Thursday 26 April 2018

Decade-long deal keeps Electric Picnic at Stradbally

Lipsync Legends at the 3Disco area Photo: Gerry Mooney
Lipsync Legends at the 3Disco area Photo: Gerry Mooney
Lipsync Legends perform at the 3Disco area at the Co Laois venue. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Jason Kennedy and Melanie Finn

Electric Picnic is set to remain a fixture at Stradbally for the next decade.

The owners of the estate, the Cosby family, have signed a 10-year agreement to keep the festival at the site.

Now in its 13th year, the three-day music and arts festival kicks off on Friday, with 55,000 festival-goers heading to Co Laois.

Some 2,000 on-site staff have been adding the final touches before the 200 acts take to the stage.

Prof Dave Moonlight Sumray, from Wexford, performs as part of the Incredible Human De-programming Machine act. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Prof Dave Moonlight Sumray, from Wexford, performs as part of the Incredible Human De-programming Machine act. Photo: Gerry Mooney

As Europe remains on high terror alert, organisers have increased security measures at the festival.

Managing director of Festival Republic Melvin Benn said they had been liaising with gardaí.

"There are significant extra safety measures, and we have been working very closely with the Garda on that," he said.

"We have been holding tabletop exercises and spending a lot of time with all the different agencies, talking though likely scenarios, potential scenarios. The whole of Europe has changed their security plan in every aspect of everything that we do."

He said he did not expect these extra measures to have an undue effect on festival-goers.

"I don't think people will notice, particularly," he told the Irish Independent.

With the weather forecast predicting warm spells of sunshine on Friday and Saturday, festival attendees are being urged to pack their sun cream and wellies, with some showers forecast on Sunday.

Headlining this year will be The xx, Madness, Pete Tong, Duran Duran, Elbow and Chaka Khan, alongside last-minute addition Ash.

At the Electric Ireland Throwback Stage, 5ive and Jenny Berggren from Ace of Base will both perform.

Broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan and comedian Al Porter will perform at the festival's "thinking space", MindField.

Irish Independent

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