Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Ever-popular picnic picks performers

It’s a sign of a good event when you think it has been around forever. The Electric Picnic began as recently as 2004, but has established itself as the best Irish music event of the summer season. While the headlining …

Thu, Mar 29, 2007, 18:12

   

It’s a sign of a good event when you think it has been around forever.
The Electric Picnic began as recently as 2004, but has established
itself as the best Irish music event of the summer season.

While the headlining bands help that reputation, it’s the sideshows,
carnivals, tents and general feelgood factor at the event which really
account for its popularity. Truth be told, there’s nothing else like the
Picnic on the Irish summer calendar.

The festival returns to Thomas Cosby’s Stradbally Hall estate in Co
Laois for three days and nights on August 31st, and the first acts for
this year’s event will be announced publicly next Monday (tickets go on
sale on Tuesday).

According to promoter John Reynolds, this has been a “difficult” year in
terms of booking acts for the festival. “There were some acts we would
like to have got for the Picnic, but we were out-bid for them. Acts and
their agents can now demand huge fees because there are so many
festivals looking to book them. Money matters.”

Multiple offers, where a number of festivals are block-booked together,
also caused problems. “The act we were most disappointed not to get were
Arcade Fire. But they got a multiple offer for Oxegen and T In the Park
and went with that instead.”

Yet given the size of the Picnic, Reynolds is happy with the acts he has
confirmed. “You have to remember that there’s a limited capacity of
32,500. We could easily have increased that to 50,000, which would would
have given us more bargaining power, but that would dilute what’s
special about the Picnic.

“The audience matters to us. If people don’t buy tickets, we don’t have
a festival – simple as that. It would be a very short-term strategy to
increase the capacity. The festival would probably implode as a result.”

As for the acts already in the bag, Reynolds is staying schtum until
next week, but On the Record has done some sleuthing. Expect Björk, LCD
Soundsystem, The Stooges, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Beastie Boys, Chemical
Brothers, Jarvis Cocker, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Wilco, Primal
Scream, Peter, Björn and John, The Go! Team and MIA to be revealed as
Picnic-goers on Monday evening.

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