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Nit Picking about Picnicking

Brendan O'Connor


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Festival-goers in attendance at the Electric Picnic 2019 at Stradbally in Laois. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Festival-goers in attendance at the Electric Picnic 2019 at Stradbally in Laois. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Festival-goers in attendance at the Electric Picnic 2019 at Stradbally in Laois. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

In one way perhaps it was always inevitable that the Electric Picnic would become the fault line in the battle for Ireland’s soul. We’ve obsessed about some odd things over the course of the pandemic, from Mandatory Hotel Quarantine to a child’s right to eat in a restaurant to joggers breathing too hard. And now it feels like the Electric Picnic was where the final battle lines were drawn, where the dying throes of the medical technocracy played out.

In a way, introducing an intrusive, autocratic state is easy. Revolutionaries and Strong Men have been doing it for years. There are teething pains, yes, but ultimately most people settle down under the new yoke, as most of us did. We were constantly praised recently for hitherto sinister sounding things like our “compliance” and “obedience”.


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