Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Electric Picnic 2011...

Was a fine and dandy time and a great way to end the short summer I had with some ledgebags of friends. I couldn't have picked a better year to start with. They [read stupid weather forecasters] predicted the weather would be like this;

It wasn't. While it was touch and go and I did get soaking wet on one or two occasions, it was more like this;

We had a great and exhausting time working on Boutique Camping, which was basically those who could afford tipis and things and VIP Camping, though the only famous person I saw was the rather handsome guy from Delorentos. Apparently Úna from The Saturdays came through and I didn't even notice her. Woops. Must have mixed her up for the army of fake baked blondes that came through. 
My brother and I were given the good shifts [8am - 4pm x 2 and one stinkers of 2pm - 12am] which meant that we got to see a lot of bands in our free time. 
One day we spent working while "Roaming". Best.job.ever. It is basically walking around the Arena [and sneakily watching the bands you want to see] so people can ask you questions and you can be helpful. Typical me lost my voice after a day and a half [ a serious lament] so thought I'd get 2 days of roaming. It backfired on me and I ended up spending most of Sunday day sitting in a car park, very far away, with a Polish girl called Silvia, very far away, in the pissing rain, very far away. Fun. It felt great/l33T wearing the hi-vis and we got to use some secret access points to the site. I used clean toilets. With mirrors and EVERYTHING.

Musically, we did quite well but it was rare to see all of a set. Bands we saw and loved were;

Foster the People, Grouplove, Pulp, Arcade Fire, Chemical Brothers, O Emperor, Lykke Li, M.Ward. Warpaint, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Santigold, Jape, James Vincent McMorrow, Jacques Lu Cont, Interpol, Beirut, Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, The Family Stone, James Blake, Sinead O'Connor, Trinity Orchestra doing Daft Punk, OMD, Best Coast and the Rubberbandits among many other smaller acts.

While Electric Picnic is a hell of a lot smaller than Glastonbury or even Oxegen, with just under 30,000 people, it was impossible to experience everything or see everyone that you wanted to. No-one between the ages of 12 and 18 is allowed at the festival which gives it a completely different feel to most conventional festivals. That, plus the fact that you'd have to google half the acts playing before attending, so diverse is the lineup. Fancy dress is encouraged and if I had a euro for every time I was offered illicit substances by surprisingly friendly strangers [one was dressed as a priest], I'd have a full purse right now. Or be on a very powerful trip. I can't really put it into words all the shenanigans but this is a pretty spot on video. It says more than I can. 

Savage eh? Between writing wishes on cards, eating NOM Wok n' Roll, jumping up and down on the Bualadh Bus, waltzing in the Gramophone Disco, swinging on a pod over a lake, jumping to the fires of Arcadia, playing fetch with a dog, slouching down on the carpet in the Comedy Tent, watching food demonstrations in the Theatre of Food or dancing till 4 in the morning at the ole' seafaring Salty Dog, I and my pals literally couldn't even talk to each other, being as tired as we were. Next year, I think I'll forego the volunteering and fork out the money, As you'll see from below, it's money well spent.

My favourite video clips are;

The incomparable Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the Salty Dog at what should have been an hour set from 1.30 to 2.30. It went on till well past 3, in the pissing rain. Alexander, the main man, was an absolute delight. He asked for an Irish song and got "Oró sé do bheath abhaile" screamed back at him, led covers of "Dirty Old Town" and the below "Lean on Me", sat IN the crowd at one point and invited audience members on stage. Best gig ever. Ever. Ever ever.


It's not all about the music either. There's poetry, drum circles, massages, baths and musical theatre as illustrated by the wonderful Hurly Burly. Imagine going in for a coffee and finding this spectacle...

And that is the end of that. Sorry for the happy snapping but I do love the pictures. May I say R.I.P Dervla, the flying cow. On the Friday night, over 200 less than desirable people jumped the fence and stole our flag and flattened it to pieces. Dervla was never found.
Also there was a lot of dubstep played over the weekend which explains the dancing picture. My moves are usually sharper than that.

G'night, god bless and see ya at next year's EP. Including Ciara, Dee and Megan.


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Swami Vivekananda


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