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Barber shops, red neck weddings, and a foot hospital for Picnic fans

Wellies at the ready. It's only a matter of days - nay hours - before music extravaganza Electric Picnic kicks off and there's plenty to keep festival goers entertained both on and off stage - from glitzy burlesque dancers and Love/Hate gangsters to an over-the-top red-neck weddings.

The line up this year is top notch with Hey Ya! hitmakers Outkast, power ballad queen Bonnie Tyler, Pet Shop Boys and Beck all taking to the stage - but it's often the smaller tents where the best memories are made.

Dingle's renowned Other Voices festival is leaving the hallowed grounds of Saint James' Church for the bright lights of Laois.

"We hope the spirit will travel from west Kerry to the heart of the country," creator Philip King explained. "We don't want to reveal any of the names just yet but lots of our old friends will be calling by."

drenched

Considering Ellie Goulding, Cathy Davey and Glen Hansard have all performed at Other Voices, it's worth swinging by to see who is playing an acoustic set.

Plus, they have a wood-burning stove which will come in handy if you get drenched in the rain.

The popular Trailer Park theatrical enclosure, made up of reconditioned retro trailers, has increased in size and includes a Movember barber shop, My Big Fat Red Neck Wedding theatre show and a Foot Hospital offering moshers and rockers the chance to plunge their tired feet into a hot seaweed bath.

There is also a Betty Bang Rockabilly Make Over Parlour, which will whip those tired tresses into an Imelda May style quiff in next to no time.

Book worms should make a bee line to the Literary Tent where author Roddy Doyle, actor Aidan Gillen and Love/ Hate star Peter Coonan will all read extracts from Irish texts and chit chat.

If the grit, grime and dirt of the festival gets too much to handle, book a place at Derry Clarke's Fine Dining Picnic.

The plush tent will serve up a five-course banquet and guests can change into black tie clothing before the waiters start carrying around champagne.

Keep your autograph book handy as rumour has it several international rugby players, a few Game of Thrones stars and U2 frontman Bono may be heading down.

If you missed out on a ticket this year take comfort in the knowledge that tickets for the 2015 Electric Picnic will go on sale this Friday.

"Lots of people are keen to get in early. Electric Picnic is as popular as ever," Festival Republic's managing director Melvin Benn told the Herald.

Benn was keen to stress that the cancellation of Garth Brooks' gigs had little impact on EP ticket sales.

"The picnic stands alone, its sales are not dictated by other concerts being cancelled or not," he said.

Finally, remember to wrap up warm, things tend to get messy in Stradbally and live by the dictum: 'What happens at Electric Picnic stays at Electric Picnic.'

hnews@herald.ie


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