HOW do you know when there are too many outdoor summer jams clogging up the domestic music calendar?
Easy: some of them don’t come back. Others readjust their mission statements and target audiences. For its fifth year, the annual Bulmers Forbidden Fruit festival at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham has gone for the latter approach and my, doesn’t it look different.
Lest we forget, this is a three-day, no-camping music carnival that once featured Wilco and New Order at the top of its bill. Now, it’s all about the electronica. The hip hop. The hipsters.
Yep, it’s all quite niche and trendy over in Dublin 8, and the folks at Pod Promotions have only gone and assembled a line-up to accommodate the local tastemakers.
At least they’ve gathered a handful of heavyweights to keep an eye on things. Big-beat maestro, Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook, for example, is inner city-bound this long weekend, as are US hip-hop pioneers Wu-Tang Clan. We’ve also got a Groove Armada DJ set to look forward to, as well as a three-hour dance session with the inimitable Mr Scruff (wear comfortable shoes).
Elsewhere, there are a lot of fresh and moody young faces in the mix. Brooklyn-based newcomer Tei Shi is in on Friday night (think Lykke Li meets Santigold), Jamie xx celebrates the release of his debut solo album with a live set on Saturday, and Irish artist Blooms should get tongues wagging with the first of several festival appearances this Saturday also.
Dublin electronic trio Sleep Thieves are worth catching, too, and the brilliant Booka Brass Band and the mighty Trinity Orchestra will be on hand to remind punters that you don’t always have to push buttons and wear headphones to be one of the cool kids.
As usual, there’s a comedy tent on the other side of the field, with MC Andrew Stanley doing his best to keep the likes of David McSavage and Jarlath Regan in check, as well as some cool after-parties happening around town each night.
The website should tell you more. But don’t let it confuse you — Patti Smith is not playing Forbidden Fruit, merely taking over the site on Monday for her own gig. Pity it’s not all-inclusive.
Forbidden Fruit takes place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham this Friday-Sunday