Electric Picnic 2022 line-up: Dermot Kennedy, Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys to headline

With 70,000 expected attendees, this year’s festival is set to be its largest on record

Dermot Kennedy, Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys are among the headliners announced for this year's Electric Picnic festival which will return for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

After two years of cancellations due to the pandemic, event organisers announced the acts on Thursday for its much-anticipated return to the 600-acre site at Stradbally, Co Laois in September. Tickets go on sale from 9am on Friday.

Electric Picnic will be held from September 2nd-4th, with an expected 70,000 attendees in what is expected to be the biggest year yet for Ireland’s largest music and arts festival.

Organisers have increased the capacity of the main stage field by reconfiguring the position of the stage in the newly created larger arena. This area will increase in size by 60 per cent giving picnickers improved views of the stage. The Jimi Hendrix arena entrance has also doubled in size.

Among the other main acts are Megan Thee Stallion, Picture This, Snow Patrol, Fontaines DC, Annie Mac, Glass Animals, Pixies and Anne-Marie.

Irish singer-songwriter Kennedy said it felt “surreal to announce” he would be headlining the festival. “ I first played EP seven years ago, to about 20 people sitting in front of the stage at two in the afternoon. And I almost didn’t make my set ’cause they wouldn’t let me in to the artist car park in my old Ford. The people working there didn’t believe I was actually playing ’cause I just rocked up with my guitar in the passenger seat! So you know it’s gonna be special,” he wrote on Twitter.

The festival was one of the last major events to be cancelled during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. Attendees had expected to be entertained by acts including Rage Against the Machine, Snow Patrol, Lewis Capaldi and The Chemical Brothers. Electric Picnic organisers Festival Republic received a Covid-related insurance payout of £13.27 million (€15.52 m) for 2020.

Last year, the music festival was briefly at the centre of a political storm as organisers pushed to hold the event amid a planned easing of restrictions in September 2021. The effort to hold the festival, which prompted urgent consultations with Minister for Culture Catherine Martin and Laois County Council, ultimately came to nothing and the festival was not held. The cancelled 2021 festival was not covered by insurance and the council did not grant it a licence.

Electric Picnic started as a one-day “boutique” festival in 2004 with a 10,000-person capacity. Within a year it was a full weekend. Capacity had jumped to 32,000 by 2013, and in 2019, 55,000 people attended.