With Summer looming, the appetite for thumping music, sunshine and warm cans is resonating in everyone’s bellies. A plethora of Irish festivals are on the horizon to help quail this hunger and we’ve asked TCD student and VT Brand Ambassador, Dylan Wynne O’Sullivan, to take a look at the top 3 weekenders that aren’t to be missed.
When: May 24th-26th
Where: Belvedere House and Gardens, Westmeath
Why: Unbeatable Array of Techno Artists
Up first is Ireland’s biggest electronic music festival, Life. Every year, the festival boasts a disgracefully large line-up and this year will be no different. If you’re a house heavyweight, acts such as Bicep and Kerri Chandler will scratch your itch to groove and give you the perfect soundtrack to the summer decadence. If scaldy, sweaty warehouses are more your forte, Berlin’s FJAAK or the industrial I Hate Models will wrestle you into a rave oblivion, full submission.
While most of the big names will grace the main stage or the District 8 stage throughout the weekend, Life is renowned for giving rise to Ireland’s own hidden gems. Boots and Kats’ infamous sunrise set at the smaller, yet intimate, Toast stage is a guaranteed weekend highlight. The pair are renowned for the unique party atmosphere they detonate, due to their diverse disco set list, toggling from Chic to Armand van Helden with ease. With an endless amount of dancing to be done, the lake shore offers a morning swim, to cool down and wash away the sins of the night before. Simply put, Life is the emerald isle’s most complete electronic camping festival experience, truly unmissable for any keen tech fiend.
Outfit Inspiration: Whilst last year saw a plethora of Liverpool jerseys given the Champions League final, expect to see vintage brands such as Kappa, Fila and Umbro decorated across moody tees, tanks and rave jackets given the hot climate.
Body and Soul
When: June 21st -23rd
Where: Ballinclough Castle, Westmeath
Why: Earth Focused Ethos and Overall Bohemian Brilliance
Another 3-day camping festival located in Westmeath, Body and Soul focuses more on the hedonistic vibe and bohemian atmosphere it exudes as opposed to just facilitating a techno bonanza. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, installations exploring the various perspectives of visionary artists and eco-friendly policies have always been at Body and Soul’s core, giving it an authentic niche not seen at other Irish festival. In addition to promoting their well-being orientated message, the festival is also decorated with talented musical acts to further the artistic and cultural cleansing.
A broad variety of genres are explored throughout the weekend with Wicklow raised Berlin based producer, Mano le Tough, an essential set for those attending in 2019, if you need any convincing checkout his AVA boiler room and Panorama Bar sets as proof of his melodic genius. . Other notable acts include style renegade, Santigold, and indie goddesses Pillow Queens, who will fuse a variety of elements into their performances, yielding a rich, euphoric experience. Whilst the line-up doesn’t exceed Life festival’s, the sheer emphasis on providing a utopian, artistic escape for festival goers makes Body and Soul one of this summer’s premier fixtures in the sun.
Outfit Inspiration: Given the festival’s trippy hippy aura, more abstract attire will always resonate well with the weekend’s mood. Oversized shirts donning Aztec prints will be perfect for staying cool at the campsite whilst also flexing your wavey Buddha vibe.
When: 30th August-September 1st
Where: Stradbally Hall, Laois
Why: The Ability to infuse mainstream with the underground
Electric Picnic, often referred to as EP by punters, is Ireland’s best-known festival. EP is often labelled the Irish Glastonbury, with a diverse line up boasting mainstream artists from all sorts of genres. This year will see artists such as The Streets, James Blake and The Strokes make their way to the midlands. Despite being considerably more commercial than both Life and Body & Soul, EP does boast many underground stages. The Anachronica stage is an eerie, dark and dystopian rave in the woods which will host venomous techno DJs into the night, supplemented with an incredible light show and boisterous crowd. 2018 also saw the introduction of a secret underground rave bunker, inspired by Berlin’s club sphere.
Despite the commercial appeal of EP, its sheer diversity and versatility offers any type of music lover an unforgettable experience. It also conveniently takes place at the end of summer, giving students one last chance to purge those sins before bashing the books.
Outfit Inspiration: As the late August Irish climate is less sun laden, techy fleeces donning Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren logos will keep you cosy during the nocturnal raves whilst also achieving that edgy aesthetic.
What an absolutely rascal summer of action the beautiful isle of Ireland has in store for itself over the next few months, with other festivals such as Beatyard and Forbidden Fruit amongst the notable absentees from this top 3.
Fair well out there lovely Irish ravers and sesh hungry visitors, buckle up and stay wavey.