Last weekend I was at Electric Picnic. For readers not resident in Ireland I should explain: it’s a Rock Festival. More precisely, it’s a rock festival that promotes itself as targeting the older generation. None of your Oxegen skangers here. It also presents itself as a Rock Festival with a conscience by having a focus on Amnesty International, Homelessness and Recycling.
“Electric Picnic has established itself as a truly unique Irish festival, set amid the rolling lawns of Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, a beautiful 600 acre estate just 50 mins from Dublin. The festival … feature[s] the usual array of fine music, theatre, comedy, holistic health, art….plus many new elements.” www.last.fm
What fascinated me was that it involved 35,000 people converging on a few fields in the middle of Ireland, setting up home for a few nights and departing again with nary a cross word between them! That’s a small city of people, living cheek-by-jowl, for three nights, without incident. The Urban-Planner side of me just can’t get over this. Ok, so there’s the whole music and arts thing going on to entertain the masses and distract them from civil unrest. Plus, as my sister pointed out, you couldn’t do this for very long – the Nomads had the right idea on how to keep society going: keep it moving. But I’ve never seen so many bored Gardaí in my life – and I grew up in Templemore!
I went with my sister and two of my brothers – the two that are the music buffs. They like to educate their sisters on who’s who on the music scene and we’re avid learners. I saw some fantastic acts – Sigur Ros, My Bloody Valentine, Grinderman (aka Nick Cave), Cut Copy (on the recommendation of two lads in the tent next to my sister’s), Foals, Dublin Gospel Choir, Hayseed Dixies, George Clinton, That Petrol Emotion, Elbow – but there were so many more I missed. You’d need a week to see everything but physically, it would be hard to “do” EP for longer than three days. My highlight was the first band I saw – The Stunning (not that the weekend went downhill from there, but seeing them made my weekend). I danced my way all through their set and suffered for my exhuberence with a gammy knee for the next five days. Oh yes, a rock festival for the older generation, indeed!
So this is a knitting blog – where’s the knitting? Well, knitting is the reason I wanted to go to EP. My siblings were there for the music; I was there because knitters I knew raved about being there last year. Lisa, from This is Knit, was hosting a knitting workshop and I went along. In fact, I ended up teaching two people how to knit! And purl! I was thrilled with myself. I only hope they can remember what I showed them when they try to sit down with needles again. It has given me hope that I might be able to teach my daughter, some day…