Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

The lowdown on Longitude

As MCD launched their new festival yesterday evening, other music festivals will start to feel the pressure.

Thu, Feb 28, 2013, 11:12


Jim has a great post on what is now peak time for announcing festival line-ups, and as he says, Longitude is as good as you’ll get this summer in terms of a line-up that appeals to the discerning 20s-40s crowd.

What’s good
- The bands.
I mentioned on Newstalk this morning that the only band trending in Ireland upon the line-up’s announcement was Yeah Yeah Yeah, fifth on the line-up after Kraftwerk, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, and Foals who play two sold out shows in the Academy this week. Yeah Yeah Yeahs is the band people want to see, but there’s loads of great stuff on the line-up to pull punters in aside from the headliners, such as Hot Chip, Modest Mouse, Jessie Ware, Trentemoller, Villagers, TEED and so on.

- The location.
It’s convenient for Dubs. And everyone knows someone in Dublin they can crash with if they live outside the county. And it’s a nice park. Zac Desmond – Denis’ son – who is the main guy behind the festival having collaborated with other MCD bookers in putting the line-up together, has said that the usual Marlay Park set up (which is basically an unremarkable field) will be utilized differently for Longitude, with other bits of the park being used in presumably more creative ways to give it a boutique-y feel.

- The pricing.
The early bird offer of €44.50 for a day ticket and €129.50 for a weekend ticket is top value. That moves up to €54.50 and €149.50 when the early bird offer expires on April 7th.

What’s good and bad
- No camping
Some festival-goers feel that most of the fun happens in the campsite. Some hardly ever leave it. But I think anyone who went to Forbidden Fruit over the past two years gratefully appreciated the ability to walk out of the site and go for a drink in a local pub, or just head home, shower and sleep in a real bed. No camping also means punters will be better behaved, devoid of the opportunity to drink six cans in their tent before heading out into the arena.

What’s bad
- The location viewed in a different light.
Marlay is an awkward place to get to unless you live in the locality. The roads approaching the park are narrow, and there’s no rail or tram access. Post-gigs, traffic jams are frequent and taxis are almost impossible to hail. The last time I was at a gig there – David Guetta last year – it was one of those ‘walk for 40 minutes then eventually call a mate to pick you up’ situations.

Longitude is also a kick in the nads for Forbidden Fruit. Forbidden Fruit is happening a month and a half earlier than MCD’s new venture, yet the Kilmainham festival is only getting its act together now, with the line-up out on Tuesday. Forbidden Fruit is returning to a two-day festival this year over June 1st and 2nd. Its early date worked well for the demographic who save up for the Picnic, as a festival in June is plenty of time before a festival in September. And speaking of the Picnic, which is also taking dilly-dallying to a new level this year, Longitude will almost certainly eat into its audience, especially considering an early bird weekend Longitude ticket AND a weekend Forbidden Fruit ticket adds up to pretty much the same as a weekend camping ticket for the Picnic. Don’t be surprised if a lot of Dubs take that option this year instead of heading to Stradbally.

The full Longitude line-up so far is:
Phoenix – Friday
Vampire Weekend – Saturday
Kraftwerk – Sunday
Foals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Villagers, Hot Chip, Jake Bugg, Modest Mouse, TEED, Paul Kalkbrenner, SBTRKT (DJ set), Mark Lanegan, Local Natives, Django Django, Jessie Ware, Trentemoller, Kodaline, Mmoths, Tom Odell, AlunaGeorge, Flume, Cast of Cheers, Young Wonder, MO, Mikhael Paskalev, S O H N, Petite Noir, Half Moon Run, Vondelpark and Stealing Sheep.

The rest of the line up will be announced on April 8th, the day after the early bird offer ends.