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A look back at the changing Electric Picnic lineups over the past 14 years

There have been some excellent headliners over the years.

SINCE 2004 ELECTRIC Picnic has been the pinnacle of the summer for many Irish festival goers. The 3 day festival is that part of the summer where you can eat garlic cheese chips for every meal and nobody will judge you.

Source: Kieran Frost

This year the 15th edition festival is taking place from 31st August – 2nd September. The line up is set to be announced at 12pm this Thursday  so we decided to take a look back at previous line ups and remind ourselves of the history of this mud filled festival.

1. In 2004 it was just a one day festival

In 2004, the Electric Picnic was born, starting as a 1 day festival with just 10,000 tickets released. Headliners that year included Groove Armada and 2 Many DJs. There was no camping and somehow the weather was actually decent. Imagine.

2. In 2005 it increased to a 2 day festival

Headlined by Fatboy Slim and Kraftwerk, 2005 EP was the first instance of camping at Stradbally. That year was particularly famous as Nicky Ryan made a documentary entitled ‘Electric Picnic: The Documentary’ which captured incredible performances from both Kraftwerk and Arcade Fire. James Blunt also made his only appearance at the festival.

Source: Electric Picnic

3. 2006 was a time when you could get a 3 day camping ticket for €175

30,000 tickets were sold for a lineup that included Massive Attack, Bloc Party, Elbow and Basement Jaxx. It was also the year Gnarls Barkley had to cancel due to strained vocal chords. Their song ‘Crazy’ was the first single to go to number one on downloads alone. You can’t download new vocal chords unfortunately.

Source: GIPHY

4. 2007 brought us €220 full price tickets and the inflatable church

It was the year of Björk, The Chemical Brothers, Manic Street Preachers and M.I.A. The Sunday night was closed by Primal Scream who put on one of the best live shows ever performed at the festival to a reported 28,000 people. Most importantly it was the first year where the inflatable church was present at the festival allowing people to get fake-married causing thousands of arguments between couples ever since.

5. 2008 was the first appearance of Le Galaxie 

Sigur Rós, the Sex Pistols and Duffy. Franz Ferdinand (remember them?) also made an appearance as well as funk musician George Clinton who headlined on the Saturday. Electronic group Le Galaxie made their first of many appearances at the festival too. We forgot was life was like before Michael and his incredible beard.

Source: Kieran Frost

6. 2009 was the year of MGMT and Brian Wilson

Remember Aussie band ‘The Temper Trap’? Well they opened the festival in 2009 with a line up that included Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, MGMT and Madness. Ethereal being herself Florence + the Machine also made her first appearance and would return to headline in 2015.

Source: Electric Picnic

7. 2010 was the year of the vuvuzela’s 

With Roxy Muic, Leftfield and Massive Attack as the headlines, 2010 also introduced us to Mumford and Sons and was heralded as an excellent year for LCD Soundsystem’s performance.

Source: Electric Picnic

8. 2011 was an important time as the festival won ‘Best Toilets’

Interpol, Arcade Fire, The Chemical Brothers, Pulp and Underworld were all headliners in 2011. Forgotten bands from the early 2010s included Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes and Foster the People. 2011 was also a year where Bob Geldof made an appearance on the Sunday.

Source: Electric Picnic

9. Is that Ed Sheeran on the 2012 line up?

2012′s lineup saw the return of Sigur Rós, Oribital, Elbow and Hot Chip. The Killers also headlined on the Sunday with the Cure and the XX also hitting the main stage on the Saturday and Friday respectively. Look down the bottom of the line up though and you get Ed Sheeran who the year before had released his debut album but was a few years away from selling out Croke Park.

Electric Picnic 2012 - Day 1 Source: Redferns via Getty Images

 10. 2013 almost didn’t happen

A legal dispute between POD Concerts who founded EP and Festival Republic who run it meant the announcement of EP 2013 was delayed. However, happen it did with Fatboy Slim, Björk and Arctic Monkeys all headlining. Other notable acts included Ellie Goulding,  My Bloody Valentine, Disclosure and the Wu Tang Clan.

2013_poster Source: Electric Picnic

11. The lineup for 2014 was particularly good

Headliners included Portishead, Outkast and Beck with other main stagers including Foals, Paolo Nutini, Pet Shop Boys, Blondie, Simple Minds and Lily Allen. With 41,000 attending, it was the biggest EP at the time. Acts like Annie Mac, London Grammar, CHVRCHES and the 1975 drew decent crowds too with Hozier making an appearance on the Saturday.  The heart yearns for another lineup like this.

Source: Carrie Davenport

12. In 2015 the festival had grown from 10,000 to 50,000 ticket holders

Florence + the Machine returned 6 years after her debut to headline along with Sam Smith, Blur, Grace Jones and Underworld. Previous headliners Interpol returned along with Hot Chip. FKA Twigs jumped from the Little Big Stage of 2014 to one of the main attractions with Manic Street Preachers and The Boomtown Rats and Tame Impala bringing up the rear of a solid line up.

Electric Picnic 2015 - Day 2 Source: Kieran Frost

13. 2016 was the year the poster simply became too long

Headliners of LCD Soundsystem, The Chemical Brothers, New Order and Lana Del Ray had us all flocking down to Stradbally. Picture This packed out Rankin’s Wood despite having only released one song at the time. Other notable acts included Years & Years, Skepta, Bell X1, James Bay and Joey Bada$$.

Source: Debbie Hickey

14. 2017 was a bit of a throwback year

With headliners like Duran Duran and Chaka Khan, the 2017 lineup seemed to split festival goers slightly. Popular acts like the XX and A Tribe Called Quest enticed ticket holders with Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics a standout performance in the midst of pouring rain on the Saturday. Stand out performance goes to Phoenix for daring to crowd surf in the rain in Laois.

Source: Debbie Hickey

Here’s hoping that the 2018 lineup lives up to the prediction hype.

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About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

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