When I return from Electric Picnic each year, I feel like I have been in a commune for three days. I have no idea what has happened in the real word, and for those few days, I don’t really care. It’s a chance to escape your day-to-day life and share music and magic in a huge field with complete strangers, many of whom become your best friends for 72 hours.
With a noticeably larger crowd this year, Friday night felt like a Saturday, the crown had arrived early and there was an instant festival atmosphere. Debbie Harry arrived on stage that evening with a throw back to her 1978 album Parallel Lines, dressed in striped monochrome outfit and sporting her trademark peroxide hair with a blunt fringe. At sixty-nine years of age, she can command the stage like a lady half her age. The Pet Shop Boys brought the weird and wonderful, with dancing minatures – that’s a first – and their electro pop catalogue of music.
With the sun finally making an appearance on Saturday, the Barcardi tent was in full techno-tastic swing. Deciding we wanted more than one DJ, we headed for Clean Bandit in the Rankin Wood stage. While they have been on the scene since 2009, it was this year, with their song Rather Be, that they penetrated the mainstream. As they sang that very tune to a packed tent, there was nowhere else to be. Their performance was eclectic and electric, with a mix of classical and electro pop. Definitely a band to watch.
They would have been a hard act to follow, but not if your name is Annie Mac. The Irish-born BBC Radio 1 DJ drew one of the biggest audiences I saw all weekend. She lifted the Rankin stage to an Ibiza level – had it not been in a dark tent, I would have thought I was at a beach party in the Mediterranean.
Sunday, with the heat on our backs, we popped along to the Movember tent where Diep Le Shaker hosted a spicy brunch. To sit at a dinner table at EP, with a proper knife and fork, and a glass of wine is a rare treat, and almost made us feel human again.
Outkast closed EP 2014. Ms Jackson and Caroline could be heard in Dublin as the crowd knew every line, of every song and were not afraid to sing over Mr 3000. After Andre said ‘Hello Dublin’ five times, ignoring the chants, ‘We are in Laois’; he brought some lucky ladies up to the stage for a final dance off.
As I sit here having my last duvet day of the summer, I must note, that I will never again be sleeping in a tent at EP. This was my first year taking the grown up step of hiring a camper van from the lovely Garry at www.causewaycampers.com, and there is no turning back now. Once you go to EP with no tent to pitch, and more importantly, no tent to dismantle with a blinding headache on Monday morning, you will be converted for life. It’s the comfort of home, in a van. And that will do me just fine.
So, my advice for EP 2015, get a camper van and don’t stay at the Barcardi tent all weekend.
Til next year.