This year's Electric Picnic has lost none of its charms - here's why

Electric Picnic

Kirsty Blake Knox

Bond Girl Grace Jones may not be hula hooping naked at this year’s Electric Picnic as she did last year, but don’t fret – organiser Melvin Benn says there should be plenty of risque and racy moments.

Benn thinks the lake at Stradbally Hall could become a site for “racy swimming”.

“If people forget their costumes of course. I suspect it may depend on who it is who forgets (their bathers),” he joked.

The lakeside swimming area is one of the new additions to this year’s festival, which has grown to accommodate the 4,000 additional ticket holders.

The Picnic has lost none of its charms and is packed with weird and wonderful oddities from house music-pumping UFOs, Dutch-inspired barges, Mad Max rave sets, pampering suites and wheelbarrow “story telling circles”.

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.

In the comedy tent, Dylan Moran, David O’Doherty, Al Porter and American funnyman Reginald D Hunter will all keep the troops entertained.

Benn has told music fans to head for the Aviva if they only want headliners, in response to criticism from people who say it is missing a big name to draw crowds.

But he said that organisers booked everyone they looked for this year. He also pointed out that critics are missing the point, as there is more to Picnic than music.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“I am very comfortable with the headliners that we have, we didn’t target anyone we didn’t get.”