Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival got underway on Friday (1st September2017), as 55,000 people descended on Stradbally, Co. Laois to catch The Divine Comedy, London Grammar and headliners The XX at the start of the three day event. Taking place from 1st to 3rd September, Electric Picnic is Ireland’s largest music and arts festival.
Arriving on site from the early afternoon, festival goers took in the attractions on the myriad stages and sideshows dotted around the arena, before the main stage performances got underway. From the chilled out Body And Soul area, to the small town village feel of Trailer Park, there was something for everyone as this years’ happening got under way.
Over on the main stage, Ireland’s own The Divine Comedy shone in the early evening sun, as Neil Hannon and co performed some of their most well known tracks, including a timely Princess Diana referencing 'Generation Sex’.
Band of the moment London Grammar’s set meanwhile proved an almost religious experience, as the trio turned Electric Picnic into a temporary church, led by the haunting vocals of Hannah Reid. With the curvature of the earth providing the perfect visual backdrop for their otherworldly sounds, the likes of ‘Big Picture’ and ‘Nightcall’ provided the perfect slow-burning soundtrack as dusk fell.
Soaking up the atmosphere, LG keyboardist and drummer Dominic ‘Dot’ Major took time to pay tribute to Electric Picnic, remembering the band’s last appearance in 2014, saying; “Sometimes you play a lot of festivals and they merge into one, but well never forget the first time we played here”.
It was Mercury Prize winners The XX however, that drew the biggest crowd of the night, closing the main stage with tracks from their trio of albums. As their pulsating, hypnotic beats filled the EP site, the trio praised the festival, with bassist / vocalist Oliver Sim revealing; “We've been looking forward to this show for a long time. It's been four years, four long years”.
With the likes of ‘Islands’ wowing the capacity audience, The XX guitarist / vocalist Romy Madley Croft stopped to tell them; “I can't tell you what a pleasure it is, and what it means to be back in Ireland”. From the cheers that greeted the band as their set ended, it was clear that the feeling was mutual.
Electric Picnic continues on Saturday, with the likes of Madness, Interpol, Birdy, and headliners A Tribe Called Quest all due to perform. The festival concludes on Sunday, with 80s’ icons Duran Duran due to close the 2017 event.
Stay tuned for eonmusic’s continuing coverage of Electric Picnic 2017.