| 16.5°C Dublin

Our friends Electric as RTE helps Picnic play to 104,000 viewers


Kate McDonnell and Wendy Eadie at the Vodafone World of Difference Tent at Electric Picnic

Kate McDonnell and Wendy Eadie at the Vodafone World of Difference Tent at Electric Picnic

Kate McDonnell and Wendy Eadie at the Vodafone World of Difference Tent at Electric Picnic

CLOSE to 41,000 people spilled through the gates of Stradbally for this year's Electric Picnic festival, but more than double that tuned in to the action from the comfort of their living room.

The annual music and food extravaganza has been running for 11 years, but last weekend was the first time that RTE broadcast coverage from the grounds of the Co Laois estate.

And it looks like it could become tradition, as the four-hour programme on Saturday was watched by an average of 104,400 viewers across the country and over one million tuned in to enjoy at least a minute of the TV offering as it aired.

"We are delighted with the performance of the Electric Picnic on RTE Two.

"It was an enormous undertaking and we're very happy that the audience watched in such big numbers," RTE Two's Channel Controller Bill Malone told the Herald.

"Saturday was a massive day for RTE Two, between The Saturday Game Live from Limerick and the Electric Picnic in Stradbally we had almost eight hours of live coverage of two huge national events."

The Voice Of Ireland's Eoghan McDermott and veteran DJ Jenny Greene helped host the television coverage, discussing performances from the main stage and interviewing acts.

Al Porter and Blathnaid Treacy were enlisted as roving reporters, keeping viewers informed on all the excitement from the Picnic arena.

And in addition to the headline acts, the station was at the Other Voices Electric Ireland stage to showcase some of the musical highlights from an eclectic line-up of national and international artists.

Meanwhile, a string of radio anchors also broadcast live on 2FM from the grounds, airing exclusive acoustic sessions and band interviews from Electric Ireland's Blue Room.

For former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne it was his first time at Electric Picnic and he set up camp at Stradbally to bring listeners the latest news and gossip.

Outkast headlined the three-day event, while Bonnie Tyler, Paolo Nutini, Beck and Lily Allen also performed over the course of the weekend.


Bray-native Hozier, who has been taking America by storm and recently put on sold-out gigs in New York, Texas and LA, was another familiar face to take to the stage.

The 24-year-old entertained the masses on Saturday.

He seems to be doing the rounds and yesterday showed up at RTE with his manager, MCD promoter Caroline Downey, for a recording of The Imelda May Show.

Fellow Wicklow resident Sinead O'Connor arrived at the national broadcaster moments beforehand wearing her pyjamas and pink slippers.

The Imelda May Show, fronted by the rockabilly star herself, is scheduled to start in October as part of RTE One's new autumn programming schedule.