Irish festivals are as popular as they’ve ever been, but are we missing out on a whole lot more?
Festival season is back with avengence, and consistent with the last few years, it’s bigger than ever. Electric Picnic continues its annual foray into in its expanded form. Marlay Park’s Longitude has departed the world of its UK sibling Latitude and fully grabbed the zeitgeist, with an of-the-moment lineup laden with hip-hop and UK grime.
There are ample newcomers, from the imaginative recent ‘Vinyl’ event at IMMA, to the holiday park meets rave concept of Trabolgan’s ‘It Takes A Village’, modeled on the now-defunct Butlin’s based All Tomorrow’s Parties. ‘Body and Soul’, a spin-off from the popular leftfield area of Electric Picnic, has grown into something truly atmospheric and memorable.
These festivals, though, come at a price. Electric Picnic tickets start at over €200, and you can easily double that if you plan to stay on sight for the entire weekend. Besides – a sure indicator of its success – it sold out before announcing a single act, and then announced a selection of acts that plenty found lacking. It Takes A Village is resident’s only, and while conceptually clever, came in at a stonking minimum of €250, and that subject to buying together with a load of mates.
You could argue, of course, that a weekend with a load of mates in front of some solid music is worth that kind of money: it’s no more than you’d spend jetting off somewhere for a party, after all. But then you start looking at the alternatives.