Organisers prepare for Picnic leftovers


Electric Picnic organisers are preparing for a massive clean-up operation as the circus of music and arts drew to a close today.

More than 32,000 mud-splattered revellers partied through heavy showers in Co Laois in the final hours of the three-day extravaganza.

As the grounds of the 18th century Stradbally Hall rocked to top bands, hurling fans embarked on a mini-exodus to nearby pubs to watch the all-Ireland final.

Stradbally Hall’s owner, Thomas Cosby, said festival co-ordinators had been well prepared for the wet weather.

“We’ve had a big amount of rain but things have gone smoothly and according to plan,” he said. “We have taken some precautions with the car parks — we have friendly farmers on tractors on hand to pull out any cars that get stuck in the mud.”

An extensive clean-up will take place in coming days to clear away rubbish and abandoned tents from the 450 acre site.

Mr Cosby said it would be up to two months before the estate was back to normal. “It’s hard work — we take toothbrushes to each blade of grass,” he joked.

“Everything has to be reseeded, fences need to be put back up, and stock put back on the land — we have about 500 sheep on holiday in Kildare at the moment.”

Gardaí said there were no major incidents reported at the event, which boasted performances from Florence and the Machine, Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and Irish singer Lisa Hannigan.

With eco workshops, comedy gigs and a relaxing Body and Soul area, lead singer of Kildare band Bell X1 Paul Noonan said the festival was about more than just the music.

“There’s so much going on — I’ve seen some great spoken word things here that have put fire in my belly,” he said. “You don’t feel the focus is on ramming as many people as possible into a site and herding them around like cattle. It feels a lot more human.”

Organisers were keen to have a child-friendly focus this year, with the family camping area’s capacity tripled to 1,500 places.