The All Ireland Hurling final at Electric Picnic
Galway and Waterford fans were united around screens big and small at the picnic
Conor McSweeney from Tramore, Co Waterford. We’re all winners down here in Stradbally Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Galway and Waterford fans stand tight against the barrier of the Newstalk Lounge in Mindfield. The hardcore fans at the front – well actually, just the front row – can see the screen inside the tent where the elders are seated on the floor. It’s at full capacity so the jersey-adorned gather behind the barrier doing what they do best – they follow the action on the small screen.
Stage left, behind the barrier, Siobhan (Galway) and Anthony (Dublin but Galway for today) have bonded. She’s not from a big hurling family but who wouldn’t want to watch their home county end a 29 year drought? Anthony is just here for the craic. He watched the soccer on Saturday night so the tent felt like a familiar safe space to return to on a Sunday afternoon. Siobhan stands in front of him, holding her phone up. Anthony leans in close. Two tired Deise fans – too tired to walk to the village to watch the match – move towards Siobhan and the small screen. Anthony makes sure they don’t come too close. Siobhan looks up at her bouncer. She looks away as he tries to charge them a fiver.
Across from them, Ciara (Waterford) has her game face on. Blue and white stripes compete with glitter and half moons on her cheeks. She doesn’t have a jersey but is wearing her friend’s blue t-shirt.
Jonathon (Galway) stands behind her. He’s in awe of her streaming ability. And her battery power. It’s at 60 per cent. They didn’t know each other before throw-in. Now he’s supporting her phone-holding arm to keep it aloft. It looks like he has a tender touch. The small screen is three minutes behind the big screen and its commentary.It causes some tension between them but that seems only natural given the circumstances. The score is tight, the action hard to follow. A member of the Newstalk team takes on the roll of Ring Girl and circulates in front of the crowd with the score – written on the back of a sign – held high. He gets the cheers and the lols.
Half-time. On the big screen anyway. The small screens are two minutes and 20 seconds behind.
The ringside man circulates again. Galway lead by a point. Jonathon drops his hand from Ciara’s arm. He cheerfully says he’s off to the bar. He won’t be back. He’s going to watch the second-half with his mates. They’ve downloaded the app. Great isn’t it?