Tuesday 23 July 2019

Welly-clad picnic-ers already planning return to Stradbally

Jo Archibold
Jo Archibold
Kate Aungier, from Templeogue, enjoys the last day of festival
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Wearing a 'f**k off' fake python skin suit, Bob Geldof writhed around the stage of Stradbally playing the harmonica.

"We are the Boomtown Rats and we are mega," he told the crowd, before scolding a boisterous audience member.

"Stop shouting at me - you're wearing TK f**king Maxx."

After three days of mud, music and mayhem, the 50,000 Electric Picnic-ers showed no signs of slowing down last night.

"I don't want it to end," Aoife Flanagan (18) from Offaly wailed. "I'm already planning for next year."

Thankfully, early-bird tickets for the 2016 festival will go on sale this Friday, September 11. "The festival was brilliant, it was better, bigger and it hit every spot there was to hit," Melvin Benn of Festival Republic said. "Blur were exceptional."

But last night it was all about Botticelli-esque songstress Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine, who brought the festival to a close with a high-octane performance.

Interpol, Jurassic Five, Jape, FKA Twigs and 1990s Ibiza-loving pop icons The Venga Boys were other stand-out acts on the closing day of the festival.

But it wasn't all moshers and rockers. Over in the Mindfield area, broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan hosted a 'Late Late Chat Show' with comedian Al Porter.

"All human life is here," O'Callaghan told the Irish Independent.

"It's such a wonderful festival with amazing talented acts and great music. It's like a little community."

The Coronas front man Danny O'Reilly was still flying high after the band's Friday night performance.

"That's the good thing about performing early," he said. "We all just kicked back and enjoyed the weekend."

RTÉ's Eoghan McDermott and his girlfriend Jo Archbold flitted around the VIP section while 'The Fall' actress Aoibhín Garrihy posed for pictures.

Vogue Williams, Jennifer Maguire, Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Rosanna Davison were familiar faces in the welly-wearing crowd.

Things got heated near Trench Town when crowds gathered around the big screen to cheer on Kilkenny and Galway in the hurling final.

Others chose to avoid the screaming, heading instead to the Body and Soul area where they took part in feel good hula-hoop and hot-tub sessions.

"I love just floating around Body and Soul and watching people be themselves," Sara Leamy (27) from Drumcondra, Dublin, said.

In the comedy tent, Deirdre O'Kane, Barry Murphy and Jarlath Regan kept the troops entertained.

Near the Cosby Tent, young and old rockers shouted along to the music. Sean O Teimhneain (3) has been attending the festival since he was in the womb.

"He's a veteran now," his dad John O Teimhneain said. "The freedom is great and he loves the music and the petting zoo."

New mum Claire Curtis arrived with her 10-week-old daughter Lyla Curtis. "I'd say she's the youngest Picnic-er," she said, readjusting Lyla's noise-cancelling headphones.

When the final set drew to a close, Picnic-ers headed back to their muddy tents, wiping body glitter off their faces and dreaming of next year.

"We've been here all weekend and only saw a third of it," Kate Aungier (25) from Rathfarnham, Dublin, said. "Hopefully next year we'll get to see it all."

Irish Independent

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