Electric Picnic celebrates a decade with ten-tier ‘birthday’ cake

DJ Fatboy Slim a big draw at sold-out event for first night of weekend festivities in Laois

A big draw in the Minefield area this afternoon was the Electric Picnic Parliament. Chaired by TD Mary O' Rourke, the objective of the Parliament is to draw up a manifesto voted democratically for by Picnic-goers.

 

A ten-tier cake cut on stage, an over the top fireworks display, and a big name DJ - Fatboy Slim - to eat the first slice: Electric Picnic celebrated its birthday in style last night with a sold-out crowd lapping up the celebrations.

As weary heads poked out of tents this morning, the sad news filtered through the site that a young man had died overnight.

At about 1am, medical workers were called to attend to a 20-year-old man found unconscious in a campsite. He was rushed to Portlaoise General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A statement from the festival organisers said medics confirmed he had “a previous cardiac history” and a full investigation is underway.

After a routine morning briefing of ambulance crew at the site’s event control centre, medics didn’t comment any further on the incident.

When Giorgio Moroder pulled out at the last minute due to illness, the Electric Arena tent was closed altogether, so just the Main Stage and the Body & Soul area were in operation yesterday.

Irish talent excelled, with brothers Hudson Taylor opening the Main Stage, Daithi starting the party early at Body & Soul, and Cavan singer Lisa O’Neill delivering a stunning set on the same stage later on.

My Bloody Valentine was a big name draw on the Main Stage yesterday but it was Norman Cook who brought an up for it crowd that swelled dramatically for his Fatboy Slim DJ set, during which he drew heavily from cheesy commercial dance music, with a heavier vibe than his traditional happy big beat tunes.

Much more low key was 17-year-old Derry singer Soak’s enjoyable chat in the Leviathan tent during which she riffed on everything from Derry’s City of Culture legacy to the dangers of Dingle dolphins.

Saturday boasts the best line-up of the festival, with Ellie Goulding, Robert Plant, Bjork, Two Door Cinema Club and Disclosure lining up on the Main Stage.

Former minister Mary O’Rourke was an unlikely draw in the Mindfield area on Saturday afternoon and the Arts Council Literary Tent also boasted actors, writers, and filmmakers in conversation thoughout the day.

A much more mixed crowd than usual at the picnic, with plenty of teenagers jumping on the bandwagon, can check out a bunch of smaller stages, from the reggae-flavoured Trench Town, to late night parties in the woods, the Salty Dog stage, Block T’s yellow stage at Body & Soul and enough nooks and crannies to keep families and party heads up ‘til all hours.