Feast for the senses . . .it's Picnic time

Laura Butler

Top chef Derry Clarke is hoping to get sparks flying between singletons at the Electric Picnic this weekend.

As well as a feast for the ears, Picnic organisers are planning to entertain the 38,000 festival goers with a range of culinary delights.

Top chef Derry Clark will be at The Food Theatre on Saturday, to lend some of his expertise – and has even agreed to serve up some romance for a lucky couple. “We're doing speed dating where 12 couples can come in and relax, have a meal and some wine.

“I'll be serving a dinner for the winners of a gourmet competition – the couple will also enjoy an upgrade to Boutique accommodation and breakfast in bed, served by myself.

“There is always spectacular food here, it's the best you can get,” he said.

The L'Ecrivan owner is most looking forward to catching a glimpse of Jimmy Cliff and Pulp on stage and will be taking in the sights with his daughter Sarah May. “I'm posh camping – I'm too old now for a tent, so we'll be staying in a camper van.”


Up-and-coming kitchen star Donal Skehan is another name on the bill to entertain the crowds. “This is my first time going to Electric Picnic, I can't wait,” he said.

The 24-year-old will be hosting a zero food waste demonstration at the brand-new Earth Ship stage – which is made from old electrical objects.

“I'll be showing people how to use up your leftovers and what you can do with them. I plan to make soup, a fish dish and crumble.”

Entertaining the masses in this year's line-up are nineties chart-toppers Chemical Brothers, Pulp and Arcade Fire, alongside Bob Geldof, Sharon Shannon and PJ Harvey.

With an eclectic range of activities to keep partiers occupied – including comedy skits, massages, yoga and hot tubs – organisers have upped their game to provide even more fun and games than ever. “It's exactly the same as it ever was but we're just getting better at what we do here,” said Avril Stanley, Creative Director of the Body and Soul village.

“It's like a magical, enchanted cocoon that people can arrive into – it feels distinctly different to everywhere else.”