Electric Picnic 2010: Rated!

Stradbally Estate, County Laois - 3-5 September

Electric Picnic 2010: Rated!

Photographer: Paul O' ConnellLonan O'Neill on 08 September 2010

Overall - 8/10
It’s another great year for Electric Picnic. Top acts once again roll up to perform at the beautiful Stradbally Estate, County Laois for another immense bout of festivities.

The Picnic has received widespread international acclaim in recent years and this time doesn’t disappoint, being described as "Ireland's version of Glastonbury" and "a great inspiration to Latitude".

As with previous years, there is now a habitual eclectic mix of sounds on offer. The unpredictable phenomenon that is Irish weather strikes hard on Sunday night with a torrential downpour dogging proceedings from 10pm and not letting up until Monday afternoon.

Getting There and Back - 7/10

There is a range of travel options available. All car parks are free of charge and are well sign-posted on the respective roads.

Shuttle buses from Portlaoise Train Station to the festival are available. Buses will be at station waiting for every train arriving. Return shuttle tickets can be purchased on bus.

And if you fancy yourself as a bit of an eco warrior why not leave the car behind and cycle! Bike racks are provided at Entrance Gate One and if that isn’t for you, coaches run to a number of cities throughout the weekend.
Getting off site is particularly difficult this year due to the downpour, which resulted in campsites and car parks flooding. A clear sign, if needed, that the summer is behind us.

The Site – 8/10

The site is incredibly well organised and easy to navigate. This year there are some basic changes to the camping facilities: the festival now only has three main campsites, opposed to the four in previous years. They all have rather groovy names – the Andy Warhol campsite, the Oscar Wilde campsite and the Jimi Hendrix campsite. The eccentric naming of the campsites really gives you an insight into the vibe at this festival.

There are plenty of eateries available and a vast selection of grub on offer, though, the majority of food is over priced. You do sense that this festival in general is over priced with weekend camping tickets at E240. It’s also important to note these are the only tickets available, the picnic does not offer day tickets. The festival oozes quality from drink and food to music and arts but it does hit the pocket hard. The toilets this year are okay; though more are needed in the campsites and arenas but it’s a perennial festival problem that we can live with.

Apart from that, there is plenty to discover around the site with a wide selection of things to keep you occupied. In particular the body and soul area, which is basically a festival in itself, perfectly positioned in the middle of the general arena area. It almost feels like a safe haven from the rest of the festival and a place to recharge your batteries. You’ll find the likes of Zen gardens, various small stages, boundless bathing and an ambient lounge.

Atmosphere – 7/10
With more than 30,000 music fans, the atmosphere overall is fantastic. This festival attracts a wonderful array of people so there is plenty of fun to be had, not to mention the music on offer. Most acts are very well attended with energetic fans making the most of their weekend, though the weather caused severe problems. Torrential rain on the Sunday spoiled the closing of the event. In its own special way, the festival creates a buzz and excitement that stays in the air all weekend.

Music

Uppers

And So I Watch You From Afar - 9/10

Irish rockers ASIWYFA attract the biggest crowd for an early-programmed act all weekend. They play to a packed tent and their performance is truly epic and only spoilt by having a short set. The group rifle through raucous guitar-driven instrumental rock rhythms, ending on ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ from their self-titled debut.

LCD Soundsystem - 10/10
James Murphy and Co. headline the Electric Arena with an absolutely flawless set. With a fantastic production and lighting show, perfect sound and great audience, all the elements are there for this off the hook show. They blast through hits sending the crowd into frenzy. The vibe in the tent is truly amazing and they come back on stage for an encore and play 'Someone Great'. Fantastic!

808 State - 7/10

808 State perform in the Little Big Tent. The Manchester techno rockers, who formed in 1987, still have what it takes to put on a show. How’s this for balls? They play well known number ‘Pacific State’ first and still the crowd stick around for more dance nostelgia.

Foals -  8/10

Oxford alt/math rock band Foals play to a packed Crawdaddy tent. Every cool kid is here to see their blend of peppy rock, killer beats and on stage energy. They sound great out front and manage to get the whole audience dancing the night away. New Song ‘Miami’ goes down really well.  

Two Door Cinema Club – 8/10
The rise of this band in the last year is scary. TDCC play the Electric Arena and pack the place out with a wonderful performance. They proceed to make everyone dance like maniacs and it sounds great!

Downers

Laura Marling – 2/10

Laura Marling has real problems. She draws a slightly rowdy crowd and her head cold subdues her powerful vocals. The sound isn’t quite right also and taking everything on board, the set is a disappointment. It really fails to do her justice.

The Tallest Man On Earth - 0/10
Highly-anticipated act fails to show for reasons unknown to this reporter. Hugely disappointing.

Modest Mouse - 4/10
These American indie rockers are a great band but just don’t suit main stage slots high up the bill at a festival. It just doesn’t sound right, much like most acts on the main stage all weekend. All the best performances were, without a doubt, in tents. Another Dissapointment.

Massive Attack - 5/10

Only a downer due to their headline set coinciding with awful weather on Sunday with torrential rain lashing down the whole way through. This could have been so much better, instead many abandon ship and head for the campsites.

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