Electric Picnic 2022: ‘Extra Special’ return to the festival – as tickets to next year’s event, available this Saturday

In the words of Electric Picnic boss Melvin Benn, it was an “absolutely glorious” event and well worth the wait.

Proving that the three-year wait has only increased its popularity, it was an action-packed weekend at the sold-out festival – filled with live music, comedy, performing arts, dancing in the rain and memories.

Even the downpours on Saturday could not dispel the feel-good mood and the noticeable relief that the festival has returned to the events calendar.

Organizers saved the best for last as The Coronas, Snow Patrol and Arctic Monkeys took down the curtain at Stradbally last night and hits sang on the main stage as 70,000 music fans soaked up the closing day atmosphere.

Festival Republic’s Mr Benn confirmed that tickets for the 2023 event will go on sale this Saturday – and this time people won’t be holding on to it for several years.

“The amount of people stopping me and saying, ‘We’ve been waiting for this.’ I feel like the picnic is where Covid falls behind,” he said.

“This is the last show where people held on to tickets for two or three years – so from that point on nobody’s holding on to a ticket they bought in 2019 or 2020 or whatever. That’s like, it’s gone now, we’ve moved on.

For the first time ever, the picnic will be “fully digital,” meaning people won’t be able to queue at a Ticketmaster outlet to purchase their ticket, but the loyalty program for past attendees will remain in place.

Mr Benn made a number of changes for the festival’s return but said he was happy to keep the capacity at 70,000 and had no plans to make any further changes to what he believes has been a successful formula.

“In a way, I have a hard time knowing which is better. Is that what we present or is that what the audience brings and the two collide? One of the amazing things about Electric Picnic is the spirit, the weirdness, and it’s touchable, it’s different, it’s identifiable,” he said.

“And of course amazing what we present on stage and people ultimately come for it. But it’s the participation of the crowd and their enjoyment of the festival. When those two meet, it really works.”

He said he was “delighted” with the success of this year’s event. “This year is very special because of the frustration last year when I really felt like it could happen.

“But what sets the Picnic apart from others is the spirit of the crowd – it really is a spirit of Ireland together, young and old to be together. It’s a joy just to be in a field.”

He’s already booked some big headlines for the 2023 event but is keeping them under wraps for now.

On the third day of the picnic, a relaxed atmosphere prevailed, with no sign of festival fatigue among the die-hard fans who banged out the sodden campgrounds. As usual, the festival fashions were entertainment in their own right – with bucket hats, shell suits, lots of lycra and, of course, wellies.

New to the festival was actress and writer Amy Huberman, who interviewed rugby legend Paul O’Connell for Aldi’s Mamia & Me podcast in the Leviathan tent.

“I thought there was going to be chaos down here, but it’s really great, it’s pretty civilized with no rain,” she said.

“I was going to stay downstairs tonight but it’s been a busy week with book stuff but now that I’m here I’m going to have total FOMO (fear of missing out) and want to stay downstairs.

“It’s been too long since we were here. The atmosphere is just awesome. So even if we were all wrestling in the mud, it would still be insane.”

The VIP areas at Casa Bacardi and the 3 All for Music areas were packed with familiar faces enjoying a bird’s eye view of the main stage.

Guests included actor Chris Newman with his girlfriend Jo Archbold alongside Erica Coady, Paralympian Ellen Keane, 2fm’s Tracy Clifford, singer Denise Chaila and members of Wild Youth performing a DJ set.

The newly crowned Miss Ireland, Dr. Ivanna McMahon, was at the picnic for the first time – and said she’d even camp out to get the full festival experience.

Vogue Williams made her stage debut with comedian Joanne McNally, who performed in front of a packed tent at Electric Arena. In fact, thanks to their hit podcast, they proved so popular that many people couldn’t even enter the venue.

On a relaxed note, Vogue’s husband Spencer Matthews said performing at the picnic was a “childhood dream come true” for his wife.

“The atmosphere is palpable, it’s absolutely amazing, what an amazing festival. I thought they were incredible, so what a way to start. I’m really looking forward to seeing Arctic Monkeys later,” he said.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/electric-picnic-2022-extra-special-return-for-festival-as-tickets-for-next-years-event-on-sale-this-saturday-41960860.html Electric Picnic 2022: ‘Extra Special’ return to the festival – as tickets to next year’s event, available this Saturday

Fry Electronics Team

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