Electric Picnic 2019 has come to an end, with stunning performances on the final day from Johnny Marr, Richard Ashcroft, and headliners Florence and the Machine. Taking place in Stradbally, Co.Laois, from 30th August to 1st September, Electric Picnic is Ireland's largest music and arts festival.
The final day of the festival, which is the most celebrated event in the Irish music calendar, followed on from Friday’s opening day, which saw Billie Eilish and Hozier Come Home, and Saturday, which saw The Strokes, Duff McKagan and Bonnie Tyler rock Electric Picnic day two.
Other acts to have thrilled as the festival came to an end included songsmiths Razorlight on the main stage, and dance icon Roisin Murphy, in the Electric Arena.
Bringing his seminal Manchester sound, Smiths guitar legend Johnny Marr ignited a packed Electric Arena with a performance that proved one of Electric Picnic 2019’s most memorable - for more than one reason.
Playing tracks from right across his career - from a defining ‘How Soon is Now?’ to a thrilling ‘Getting Away With it’ [from his time with super group Electronic] - his set was however, marred by persistent sound problems. It may have briefly stopped him in his tracks, however the front man seized the moment, going walkabout and leaping into the front rows to go on an extended crowd surf that thrilled fans. Rather than killing the momentum, it was a stunt that will surely go down as one of EP 2019’s most thrilling moments.
Fellow northern luminary Richard Ashcroft followed on the main stage, playing possibly the only sunglasses slide guitar solo in the picnic’s history, during a set whose highlights included debut solo single ‘A Song For The Lovers’, as well as plenty of Verve material including a triumphant closing ‘Bittersweet Symphony’.
Although a divisive choice of special guest, Kodaline went down a storm on the main stage in the early evening. Reminiscing about one of their earliest appearances and how far they've come since, singer Steve Garrigan said; "one of the first gigs we did was at Body and Soul at Electric Picnic, and there was about 20 people there". Going on welcome The Cranberries' Noel Hogan to the stage, the band and Hogan tore through an stirring version of 'Zombie', in remembrance of late singer Dolores O'Riordan.
Closing the weekend, the task fell to a returning Florence and the Machine to crown Electric Picnic 2019. Arriving on stage in a flurry of colour and energy, Welch pirouetted, posed, and sang with gusto, igniting the weary picnicers who'd endured three days of music and more.
Preaching positivity, the singer urged the crowd to come together; "Electric Picnic; embrace each other! Tell each other that you love each other! Tell a stranger or the person behind you that you love them", she proclaimed, during an uplifting and anthemic 'Dog Days Are Over'. Signing off the night, Florence declared; "Ireland I love you! thank you!"
Summing up Electric Picnic 2019, Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn said that it had been one to remember; "The story is just how amazing this festival is", he said. "There's 50,000 people here having the time of their lives. The vibe out there is better than I've ever known it. The festival is the greatest festival that happens on this island, without any question, without any doubt."
Electric Picnic 2020 returns to Stradbally from Friday 4th September to Sunday 6th September 2020. Tickets go on sale on Ticketmaster, on Saturday 7th September at 9.00am.
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Check out our gallery from Electric Picnic 2019's final day. All photos by Darren McLoughlin.