Kilruddery House, Co Wicklow

Tickets from €49.50

Primal Scream and one of the UK's biggest reggae acts, UB40, are some of the headline highlights. The family-focused festival will also include an array of artisan food stands, a host of fun-filled child-friendly activities and access to Thrive, a new lifestyle and wellness event.

Irish Independent

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