The likes of Blur, Florence and Sam Smith may grab the headlines, but we all know that there’s a lot more to a great festival than the big name headliners. The Electric Picnic understands that more than most, with a host of new names, cult acts and unique events happening across the weekend. Here’s our pick of some of them…
HO9909 (Friday, Body & Soul Main Stage 12.15am)
A riotous addition to the tranquil surroundings of Body & Soul, the US duo will leave an impression that’ll last long after the weekend.
Kwamie Liv (Saturday, Little Big Tent 3.30pm)
Our Copenhagen based Face of 2015 finally makes her Irish debut. If the buzz building around her is anything to go by, this should be on the amazing side.
Hosted once again by Abner Browns, Hombeat and ourselves, may we suggest that you won’t find a better selection of home grown talent anywhere on site all weekend? We may.
Opera Theatre Company (Sunday, Salty Dog 1.30pm)
Get a bit of culture into your final day in the company of some of Ireland’s youngest and brightest opera stars.
Girlpool (Sunday, Little Big Tent 4.45pm)
The fantastic duo behind the equally fantastic Before The World Was Big album bring their raw, simple punk to Stradbally.
The Pony Girls
An all singing, all dancing, all stilt walking gin and tonic fuelled burlesque experience, the Dublin troupe concentrate on the darkly humorous side of cabaret.
Explosion Soundsystem (Saturday, Trenchtown 12am)
Belfast’s premier dub & roots reggae selectors can be found in the forest’s Trenchtown area (along with a heap of other great acts) and will most certainly be providing big riddims and good vibes. Highly recommended, given their staunchly DIY approach to playing the music they love as it’s meant to be heard. Plus, you know, it’s a grand opportunity for a chill-out.
Michael Longley (Saturday, Literary Tent 3pm)
One of Ireland’s foremost and accomplished poets, Michael Longley has had an exceptional impact on the modern literary landscape. Appearing as part of the Literary Tent lineup, Longley’s poetry is beautiful, overwhelming and in today’s unsettled political climate, arguably more pertinent than ever. An unmissable opportunity.
Boys and Girls (Saturday, Mindfield Theatre 1.30pm)
Dirty, funny, mental and a bit sad, this spoken word rooted play examines Dublin after the sun goes down.
Freedom 35s (Sunday, Trailer Park: Mobile Home Stage, 3pm)
Playing as part of the Mobile Home stage, Armagh’s Freedom 35s have an exceptionally unique take on modern classics. Infusing organ sounds with the kind of breaks Buddy Rich would be proud of, the Keady four-piece present a mix of covers and originals that are guaranteed to get you grooving.
Joni (Friday, Body & Soul Main Stage 5.15pm)
Signed to Feel Good Lost – always a sign of quality – Joni has moved from a classical background into the world of electronic bass. Single ‘Running’ is a sure fire indication that this is one artist to watch.
The Redneck Manifesto (Friday, Salty Dog 10.30pm)
They could have no doubt found a bigger spot for their first Irish show in 18 months, but then again TRM have always done things on their own terms. An early weekend highlight.
Into The Trees…
The fabled parties in the woods. Don’t settle for the first one you find. Keep going and you’ll find the more experimental of them.
ALA.NI (Saturday, Other Voices 6.15pm)
Touring partner to Ibeyi, the London based singer exhibits a similar other worldliness – alongside experience gained alongside the likes of Mary J Blige, Damon Albarn and Andrea Bocelli.
Solar Sound System (Saturday/Sunday, Science Gallery, 12pm & 1pm)
This sounds AWESOME. Take a break from hedonism and get yourself to the Science Gallery for a range of mind-bending happenings, but ensure you try out the Solar Sound System. Essentially, our Solar System is turned into a playable audio experience. Fully immersive, certainly trippy – you’d be mad not to play a few tunes with Mercury or Venus.
The Welsh Hog Roast
Pulled pork is a staple food in Ireland these days, with even McD******’s getting in on the act. Ignore them all. This is what you want.
My Fellow Sponges (Friday, Body & Soul Earthship Stage 6pm)
Minimalist folk meets bossa nova in the city of Galway. Pleasantly off the wall.
Mother DJs (Sunday, Body & Soul Earthship Stage 12.00am)
Who better to close out the weekend with a four hour set than the hosts of perhaps the best club night in the country?
Greencrafts area (Friday 2pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am)
Residing in an area that’s completely electricity-free, the Greencrafts program is designed as a hands-on knowledge tour of our “wilder’ ancestors’ crafting techniques. From woodwork to metalwork, jewellery making, pottery, textiles and more, there are plenty of opportunities to get stuck in and help make something memorable.
Le Boom (Friday, Trailer Park: Mobile Home Stage 2am )
They may be Dublin natives, but Le Boom are musically rooted in New York – even signed to a Brooklyn based label. It’s an approach that seems to suit them very well.
Based in Belfast, Guerilla Shout are a creative collective that aim big and deliver the goods. Making visually diverse projects come to life through moving image, graphics and projection mapping, you can catch their unique talents lighting up and adding flair to both the Red Bull Music Academy stage and the Body & Soul arena at this year’s Electric Picnic. A literal feast for the eyes.
The Fear TV show
Keep an eye out for any dodgy proposals, strange offers and unexplained situations. The RTE hidden camera show will likely be there again the last thing you want is to see yourself mad out of it on the telly. Just saying, is all.
2 Unlimited (Friday, Electric Ireland 8.30pm)
Just indulge yourself. You’ll probably never get the chance again.
DJ Mek (Sunday, Body & Soul Earthship Stage 10.30pm)
As part of Scary Eire, Mek blazed a trail for Irish hip-hop. As a DJ, he’s won five national titles and remixed the likes of the Frames, Monkey Mafia and Ian Brown.
Jimmy Lee’s Juke Joint
A fellow purveyor of fine Irish music, Jimmy Lee’s was one of the surprise stages last year. If you can’t squeeze into the Oxjam Tent this might do it for you.
The Expert (Saturday, Global Green 11.30pm)
Making his live debut as a solo artist, one time Messiah J partner comes armed with a hugely impressive album and a reputation as one of Ireland’s most innovative producers.
Here We Go Magic (Sunday, Rankins Wood 2.30pm)
The kind of band that would be unlikely to visit Irish shores if it wasn’t for the festival season, make the most of the NYC duo while we have them.