Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Mud fails to muck up Electric Picnic as fans defy rain and credit crunch

Thousands of fans were forced to enjoy their music in the mud at this year’s Electric Picnic, one of Ireland’s biggest summer festivals.

The three-day festival in Co Laois concluded yesterday with performances from artists including The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine and Basement Jaxx.

More than 30,000 revellers, many from Northern Ireland, packed into the grounds of Stradbally Hall for the sixth running of the annual music and arts event.

The festival included an eclectic mix of music acts, an international comedy tent headlined by Tommy Tiernan and a 24-hour cinema tent.

Music lovers were entertained by acts ranging from Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson and 1980s icons Madness to rapper Roots Manuva and MGMT.

Among the fans were Irish rugby star Gordon D’Arcy, supermodel Erin O’Connor and WAG Claudine Palmer.

Others included Ryan Tubridy, fresh from his debut on RTE’s Late Late Show, economics guru David McWilliams and Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow.

The festival sold out at the last minute, with fans defying the credit crunch to snap up €240 tickets, and promoter John Reynolds said he was delighted with the response.

“It’s testament to the popularity of Electric Picnic that, even in the current climate, it sold out,” he said.

The festival got off to a slow start on Friday with fans queuing for two hours in seven-mile tailbacks, while heavy rain meant the grounds turned to mud.

Despite the muddy conditions, the fans were intent on enjoying the event.

“The muck hasn’t put us off so far,” said Peter Joyce (18), from Galway. “People come down for the entire weekend so we’re all in it together.”

His friend Mike Mitchell, also 18, added: “It’s not just about the music. There’s comedy, the arts, you can even chill out and watch a film in the cinema tent.”

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