Monday 18 December 2017

Organisers planning an even bigger Picnic party

Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys on stage at the Electric Picnic last night
Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys on stage at the Electric Picnic last night
Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos

Ken Sweeney and Vicki Notaro

SOME 35,000 music lovers will take down their tents and begin the journey home this morning following a hugely successful 10th Electric Picnic.

And the event in Stradbally, Co Laois, could be even bigger next year.

Flushed with the success of the three-day event over the weekend, festival director Melvin Benn said he would like to increase capacity next year by 5,000.

"I think there's room for us to get bigger, and I would certainly be talking to both the council and the gardai about the possibility of another 5,000 people. We certainly have the capacity," he said.

The promoter said his ideas for an expansion were based on how well the 550-acre estate had contained its biggest crowd to date.

"Stradbally coped well. Every element seems to have worked, particularly the work of the gardai," he said. "I didn't see one traffic jam."

Mr Benn spoke as he took part in handing over a cheque for €100,000 to Laois Hospice that was raised by a charity cycle he took part in last Friday.

He added that the death of Phil McConnell (20), of Malahide, north Dublin, had been the only sadness at an otherwise "fantastic event".

The death of poet Seamus Heaney was also felt, with the Mindfield area of the site dedicated to "the word and memory" of the Nobel laureate.

Laura Whitmore, Andrea Roche, Claudine Keane and supermodel Daria Werbowy were among the thousands of revellers.

English stars Arctic Monkeys closed the festivities with an energetic display, but Irish groups shone – Dublin rockers Kodaline drew a massive crowd yesterday, while Little Green Cars, The Strypes and Gavin James were the highlights for many.

Irish Independent

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