Stradbally
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Last weekend I visited the much anticipated Electric Picnic 2009. It was my second Electric Picnic and I was really looking forward to it. In the week building up to it. We probably had some of the heaviest rain of the summer. I didn’t mind this, as the weather for the weekend was supposed to be rain free. Electric Picnic 2008 was one of the best live events I had ever been to, so I was expecting a lot this year.

Friday morning started great, the sun was shining and it was setting up to be a fantastic weekend. That was of course until we hit the traffic in Athy. Lucky for us, we didn’t do as bad as others when we only encountered a 4 hour tail back to Stradbally. The rumours were that there was 18 hour tailbacks to Athy!!

It turned out that the tailbacks were caused by the delay in traffic getting into Electric Picnic itself. When we arrived with our camper-van, we had to be “dragged” (towed wouldn’t be the right word) by a tractor and basically “plopped” into our designated spot for the weekend. It amazes me how they got away with this – there was no way an ambulance would have got to the majority of the camper-van area if an emergency situation occurred. It was clear from the outset that the event organisers simply weren’t prepared for the torrential rain.

But nevermind, we were here to party and hard did we try. I have to admit, it was extremely difficult to have any ounce of motivation to go back and forth to the main arena. Trudging through muck up to your eyes was a struggle. When you eventually arrived at the arena the first thing you wanted to do was find somewhere to plonk your backside. Last year, we would have just sat in the grass and had a laugh between us, but this year, that simply wasn’t an option. Even the tents with entertainment weren’t that appealing as they too were either soaking wet or full of muck.

My first year of experiencing Electric Picnic was fantastic – it simply blew my mind. From the silent disco to the eco-friendly urinals made from hay, there were endless new experiences for my mind to be blown away with. This year however, there seemed to be very little new. Yes there were hot tubs, the camp fires were a lot smaller (which I thought was a terrible idea) – but other than that there was nothing new to see at all. Maybe this was because of the recession that they had to hold back a little on the spending?

There has also been a lot of talk between regular Electric Picnic goers that this year seemed to have a lot of “scumbags” compared to previous years. The definition of what a scumbag is bringing up some great discussions. We encountered 3 occasions of people being unruly or bordering on starting rows with us and these guys were not what we typically class as scumbags, but rugger buggers. It was certainly scumbag behaviour though. We also had one campervan close to us who enjoyed having rows and slagging people off with a loud-hailer.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had a great time at Electric Picnic 2009 – but it was a struggle and there was very little there to make me want to go again next year.

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