Electric Picnic to expand for 2019, swelling capacity to 57,000
Main Stage arena to be enlarged after success of pop acts, says Festival Republic
Electric Picnic: the festival will be bigger in 2019, according to Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, who was reading The Irish Times’ daily Ticket festival newsletter. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Electric Picnic is to expand for 2019, the organisers of this year’s sold-out music and arts festival say. An extra 2,500 people will be allowed into the site, at Stradbally Hall, in Co Laois, to take the total to 57,000, according to Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, which runs the three-day event. Ticket prices will not change.
One success of this year’s festival has been the addition of pop acts, such as Sigrid, Dua Lipa, George Ezra and Picture This, to the bill. Even though the festival sells out before the line-up is revealed, the tastes of its predominantly young audience are likely to be behind Festival Republic’s plans to significantly enlarge the Main Stage arena.
Two local landowners have already offered the Picnic more fields for 2019, according to Benn, who adds that, although pop music has worked well at this year’s festival, for every pop act “there are about 10 non-pop acts appearing. If the Picnic is only about the headliners, or who might be on the Main Stage, then it isn’t the Picnic, and we’d go to a gig in Croke Park or Marlay Park. The Picnic is about the entirety of what it is.”
Although ticket sales are driven by the festival’s music, there is also a strong audience for its other elements, such as the spoken-word focus of the Mindfield area, from Theatre of Food and the Leviathan stage to the Ah, Hear! podcast stage and the Puball Gaeilge Irish-language stage. “I want to bring every aspect of culture to the Picnic,” Benn says, “not just pop music.”
Tickets for Electric Picnic 2019 go on sale at 9am on Friday, September 7th.