Entertainment

Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I love roaming the Picnic with some of my children' - Miriam O'Callaghan on being a festival mum

Miriam O'Callaghan and Georgia McGurk at the VIP Casa Bacardi area at Electric Picnic. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Miriam O'Callaghan and Georgia McGurk at the VIP Casa Bacardi area at Electric Picnic. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Jessie Morrissey, left, and Clare O’Gorman from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, at the Throwback Stage during day one of Electric Picnic. Photo: Brian McEvoy and Sam Barnes
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Perhaps less a hard Brexit than a soft boogie. Miriam O'Callaghan said she is looking forward to Florence + the Machine's headlining performance at the Electric Picnic tonight at 10.30pm.

The 60,000 fans - and the aforementioned RTE star - will presumably be already warmed up by performances earlier tonight by Kodaline at 8.30pm, Richard Ashcroft at 7pm and Razorlight at 4.15pm; and on the Electric Arena stage, the Streets at 10.30pm, Roisin Murphy at 7.30pm and Johnny Marr at 6pm.

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Miriam, of course, hosts her annual Sunday Brunch at 1pm today with guests at the Mindfield area at the festival in County Laois.

The big rumour last Friday night was that the Taoiseach might pop down for a few words with the Queen of Montrose. After which Leo Varadkar would leg it to Dublin to take his place with Matt at the All-Ireland final in Croke Park.

Unfortunately our Taoiseach confirmed that he wouldn't be attending the festival, saying: "Nope, the All-Ireland starts with the Taoiseach's salute before the minor game at 1pm. It is not possible to do both."

Miriam said her "favourite moments are always spending the rest of the Sunday after the brunch ends roaming the Picnic with some of my children. We have great craic."

Actor George McMahon and his wife Rachel at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Actor George McMahon and his wife Rachel at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Nicola Bardon, Roisin Cummings, Neil Byrne and Tamara Matthews at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Chris Newman at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Meghann Scully and Louise Cantillon at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
David Mitchell and Peter Collins at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois.
Meghann Scully and Louise Cantillon at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Conor Miller and Niamh Devereux at Three;s Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Mikie O'Loughlin and Adam Doyle at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Saoirse O'Kane, Orla McBride and Aimee Beale at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Natalie Lennon and Karla Regan at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Kevin Shore and Jennifer McDonald at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Rebel Phoenix and Fionnuala Moran at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Tracy Clifford at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Cassie Stokes at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Emma Costello and Joe McGoldrick at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Actor George McMahon and his wife Rachel at Three's Charge & Chill at Electric Picnic at Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Picture shows Love Island winner Greg O’Shea at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Pic:Naoise Culhane
Picture shows Niamh Farrell of the band Ham Sandwich with chef Derry Clarke at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Naoise Culhane
Picture shows Niamh Farrell of the band Ham Sandwich at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Naoise Culhane
Picture shows Love Island winner Greg O’Shea at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Naoise Culhane
Picture shows from left celebrity chefs Mark Moriarty and Derry Clarke at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Pic:Naoise Culhane - no fee
Picture shows influencer Niamh O’Sullivan at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ Naoise Culhane - no fee
Picture shows James Kavanagh at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ – a fine dining banquet curated by Michelin star chef Derry Clarke. Pic:Naoise Culhane
Picture shows from left celebrity chefs Mark Moriarty and Derry Clarke at ‘Tesco finest Banquet at Electric Picnic’ – a fine dining banquet curated by Michelin star chef Derry Clarke and Tesco finest* ambassador, Mark Moriarty, using only the finest* ingredients. Pic:Naoise Culhane - no fee
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Stevie G & Andrea Williams at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Ashley Kehoe & Chris Mellon at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Donna Ngai, Tiago Williams & Selena Han at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Taz kelleher and Marcus O’Laoire at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Oisin Boland Ashley Kehoe & Fiona Killion Chris Mellon at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Ashley Kehoe & Fiona Killion at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019.Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Hannah Murphy and Fiona Hughes at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. This year’s area is an enormous structure on two levels, with a glass roof that will keep festival-goers dry but let them dance beneath the sun and stars!Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured is Niamh Cullen at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) JP Kierans, Katie Gallagher and Mark Corcoran at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Adam Power, Nathan Adams & Tomas Murphy at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Mark Dean Oliver and Davey b at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. This year’s area is an enormous structure on two levels, with a glass roof that will keep festival-goers dry but let them dance beneath the sun and stars! Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Roisin Cummings, Nicola Barron, Neil Byrne and Tamara Matthews at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019.Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Linda May- Fox and Cassie Stokes at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Roisin Cummings, Nicola Barron, Neil Byrne and Tamara Matthews at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) JP Kierans, Katie Gallagher and Mark Corcoran at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Stevie G & Andrea Williams at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Ashley Kehoe & Chris Mellon at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Ashley Kehoe & Fiona Killion at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland
Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Pictured are (LtoR) Adam Power, Nathan Adams & Tomas Murphy at the Heineken Live Your Music Stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Phorocall Ireland

Depending on the weather, Rosanna Davison told me she might pop down to see Florence too. The former Miss World added that she "really enjoyed Gavin James last year".

So, who are the discerning clan who go to the Electric Picnic year in, year out, and is it more than a festival?

The mix of ageing hipster men with beards who are there to see Jarvis Cocker, Johnny Marr and Echo and the Bunnymen, and young vibers dressed like it is 4am and they are in a club are part of what makes Electric Picnic so interesting.

Most of the latter clan were there on Friday night to see Los Angeles alternative pop phenomenon Billie Eilish. The reaction she got from the audience was the biggest of the day - especially when she told the crowd "to get down and bend your f***ing knees to this song. The VIP area over there! Bend your f***ing knees, your knees are not any more important than anyone else's!" It would seem only a matter of time before brill Billie is the next cross-over superstar, judging by the way the crowd bent the knee.

Coming on at 10.30pm, headliner and homecoming hero Hozier received a rapturous reception, opening with Would That I from his new album Wasteland, Baby!, then Dinner & Diatribes before going into Nina Cried Power. The latter he introduced thus: "I would like to thank Sinead Burke, Saoirse Ronan, Maria Walsh, Panti Bliss." He told the crowd: "I f**king love you. Want to say thank you to everyone who is making Ireland what it is. Ireland is an ancient but spontaneously creative country - that is down to you."

He held a rainbow flag, with an image of the Tricolor projected onto the stage, when he finished with Take Me to Church. It was some show, with Lisa Hannigan joining him on Work Song.

Earlier, Dermot Kennedy had delivered an emotional performance. "I played here four years ago in a tent over that way for 15 people," he reminisced from the main stage in front of 35,000 people. "This is different." As was, for varying reasons, New York's finest the Strokes who headlined the main stage last night, after the 1975, Christine and the Queens, and our own Wild Youth.

Whatever it is, Electric Picnic is not only the best festival in Europe but an invaluable opportunity to immerse yourself in any and all styles of music and culture in a muddy field.

And possibly even dance with Miriam to Florence.    

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