All smooth at Longitude despite inevitable queues

Eclectic Marlay Park line-up hits the spot, with Chemical Brothers ending the night

 

“Look at that queue, it’s like a Greek ATM.” It’s not clear if the young man in the vest and straw hat is aware he’s just rattled off a classic, but he makes a fair point about the security line at Longitude.

After the bottleneck at the bag check, things look up. Longitude’s capacity is about 25,000, which is no small gathering.

Apart from some peak traffic, the planning is good and, amazingly, the loos seem reasonably managed. You can’t avoid queues at the hot spots, and being male yet again has its advantages, but it’s close to the mark.

Out in the wilds, the crowd is a mixed bag. With a host of chart-toppers alongside niche offerings like Girl Band, Drenge and Todd Terje, it’s bound to be. Everybody is represented, from the army of synth-pop casual boppers to a welcome mini-resurgence of grimy headbangers.

Longitude has a name for drawing a younger crowd. It’s well-earned. A quick glance around the Red Bull Music Academy early on shows enough staggering teenagers to fill Wes Disco to the rafters. FYI for the baby-faced: ID at the ready.

Civilised

Alice Beresford

A couple of worthy sideshows make the difference at Marlay Park. A short wander from the high-flying banners of the main arena, the Dirty Old Town Speakeasy and forest-based TXFM tent tick the obligatory “woodland quirkiness” box.

Vitally, the line-up is completely on point. Friday’s showstopper from Young Fathers and typical anthemic brilliance from Hozier leads to Saturday’s more laid-back headline affair with Alt-J.

A beautiful early set by José Gonzalez on the main stage on Sunday is followed a little later by a much needed jolt from Everything Everything. It is a good appetiser for the evening slots and rises the groggy weekend ticket holders from the grass.

It is then over to the mighty Chemical Brothers to take it home.

First comes the dry ice, then the lasers, then the head honchos. They’re 15 minutes late, but nobody really cares and when Hey Boy Hey Girl drops, there isn’t a drink in the place that survives.

The UK duo turn Marlay Park into a heaving, strobe-filled big-beat marathon. It’s a stylish cap to the weekend and a badly needed zap to an otherwise mellow day.

For field ravers looking to fill the void between Body and Soul and Electric Picnic, sans muck and tent, Longitude will never be a bad shout. As one Kerryman cheerfully relays on the bus back to the city on Saturday: “It’s like EP, but we get to go home!”