Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Atmosphere Is Electric

Tangled throughout the thickest of forests, amongst the lush green setting of stunning Ireland, Electric Picnic stole our hearts and for me, the label of best festival (atmosphere, venue and theming)! Arriving into Dublin Airport it was 2.5 hr coach ride to Port Liose where a shuttle would take us the final way to the festival site. 
Situated in the picturesque location of Stradbally Hal, intertwined within pine forests and green fields Electric Picnic covered 600 acres. Like Latitude, this festival offered a vast array of entertainment that included comedy, literature, theater, film, pantomime and even a circus. Unlike Latitude however it was not all ages, but that doesn't mean we missed out on the token festival children. Musically, the line up was heavy with home grown Irish acts, although later sets and headliners were international and included the likes of Massive Attack, Fever Ray and Roxy Music 

Locating our selves in the Oscar Wilde campsite amongst a crew of welcoming Irish punters (who were absolute legends and even saved me from drowning in my tent on the final night) we were close to the entrance and in the heart of it all. Other camping options were Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Chaplin (quiet camping) or Andy Warhol.

The campsite its self boasted food vendors of all variety (with extremely steep prices), a general store, toilets and surprisingly no showers (not where we were based anyway). The only real down falls logistically were the state of the toilets and the SHIT drainage of entire site! Once it rained - you were screwed. But people did keep reminding us - this was nothing compared to Oxygen.

Almost entering the site you past the first of the stages, the Salty Dog Saloon - a bar and stage that was by far the most original set up I have ever witnessed.  The stage itself was a ship that looked as though it had been wrecked, masts fallen, under a sea of branches and leaves. From early morning beverages to late night sea shanties, this little treasure remained open until well after the main stage had sung it final song. For that matter most of the stages did, especially those located within the alternate Body and Soul arena. Fire twirling, theater and many amazing artists even managed become secondary to the unique little hidey holes, visual focal points and the truly beautiful atmosphere that epitomized this arena.

Continuing late into the night, most people were still up well into the early AM. Partly because the Irish know how to drink and partly because of the forest rave that kicked off each night around midnight. Without signage, people were encouraged to discover the location of the party just by listening to the music and finding your way through the forest. Neat idea but trail of party goers and empty bottles were a dead give away. Even the decoration, theming and lighting production tucked well out in the woods was mind blowing. And each morning people seemed to awake with new cuts across their legs from making their way through dense shrubbery and broken branches towards the dance floor. 

Bec Clark

No comments:

Post a Comment