Electric Picnic 09 - 20 notable (non-music) moments
1. The EP crowd are older, supposedly bigger music fans and generally considered to be better behaved and more civil than your average festival gathering. But the big test was a load of mud, which usually brings ourt the worst in people. Thankfully, EP passed and everyone just carried on regardless with a smile on their face. No complaints, no mud fights, no madness.
2. Kiddies learning to rock out with their mums and dads at the fringes of tents in their wee headphones. Cue collective 'awwwwwwws' from our female colleagues. And a few from an increasingly broody Rigsy.
3. Quite a specific one, but indulge us - we loved the wee backstage black shaggy-haired dog behind the beer tent in a hi-vis vest
4. The kindly guys who winched the ATL van out of the muck on day two just as we were about to record Sugarhill Gang - we (and hip-hop) thank you.
5. The tractor thing that invaded Bangor lads Two Door Cinema Club as they started their set, prompting an evacuation and several hairy men to shout at one another. The most bizarre of all stage invasions.
6. The kid right down the front at The Flaming Lips, hanging over the barrier, singing every single word of 'Yoshimi' and 'Do You Realize'. He couldn't have been older than ten.
7. Pie, chips, gravy and mushy peas for the price of a pint (a pricey pint mind you).
8. Lisa Hannigan charming five thousand people on Saturday evening. Seriously, could this woman be any sweeter?
9. The mime artist body-popping to Major Lazer.
10. The Drag cabaret show. One of the most most random things ATL has ever saw at EP - and trust us, that's saying something.
11. Team ATL getting to dance with the Flaming Lips. Well, Amy and Rigsy anyway - Steven and Warren didn't grab a costume in time and almost missed out. Steven was practically on suicide watch, describing the moment he realized he wasn't getting on as "the most crushing thing that has ever happened to me". The look on his wee face when he triumphantly ran onstage half way through their set in a Yeti outfit that had been discarded by a tired dancer was absolutely priceless. He looked like he was going to literally burst with excitement. Bless.
12. The ability to go from seeing an angolan rap/house act to an americana bluegrass show in a mere 5 minutes.
13. Security guards who, rather than acting with open and unbridled hostility, actually enquire after your wellbeing without solicitation and wish you a safe trip home. Other festivals, take note.
14. The "esprit de (press) corps" in the media tent. Everyone is totally lovely and free of tragic lingo bingo. Susan and Dee, the lovable girls from the press association, the girl from Heineken Music, that English bloke with the floppy hair, the guy with the Weezer glasses who let you taste his chicken pie, the girl from Derry we kind of fancied a bit, the big photographer guy who always sorts us out with the photos we couldn't get and yer man we just called 'Q Magazine'. Magic. Again, other festivals, take note.
15. Northern Ireland taking the lead against Poland, our wee bit of the press area erupting with a sudden burst of celebratory noise and the rest of the place being utterly bemused, thinking the Republic must have scored against Cyprus. "Feckin' Nordies!!!"
16. ATL getting into the spirit of it all a little too much and making a total spectacle of themselves on Saturday night. We argue that a good 'work/play' ratio is important to keep morale and productivity high.
17. The sit down, authentic Japanese restaurant that was the location for a rather romantic half hour break for one particular member of team ATL. It was possible to disappear and feel like you weren't at a festival at all - sometimes a good thing.
18. Body & Soul in general. Just a beautiful place to get lost in. Four Tet played an extra gig there on Saturday night, you know.
19. All-night forest raves. ATL didn't quite make it, but all reports point to a lot of lost minds.
20. The announcement that EP is all set for its return in 2010. Please - never go away.