It’s less than six months until thousands of music fans will swarm the fields of Stradbally for the annual Electric Picnic festival.
With the gradual withering of Oxegen, the Picnic is now Ireland’s topmost festival.
Promoters are even hoping to increase the capacity from 42,000 to 47,000 due to an increase in demand.
The anticipation is building already with the recent announcement of a series of new acts to the line-up.
The wailing songstress Florence & the Machine has been announced as one of the headliners.
It has been seven years since she played her first Irish gig in a small tent at the Picnic.
Since then, she has experience a swift rise to fame. Florence will be fresh off the release of her third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
Second to top the bill is the high-octane techno and house outfit Underworld, who received rave reviews for their barnstorming performance at the festival in 2011.
They will return with tracks from their 1994 magnum opus Dubnobasswithmyheadman and other ground-breaking hits.
A definite highlight will be when the crowd of revellers shout ‘lager, lager, lager, lager’ repeatedly to the chorus of ‘Born Slippy’, a song made iconic from the film Trainspotting.
Traditionally, Electric Picnic has catered for the over-30s and this year will be no different with sets from rock veterans like the Manic Street Preachers and Ride as well as the old school hip hop group Jurassic 5.
However, on top of that there is plenty to get excited about for students and 20-somethings with several up-and-coming young artists. The chart-topping singer-songwriter George Ezra is a notable example and is sure to draw in a huge crowd with his low bluesy voice.
One of the stand-out acts playing this year has to be The War on Drugs. Riding the wave of the monumental success of their latest LP Lost in the Dream, they have a host of blazing indie anthems which are perfect for the festival atmosphere. The zany, irreverent indietronica quintet Hot Chip will take to the Picnic stage for the fifth time bringing their upcoming sixth record Why Make Sense? to life.
Meanwhile, the treasured Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala are sure to get Picnickers dancing with their unique retro yet experimental sound.
Electric Picnic, as per usual, will showcase some home grown talent. Former Moloko vocalist Róisín Murphy will complement her long-awaited return from a seven-year hiatus with a debut at the festival. An eye catcher on the list is the emerging Dublin noise rock four piece Girl Band. Their wiry instrumentation and raucous vocals are certainly worth checking out.
Of course, the Electric Picnic is not solely about the music. The Theatre of Food will bring a selection of demonstrations from chefs such as Neven Maguire and Darina Allen. Elsewhere, there is the Comedy Tent for those who are up for a few laughs along the way and the Spoken Word Arena featuring poetry and political debates.
Although it does not appear to be swerving in any unknown direction this year, the Electric Picnic will still retain its enduring appeal. The wide variety of genres on display ensures that there will once again be something for everyone.
Tickets for Electric Picnic are available now.