Last Sunday, August 31st, was without a doubt one of the oddest days of the summer – but the best one by far.
I was woken at around 12:30pm (the norm as I hadn’t gone to sleep until about 4 or 5am the night before) by a phonecall from two of my friends, Ger and Mr. Darcy himself, who were up at Electric Picnic for the weekend, wanting to know if I was coming up. See, I had a Sunday ticket, but for various and slightly complicated reasons, it wasn’t going to be used. I informed my friends of this and they seemed disappointed, but mentioned that they had apparently been spotted front and centre at Blondie on RTE’s EP highlights on Saturday, so I went downstairs to watch it and try and spot my friends.
I started thinking about why I wasn’t going, and mentioned it to my mother. Her response? “Well, why don’t you go? We can sort it out.” So I decided, fuck it! Let’s go to EP! And so began the greatest 24 hours of the summer. My mother (the living saint) drove me to Laois (apparently, it’s only an hour away. I mistakenly believed it was like 5 hours away… the more you know!), and I set off to find my friends. After a but of confusion over where to pick up my wristband (it was a special Sunday Guest ticket), we eventually found the guestlist cabin and we were off for a day of alcohol and music!
By the time I got everything sorted, it was around 5pm, so we set off to the main arena for Simple Minds. I wasn’t familiar with most of their songs, but they were excellent nonetheless, and we waited excitedly for that ONE SONG – which was AMAZING. A crowd favourite for sure, and it had everyone singing the lyrics and bopping away in the field.
We exited the field for a surprisingly quick toilet break (which the lads expected, but as a woman I feared the worst for the portaloos on the 3rd day of EP. I was delighted to find them relatively clean and full of toilet paper, with the hand sanitiser containers being refilled just as I need it. Major props, Electric Picnic!). We headed to the bar for some, ahem, light refreshments at daylight robbery prices, then headed back to the arena for Lily Allen – and oh, man. She was simply amazing – my favourite act of the day. She’s honestly not someone I would pay money to go see on her own, but I was excited to see her at EP. She blew me away with her performance. I hadn’t even realised I knew so many of her songs, but hits like Fuck You, Smile and Not Fair had the whole crowd dancing away and screaming lyrics at her. She even brought an excited fan up on stage who proceeded to take a few million selfies – but she was very nice about it.
I left the stage after Lily’s performance to find a mate of mine who had volunteered at Longitude with me, and it was great to catch up with him! After a bit of miscommunication and me not knowing where anything was onsite, we eventually found each other and headed back to the main stage to catch the last half of Beck’s performance. I thought he was grand, my two friends thought he was amazing. My volunteer friend left to find his other friends, and I went back to the lads to await the headlining act, Outkast. I have to say that I was disappointed with the performance. Granted, his famous hits such as Ms Jackson, Hey Ya! and The Way You Move got everybody going, but I felt that unless you were a real fan, his performance wasn’t terribly exciting. What was exciting though, was that just before Outkast came on stage, I heard a voice beside me say, ‘Ciara?’ I turned around to see a friend of mine from back home standing beside me! TOO EXCITING. How cool was it that at a festival with over 40,000 people attending, I would end up standing next to one of my friends at the headlining act without any planning? Mental, but great craic altogether!!
After Outkast’s gig, the lads gave me a quick tour of the site, before we ended up in one of the coolest sections of the site, Body & Soul. We wandered around, taking pictures of various things. Ger decided he wanted a picture with a particular tree, so he posed, I got the camera ready, and then another girl offered to take the picture. We accepted, and myself, Ger and Darcy sat in by the tree, when suddenly a random stranger approached us and said, “Wait… so does that mean you guys are the… tree best friends?’ WE LOST IT. There were a few people standing around, laughing at these weirdos taking a picture with a tree and we were all mind-blown. That stranger walked away proudly, and we took our picture. One of my favourite moments from the day.
We ended up in the ampitheatre until after 4am, listening to some french band I can’t remember the name of, and then we headed back to the tent. The following morning we packed up our gear, struggled a bit with folding up the pop up tent until we received some assistance from a young fellow who received a good bit of applause from the surrounding tents when he helped us, and then we were on our way. The lads gave me a lift into portlaoise where we were all thankful to use clean toilets (the facilities had taken a bit of a hit on the sunday and by monday morning many of the portaloos were unusable) and to cure the slight hangover with a supermacs meal and in Darcy’s case, a kid’s ice-cream. We then parted ways and we all headed home. I went straight to the bed for the day to process the odd set of events that had unfolded in the space of 24 hours!
It was a fantastic day out and I’m already considering buying a weekend ticket for next year!
Until next time!