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The Electric Picnic Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Electric Picnic

Thousands descend on Laois for an electric weekend of music

With food, chat, debate, and music on offer, this weekend’s festival looks like the best yet.

STRADBALLY, CO LAOIS is the place to be this weekend if you’re in the mood for music, fun, good food and great craic.

The Electric Picnic is once again taking place in the large country estate and this year it is estimated up to 40,000 people will be rocking up and pitching their tents on site.

Considered one of the highlights of the summer festival season in Ireland, Electric Picnic promises a treasure trove of entertainment over the three days – from the sublime to the bizarre.

For starters, there are the main stages playing host to bands like Pulp, Arcade Fire and The Chemical Brothers, plus a range of other areas to enjoy.

Reggae fans can soak up the spirit of Jamaica in Trenchtown; foodies can sample the tasty delights of the Theatre of Food; washed-up folksters can sing some sea shanties at The Salty Dog; and those who want to chill can balance their chakra at Body & Soul.

Speaking of the Body & Soul area, that’s the place to head to if you want to hear the brightest sounds in the Irish music scene.

From Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands to Toby Kaar, Katie Kim to Angkor Wat, the best independent Irish acts will grace the stages in this chilled-out part of the site.

Those who want a serving of intellectual chat would be wise to walk to Mindfield, where they are promised debate, drama and dreaming spires.

From Booker Prize winners John Banville and Roddy Doyle at the Arts Council Literary Stage, to rapper Kate Tempest and writer Arlene Hunt, there will be plenty of fodder for the brain here.

And when the music and chat is too much, waddle to the Theatre of Food for some wine, nibbles, or even some speed dating.

Then there are the comedians bringing a bit of light relief – such as Maeve Higgins and David O’Doherty.

If you are en route to the festival, the AA has been giving its advice for those travelling there , including information on road closures, car parks and traffic re-routes.

Stay reading for more updates on the weekend as it unfolds.

Visit the official Electric Picnic website>

Read: In numbers – the Electric Picnic 2011>

Read: Electric Picnic organisers rubbish ‘final year’ rumours>

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