28 Things We’re Looking Forward To At #EP13
The search for EP tickets is on for this year’s sold out festival as a weekend wristband becomes more coveted than an All Ireland Final ticket; but if you’re already smugly sorted for Stradbally then it’s time to start looking forward to three days of whimsical, mystical, musical field-based fun times.
Here’s what Ramp’s looking forward to. See ya down by the chairoplanes, internet mates.
1. THE ROADTRIP
Tour de Picnic people get to feel good about themselves as they sweat out the miles down to Laois, raising money for charity from atop their bicycles. Dedicated drinkers get to crack open their first can while they’re waiting for the bus. But for our money, the real craic to be had is in bundling your mates into the car, wedging a tent on top of them, and hitting the road with your EP playlist blasting out at an obnoxious volume. Whip out the Google Maps app, set your destination to ‘The Last Hurrah of the Summer’ and get going.
2. THE LAND GRAB
In the Wild West, one could acquire land simply by galloping fast enough and laying claim to it. (We know this because we saw Far & Away once.) EP is very similar. It’s important to get a good spot in proximity but not in smelling or leaking distance of the loos, not to mention on a flat bit of ground and away from the edges of mud paths and walking routes. You can do this by arriving relatively early and then throwing down all your worldly possessions in an aggressive circle that marks the boundary of your land. It’s kind of like pissing in a circle labrador-style, but with fewer judgmental looks. And the feeling of achievement when you get a good spot just sets you up for the weekend.
3. THE TRIUMPH CAN
Have you carted all your shit from car park to campsite? Have you pitched a tent a nerdy cub scout would be proud of? Have you made friends with the neighbours and hoisted a flag that’s visible for miles in case you get lost on your way back to camp in the middle of the night? Well done you. You are officially ready to festival. Plonk down and have your first drink of the weekend – the triumph can.
4. THE ‘I’D NO FUCKING IDEA YOU WERE COMING’
Ireland. Where you’re considered unpopular if you actually require the full six degrees of separation to connect you with another citizen. This weekend about 1 in every 120 people in the country is going to converge on Stradbally. How are your odds looking for bumping into someone you know? Fucking mighty. Start looking forward to hearing the surprised roar of your name, to being accosted from behind in drunken hugs, to legging it through the grass in excitement to throw yourself on someone who you haven’t seen since this time last year. Bumping into happy mates when you’re happy is a grand old way to pass the day. You’ll agree to meet up again over the weekend but it’ll never happen, so savour the moment and take at least one out-of-focus photograph.
5. THE UNEXPECTED ACT
You will stumble, probably in the wee hours of night 1, into a half-filled tent. You will have a few merry friends in tow. You will be bantering away. Slowly, you’ll all realise that whoever this band are they are FUCKING EXCELLENT. You will spend the rest of the weekend telling everyone you meet about your surprise hit of the festival. Fucked if you remember what they were called though.
6. SAINT JOHN THE GAMBLER
Gypsy swing. You know what your weekend needs? Gypsy swing. You know what kind of band Saint John The Gambler are? Gypsy swing. Just picture yourself reeling and swinging around in your wellies and you’ve got the idea. They’re playing the Salty Dog. Don’t say we didn’t tell you.
7. THE IMPROMPTU WEDDING
What’s that, an inflatable church? Oh, what craic! Immediately marry someone from your circle of friends. If anyone opts for a same-sex union, you can introduce them to new people all weekend with the comment, “This is Mary/John/Sue/whoever… she’s on bad terms with Russia.”
8. THE ELECTRIC PICNIC PARLIAMENT
Mary ‘Mammy’ O’Rourke is political Marmite… you either love her or you hate her. Here in Ramp HQ, we have a shameful liking for a bit of cute hoorism despite leaning ever so slightly leftways, and we have a soft spot for Mammy. She’s going to be chairing the Electric Picnic Parliament at the Leviathan Stage in Mindfield. Would you like some politics with your hangover? Of course you would. By the way, here’s our hottest tip of the weekend… Mindfield has lots of seating and you’ll sit through anything on a Sunday morning for a chance to plant your arse on anything other than a damp patch of grass. DON”T FORGET TO GET YOUR PHOTO TAKEN WITH MAMMY O”ROURKE.
9. THE CHAIROPLANES
Round and round and round we go, beer rising in our throats and threatening to overflow…
Chairoplanes are great. More craic than most of your friends, in fact. Hand over your money and engage in some childlike fun or we don’t even want to know you. One year, it was the vantage point of a chairoplane that allowed a member of team Ramp to spy a cheeky score and confirm a rumoured Friday night tent ride. So there you go. Chairoplanes. Fun and FUNctional.
10. AMY HUBERMAN
Hubes is doing something at the Arts Council Literary Tent in Mindfield. Nobody has revealed what yet. But it involves Roísin Ingle. Maybe they’ll wrestle or fight to the death? Either way, we’ve packed popcorn.
11. THE SATURDAY MORNING WAKE UP
Waking up in your tent. Not yet that filthy. A bit hungover but alive with the prospect of all those tunes and larks stretched out ahead of you. Maybe your bottle of water is within stretching distance. Maybe you can hear a few mates chatting in the next tent over. Maybe, somewhere in the campsite, someone is yelling ‘Alan’ and someone is shouting back ‘Steve’. Maybe you managed to make your best-yet pillow out of your sleeping bag cover and jumpers. There’s nothing like Saturday morning at EP, you’re firmly in festival mode but there’s so much more fun to be had.
Electric Picnic is a foodie’s dream festival. We are vaguely surprised that they don’t release a food vendor line-up along with the bands and the comedians, because we are definitely not above awaiting the confirmed ‘acts’ with bated breath and excitedly tweeting “PIEMINISTER, SATURDAY NIGHT, SOME STAGE”. Some Stage? Get it. Hilarious, that’s us.
13. DYLAN MORAN
We recently did a Dylan Moran reccie at the Vodafone Comedy Festival and we can confirm that he is unbelievably hilarious at the moment. He’s headlining the Comedy Tent – or as we oldies like to know it – the only tent where the attendees sit down all civilized like to watch the act. The Comedy Tent is where you go when you’re all danced out and you need to recuperate. Recuperating with the world’s finest drunk Irishman, Bernard Black, has to be on your bucket list, and it’s time to tick that off.
14. THE MOMENT
There will be a moment, probably on Saturday night, where you will find yourself alone having lost your mates somewhere along the way. It doesn’t matter – you are fine. You are having a lovely time. The main arena is all shiny and delightful. Your trench foot isn’t aching as badly as it was earlier. You might even make a new friend. Your internal monologue is going full tilt, confirming to you that life is grand. You are young and happy and you are in a field and real life is suspended and you’re always within six feet of a burger and someone sold you a drink and let you keep the bottle cap. Soon you’ll rejoin your friends and there’ll be dancing and somebody will take a photograph and someone else will say something that will become a catchphrase for the next six months, but for now you’re just having a quiet wander through a big happy crowd – and if there are better moments in life, you haven’t known them yet.
15. THE NEW FRIENDS
You’re passing each other…passing…passing. Wait! Someone has commented on your wellies or asked you a song lyric or asked for directions to Trenchtown. NEW BEST FRIENDS. Two groups of mates pause on a pathway and banter back and forth. Maybe everyone will sing a few lines of something from the 90s. Each person will think inside their head about how sound this new group of people is. Before long, everyone will return to what they were doing, but you have the story, ‘Remember we bumped into that crowd from Mayo? They were legends.’
16. DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD
4pm. Saturday. Main Stage. Neil Hannon sings about cricket. See – you’ve sold you on it in less than 10 words, haven’t we? Good.
17. THE NEW DRINK
What’s that… mixed up a killer cocktail you’ve never even thought of before? Somehow when conditions are just right (dark, crouched on the ground outside a tent, mixing together the dregs of all the bottles of spirits you bought in Lidl) the right drink just comes to you. It tastes like lollipops and hope and tomorrow it will be listed as your cause of death but now, now it is your dance potion.
18. BRONAGH GALLAGHER AND HER BAND
BERNIE FROM THE COMMITMENTS IS IN A REAL BAND. Step one, attend her set at the Salty Dog stage. Step two, pretend you’re Jimmy Rabbitte and go around offering your card to people and saying you’re the band manager. Everyone will hate you, obviously, but you’ll think you’re great craic.
19. FREE EARPLUGS
According to this article sourced by our Paul, My Bloody Valentine will be supplying free earplugs to avoid any occurrences of My Burst Eardrum. Free shit! Whoo! Also we just like the random of it.
20. MATE LOVE
There will be an inevitable mate sing-song at some point, wherein everyone will achieve a tuneful harmony that nobody is capable of outside of festival conditions. Early on in verse one, you will start committing these few minutes to memory. You have all converged on this point and you will diverge again. Maybe you’ll get older and see each other less. Maybe people will move in and out of your circle. But these are the people that matter to you and they’re singing – we recommend The Frog Chorus – and possibly the sun is coming up. Arms wrap around each other. Swaying happens. Ah, friends.
It’s a precarious wee tightrope you walk, launching into Dancergy when you know you’re not within miles of a real shower, but we can tell you from last year that it is the best of craic. Bright-lycra-wearing Mr Motivator leads the crew in a series of jumps and stretches that leave your smile muscles fully worked out. It’s all headed up by the Electric Ireland team and they have a Dancergy tent right up beside the Comedy Tent. Make it your business at some point during the weekend. Maybe just after you’ve had a bellyfull of cake from one of the tempting stalls in Mindfield across the way.
22. THEATRE OF FOOD
If chefs are your favorite kind of celebrity, then the Theatre of Food is the perfect EP altar for you to worship at. We’re particularly excited about Derry Clarke because he’s a silver fox, but you prefer anyone from Kevin Thornton to Clodagh McKenna or the lads from L Mulligan Grocer. Everyone will be there. And they’re going to talk food and make food and with any luck shove free samples at our greedy hungover gobs. Nom.
23. SCIENCE GALLERY STAGE
What time is it? Oh yeah, NERD O’CLOCK. This year’s Science Gallery line-up includes mind reading, walking on water and exploding hydrogen. We can’t hardly wait.
24. MIDNIGHT 99
We know, we know, it sounds like an excellent name for a band, but actually we just mean having an ice-cream cone at midnight. It’s incongruous and delightful and you don’t much get to do it except at festivals. Enjoy.
25. BODY & SOUL
Look, right, there’s massages and ponds and things hanging from trees and nice things made of wood and lots of hippies. It’s an oasis of calm in a dancey, drinky world. Steal away off for a little bit and recharge the batteries – we don’t mean your phone battery. That’s fucked any time past Saturday afternoon. They also have hot tubs – which is how we like to refer to Ryan Tubridy at all other times of year but let’s not dwell on our crushes…
26. THE LAST ACT
Just when you think you have no energy left and your legs are just two stumps keeping your arse a few inches from the ground, you’ll get that last burst of energy so you can dance away Sunday night. This year it’s The Arctic Monkeys on the Main Stage and we will see you there, fine chap.
27. MONDAY. YOUR OWN BED.
Drop bags to ground, leave wellies on or off we don’t even care, mash face into duvet, don’t move until you feel better. It’s all over ’til next year and now you’ve got the feel of mattress under you, sure you’re a lord.
Hey you, guess what. You’re still young. Your survived another festival with nothing but a box of Anadins and the clothes on your back. See you next year.