Beck and Outkast put Electric Picnic rumours to rest

Lineup for 2014 Stradbally festival includes Portishead, Pet Shop Boys and Paolo Nutini

Electric Picnic tickets were launched today, acts revealed plus a free ticket awaits...


Rumours and red herrings were finally put to rest when the lineup for Electric Picnic 2014 was announced at noon today. Outkast, Portishead and Beck will headline the 11th Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, Co Laois, to be held over three days from Friday August 29th to Sunday August 31st.

Also announced for the festival are Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini, Foals, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Lily Allen and St Vincent, Metronomy, London Grammar. Although much-rumoured to be among the headline acts, Coldplay, do not appear on this initial line-up.

The return of Atlanta hip-hoppers Outkast to the live stage will cause the most excitement among picnickers this year. The duo of Big Boi and Andre 3000 haven’t performed together since 2007; they have reunited for a string of 20th anniversary appearances at major festivals around the world. The six-time Grammy winners, who have sold more than 25 million albums, will perform some of their biggest hits, include Ms Jackson, Roses and Hey Ya.

Among the Irish acts appearing at Electric Picnic 2014 are Dublin post-punk rockers The Blades and Northern Irish DJ Annie Mac. As usual, the line-up will feature a few “heritage” acts; this year it’s reggae veterans The Wailers, punk patriarchs The Stranglers and Scots former stadium-rockers Simple Minds.

Tickets for Electric Picnic 2014 go on sale this evening ( at 7pm via Ticketmaster).

Last year, Electric Picnic celebrated its 10th outing with its most successful festival to date. Festival Republic, the organisers of Electric Picnic, waited till nearly the end of April to announce its line-up, leading to speculation as to whether it would go ahead. As it turned out, the 10th Electric Picnic was a huge success, although this was down its lowered admission prices as much as the highly credible acts on offer.

This year, the festival is continuing its loyalty scheme, which will allow longtime Picnickers to avail of significant discounts. If you can prove you’ve been to one or two Electric Picnics in the past, you can get weekend tickets at a reduced price of €174.50. If you’ve been to three or more Electric Picnics, the price goes down to €154.50 for the weekend. This discount offer runs until midnight on April 18th, so you’d better start going through your drawers to find those old EP ticket stubs.

If this will be your first EP visit, you can still avail of a discounted price of €194.50 up to midnight on July 4th. After that the price of a weekend ticket goes to €229.50, the same price as in 2013. Day tickets for the Sunday cost € 90, and Campervan tickets are €60.

Electric Picnic promoter Melvin Benn said the festival capacity may rise to 40,000 in future if demand warrants it.

This capacity for this year’s festival remains at 35,000 despite last year’s festival being a sell-out and ending a run of a couple of years when the recession took its toll on numbers. In 2012 just 22,000 turned up.

“I have no reason to believe that this year will not be a sellout. I think it certainly will be,” he said.

He described Portishead as “amazing” performers at Glastonbury last year while “the world has been waiting for Outkast for a long time”.

Mr Benn said his estranged business partner and founder of the festival, John Reynolds, is still involved as a director though the pair are set for a court battle starting in May over outstanding issues relating to previous festivals.

“He worked on the festival last year so I assume he’ll be working on it this year as well, but, at the moment, he is just working on the festival on a directorial level,” said Mr Benn.

The case between Festival Republic Dublin andMr Reynolds will be heard in court on May 13th.

FRD, one of whose investors is Denis Desmond of MCD, claimed that Electric Picnic made losses when Mr Reynolds was artistic director; Mr Reynolds counters that EP made profits for seven straight years, but made substantial losses in 2012 due to a decision by Melvin Benn of FRD to pay a €500,000 fee to The Killers for a 2012 appearance. He believed having a big, commercial act such as The Killers ran against the spirit of Electric Picnic.

Perhaps it’s a good thing, then, that Coldplay, one of the biggest acts in the world, haven’t been announced. More acts are to be confirmed later in the year.