100s of acts, seven stages and more tofu burgers than you could ever hope to Instagram, the gift of bi-location is needed more than ever at this year's Electric Picnic which kicks off on Friday. To help you out, we've chosen some personal recommendations for a weekend of mind and foot-expanding music.
Kendrick Lamar - Main Stage, Friday, 10.40pm
You probably don’t need reminding, but Kendrick Lamar’s Electric Picnic set is not to be missed. After the rapper last treated his Irish fans to a blistering set at his sold-out 3Arena gig in February, his main stage festival appearance this weekend is highly-hyped. And rightly so. At his impressive one-man show in the 3Arena he played banger after banger from his back catalogue, including Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe and Swimming Pools (Drank) from his 2012 release Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, King Kunta and Alright from To Pimp a Butterfly and a string of hits from his seminal 2017 work Damn. my favourite of which was Love. All hail the King! Sarah McIntyre
The Murder Capital - Other Voices Stage, Friday, 5:10pm; Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow, Saturday, 3:50pm
For a bit of grit amidst all the glamping, join the furrowed brow faithful as one of the most talked-about Dublin bands put it up to the Picnic. The post-punk flame burns bright in The Murder Capital's music, and with it the excitement that there are much bigger blazes to come. What a way to start a Friday night away from home. Harry Guerin
The Prodigy - Main Stage, Sunday, 10.30pm
What better way to rave away the end of EP than with The Prodigy? The iconic electronic group are closing the festival’s main stage on Sunday, a sure fire remedy for any festival goer’s flagging energy. If we had to pick just five tracks we’d love to hear on the night they’d have to be Breathe, No Good (Start the Dance), Out of Space, Voodoo People and, for good measure, Firestarter. This is bound to be incendiary. SM
N.E.R.D. - Main Stage, Saturday 10.30pm
If you were a kid of the noughties you probably remember Pharrell Williams’ electro rock side project N.E.R.D. for their hits such as Rock Star, Lapdance and She Wants to Move, and really who wouldn’t want to see those performed live? The band released their first album in seven years, No One Ever Really Dies, last year which has a more complex, discordant sound than what fans were used to, but the gamble paid off. How the tracks will translate to a live setting is another question, but Pharrell is sure to be an electrifying performer. SM
The Fontaines DC, Body & Soul Stage, Sunday, 8:15
Here's a band to open the portal back to that swagger you had a few years ago but misplaced somewhere along the way. The Villagers-endorsed Fontaines DC get it right in terms of shapes and - crucially - songs. They look like a gang, and they sound like one too. Riffs aplenty and Dublin repartee to go with them, it looks like 2019 will be a very good year with the release of their debut album. See them now before you're battling for elbow room with the late latecomers in 12 months' time. HG
Wild Youth - Rankin’s Wood, Sunday, 3.30pm
Dublin band Wild Youth, consisting of Callum McAdam, Ed Porter, David Whelan, Conor O'Donohoe, are Electric Picnic newbies, so we’d say they’ll be bringing out the big guns for their Sunday set. We think these guys are set for big things judging by their super catchy, pop-rock sound tinged with electronic touches. You’ve probably heard their new single Can’t Move On which is on heavy rotation on Irish radio stations, as well as their second single Lose Control, which had an amazingly choreographed video. Some great sing-along opportunities here we reckon. SM
George Ezra - Main Stage, Sunday, 7.00pm
Given the ubiquity of Shotgun, the radio hit of the summer in Ireland, it’s surprising that young master Ezra hasn’t been bumped up higher on the Sunday night Main Stage bill. With a voice of sand and glue that belies his 25 years, the Hertfordshire man’s rise has been quiet and stealthy since the release of his triple platinum debut album Wanted on Voyage in 2014. He consolidated that with this year's Staying at Tamara’s, a follow-up that did that rare thing in modern pop - gained him an even bigger audience in a culture of instant grat and Spotify playlists. Ezra isn’t exactly bleeding edge but there’s something solid about his classic tune smithery and the grit of his expressive voice - especially before the final madness of Sunday night at EP descends. Alan Corr
Delorentos - Electric Arena, Friday, 7.15pm
Resilient is one word you could apply to industrious Irish foursome Delorentos. Blazing with self-belief and committed to hard work, the hugely melodic band have delivered album after album of sparky and vibrant guitar pop that put Ireland’s recent crop of touchy feely boy band rockers to shame. Earlier this year Delorentos finally did it - they produced a modern Irish classic in the shape of True Surrender. Always an energetic live act, expect songs from their earlier albums but also tracks from that soul-stirring latest album, including S.O.S. and the superlative In Darkness We feel Our Way. AC
Wyvern Lingo - Electric Arena, Sunday, 3pm
If you are in the mood for a chilled and relaxed Sunday afternoon then retro pop sensations, Wyvern Lingo, are just your ticket. The Bray trio have been making their mark in the Irish music industry since they formed, first as friends back in school, and now this highly-touted vocal harmony, are the ‘ones-to-watch’ on the Irish music scene.
From their dazzling harmonies and R&B flavoured rhythms, to their soulful lyrics that both celebrate and empower women, these talented ladies are a force to be reckoned with.
The group previously played EP in 2014 and received rave reviews for their haunting live show. Since then, they’ve toured with fellow Wicklow native Hozier, along with releasing their self-titled album, which threw a keen eye on real-world issues.
We can wait to have a bop to I Love You Sadie. It's going to be awesome. Laura Delaney
Dua Lipa - Main Stage, Saturday, 9.45pm
After a successful year of sold-out shows, chart-topping tunes, and becoming the most-streamed British female artist on Spotify, along with domination this year's BRIT Awards with nominations in 5 categories, the pop sensation is ready to party at Stradbally. Dua played an off the charts set at Longitude Festival this summer, and we've no doubt that she'll be in top form over the weekend. Get ready to throw some shapes to New Rules, IDGAF, One Kiss and more epic tunes. LD
Massive Attack - Main Stage, Saturday (Friday night), 12.15am
On the go for 30 years now, Massive Attack are - whether they like it or not - seen as the creators of trip-hop, thanks to their moody, atmospheric sound that was inspired by a broad musical palette that included film soundtrack, dub, and early PIL. Although they've released just five albums in that period, they remain a popular and hugely respected act. Indeed, their first and third albums, Blue Lines and Mezzanine, feature in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. They'll forever be remembered for the hit single Unfinished Sympathy and its unforgettable video, but there's an awful lot more to enjoy, especially in a live setting. John Byrne
St Vincent - Electric Arena, Sunday, 9.00pm
As anyone who saw her play at Dublin's Olympia will testify, St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) is a pretty impressive live act. As well as sounding and looking great, she's got that elusive magnetism as well. This time around, she won't be performing solo – so fans who caught her then can expect a completely different live experience. She's been favourably compared to Prince. Five albums into her career, what you're likely to hear this weekend is the pick of her back catalogue, and a sizeable chunk of the recent Masseduction album, her first to break the US top ten. JB