Nutty boys set for Electric Picnic


After much rumour and more speculation, electronic act Orbital and ska legends Madness have been confirmed as among the headliners for this summer's favourite arts-and-music festival.

Oklahoma-based psychedelic indie band Flaming Lips and Brooklyn duo MGMT were also announced today as other main acts to be served up at this year's Electric Picnic festival. The boutique festival takes place as usual at Stradbally, Co Laois, and runs over three days from 4th to 6th September.

In the first tranche of acts to be announced, 47 music acts were confirmed earlier today.

Declan Forde - artist booker with POD promotions, organisers of Electric Picnic - said the rights deal with concert promoters Festival Republic, announced last month, would have no impact on the format.

The deal, which involved a buy-out of the share held by Aiken Promotions, gave rise to speculation that POD's festival rivals MCD would take a hand in organising the Picnic. MCD co-owns Festival Republic with international promoters Live Nation.

"No that deal only went through six weeks ago, and most of the festival was already organised," said Mr Forde. "The fact is Festival Republic is involved because we always sell out weeks in advance, it's a festival people love and and Festival Republic's attitude is don't break something that works."

As well as the main headline acts, one of the big new names to rise to popularity in the past year, Seattle quintet Fleet Foxes will bring their "baroque harmonic pop jams" to the Stradbally estate, along with Mercury prize-winning Klaxons.

Other names announced yesterday include Mexican guitarists Rodrigo Y Gabriela, who are currently recording a new album; '70s American disco and R&B legends Chic - best known for their hits Freak Outand Everybody Dance; Mississippi blues guitarist Seasick Steve; alt-country rockers the Alabama 3; sweet-voiced Swedish indie girl, Lykke Li; veteran Liverpudlians Echo & the Bunnymen and '80s post-punk English band, Magazine.

Among the Irish acts will be Choice-award winning Jape, Liberties rockabilly belle, Imelda May, Dublin's Damien Dempsey, the much-loved Lisa Hannigan and sometimes Talking Heads impersonators, Bell X1.

Mr Forde stressed, as with all Picnics, this will be much more than about just the music.

The heart of the site will be an expanded Body and Soul village with its large array of holistic treatments, reiki, yoga, massage and general "chilling out" by day, built around a natural amphitheatre area with its Chill Stage featuring DJs and alternative music into the small hours each night.

Acts for the Theatre, Spoken Word area, as well as a slew of further music acts will be announced between now and September, with acts for the Comedy Stage announced in the next few weeks.

Geoff Fitzpatrick, of the Be Your Environment organisation, said he hoped this September's Picnic would be "even greener" than last, when organisers reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by 40 per cent, as compared with 2007.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday priced at €240 for the weekend including camping and €480 for a family camping ticket.

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