Electric Picnic heads behind the bike shed
There is a whiff of nostalgia in the Stradbally air as this year’s festival turns into a school disco
Revellers at Electric Ireland’s Throwback Stage at Electric Picnic. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
In previous years, Electric Picnic was the home of the indie-disco kids. Not any more. Now we’re back among the sweaty walls and hormonal scents of the teen disco. Drink is decanted into plastic bottles and glugged on the way. There are quick-reveal clothing changes in the bushes and sneaky fags at the back of the would-be bike shed (the portaloos).
The Electric Ireland Throwback Stage helps unleash the forgotten lusty young one and young fella in everyone. Now, gangs of ladsladslads roam the fields either looking like Premier League football referees in the second summer of love or wearing pastel-coloured Bermuda shorts.
Girls with cute rave-buns, giant runners and A-line dresses roam the fields, smelling of the candiest Vera Wang perfume. No jackets required: the hardcore kids feel no cold.
Inquiries of “Will you meet me mate?” have been replaced by lobbing the gob and glittery kisses to Zombie Nation, and maybe a fumble under the giant books in the Mindfield area.
Girls burst out of Casa Bacardi in fluoro-jackets screaming Gala’s Freed From Desire. One or two are the worse for wear, but their friends assure them: “You’ll be grand, I have a chewing gum.”
There’s the taking of numbers, the traditional social media following, and promises to keep in touch with day-long paramours who will disappear like the remnants of a Rimmel bottle-tan.
Even parts of the line-up are appealing to the gaggles of mini-ravers. DJs Jenny Greene and Pete Tong, assisted by orchestras, give a dash of sophistication to bug-eyed bangers such as Toca’s Miracle and You’ve Got the Love.
There may not be any impatient dads rattling their keys outside, waiting to take their children home. But there’s a distinct whiff of nostalgia in the Stradbally air, and a yearning for those uncomplicated days when the height of chivalry was some lad holding your chips as you fell out of your Spice Girls shoes.