Bill Bailey and his former Never Mind The Buzzocks partner Phil Jupitius are among a host of acts announced today for the comedy tent at this years' Electric Picnic. Taking place in Stradbally, Co. Laios from 1 - 3 September, Ireland's largest music and arts festival sees The XX, A Tribe Called Quest, and Duran Duran top the 2017 bill.
It has been dubbed “A festival within a festival” and for many Picnickers it is the metaphorical battery charge their tired and broken bodies need in order to get them back into the fray. It’s the Comedy Tent at EP and those pesky programmers have only just gone and booked one of the best line ups ever!
As fresh as one can be having just walked 100 miles across England to raise money and awareness for the charity - Stand Up To Cancer, multi award winning, stand-up comedian, songwriter, musician, actor and animal welfare campaigner, Bill Bailey makes his Electric Picnic debut. The UK’s brainiest comic of his generation, Bailey is a virtuoso, a modern day comedy Mozart. Having just wrapped filming the first season of ‘Blind Date’ for TV3 and recently becoming the youngest ever act to sell out a run at Dublin’s iconic Vicar St, Al Porter is now a firmly established household name. Porter steamrolls his audience and finds killer angles in his material. Think Frankie Howerd delivery, acidic, innuendo laden commentary as he sits on the Luas Red line and you are on the right track. With a million likes on Facebook and 9 million You Tube hits, comedy sketch troupe, Foil Arms and Hog are without doubt the biggest most popular act in the country today. These loveable Dublin scamps will have just returned from a barnstorming, sell out run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. A definite ‘must see’ for your festival diary.
Named ‘Best Irish Act’ at the entertainment.ie awards, The Rubberbandits are a firm festival favourite. With their distinctive plastic bag masks, Blind Boy Boat Club and Mr Chrome, along with the trusted Willie O DJ, describe themselves as ‘artists’ with the self-stated purpose of “distracting themselves from the inevitability of death and to have the craic”. Jason Byrne is quite simply the outright king of live comedy, his inspired brand of high energy, intelligent lunacy ensures that there is no other comedian like him. He holds the record for the most tickets sold by any act at the Edinburgh Fringe. Miss him at your peril! With 10 seasons of the hugely popular BBC Panel Show ‘The Blame Game’, his own Today FM Sunday morning radio show and multiple awards to his name, Neil Delamere is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene. Equally hilarious both on and off script, his quick fire delivery and razor sharp mind, takes no prisoners.
Phil Jupitius is a stand-up, comedic actor, performance poet, cartoonist and podcaster and is making his Picnic debut this year. A team captain on BBC 2’s ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks‘ from its inception, he also appears regularly as a guest on several panel shows, including ‘QI’ and Radio 4’s ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’. As one half of the hugely popular Today FM radio show ‘Dermot and Dave’, Limerick native Dermot Whelan is widely regarded as one of the best improvisers in the business. A former presenter of ‘Republic Of Telly‘ on RTÉ 2, Dermot’s easy going style masks a comedic mind that ticks at double speed. Four brave performers with no script and not the faintest idea of what will happen, Steve Frost’s Improv Allstars, through improvisation and willed on by a sympathetic crowd create whole sketches and comic dramas that are amazingly inventive and take off on flights of surreal brilliance.
Irish comedy’s prodigal daughter has made a long awaited return to her stand up roots and Deirdre O’Kane has been delighting audiences across the country with her instantly charismatic stage presence and unique brand of day to day anarchism.
With Donald Trump now firmly established in the White House, expect some biting satirical words from visiting American comics - the wonderfully droll Al Lubel and sassy Abigoliah Schuman. We also have the cream of the home crop, with the ‘Godfather of Irish comedy‘Barry Murphy, Fair City star Eric Lalor, madcap Fred Cooke, super smooth Danny O’Brien, experienced UK based Irish comedienne, Eleanor Tiernan, The ‘Savage Eyes‘ John Colleary and fulltime Westie, Steve Bennett. Of course no festival would be complete without the distinct grumblings of professional curmudgeon, Karl Spain.
The Comedy Tent at the Picnic has always encouraged and given stage time to the newest and most exciting of the rising Irish acts and this year picnickers can expect strong and assured performances from Totally Wired, Joanne McNally, Tom O’Mahony, Laura Byrne, Bernard Casey, Davey Reilly, Ryan Cullen, TPM and in particular watch out for the truly amazing modern day terror clown, Paul Currie. All this under the watchful eye of your MC, the truly peerless Andrew Stanley.
Electric Picnic is now completely sold out (subject to licence). First taking place in 2004, the festival has grown to become the largest event of its kind in Ireland. Regularly selling out in advance, attendees come to enjoy myriad attractions; from Body and Soul to the retro 90s’ Power Party, in the arena’s multi–platform staging.
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