This is your four-week fes­ti­val warn­ing

Con­sider ev­ery week­end from now un­til the end of May as train­ing ses­sions for the fes­ti­val sea­son

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - Louise Bru­ton

When snow is fore­cast for April it’s hard to see be­yond the grey hori­zon, but Joe God­dard’s new al­bum, Elec­tric Lines, lifted me from the gloom and trans­ported me to a sum­mer’s night, lost in the wiles of the Ir­ish mu­sic fes­ti­val.

You’re in an over­crowded and over­heated dance tent. As you come out the clap of cold air saves you. Your shirt is as unbuttoned, rolled up or re­moved as it can be, your bulky yet sen­si­ble rain coat is tied around your waist, and your Coke bot­tle filled with luke­warm Buck­fast be­comes your scep­tre, which you wave around to il­lus­trate your mid­night chat­ter. You hop from foot to foot, in time with the mu­sic, even if none’s play­ing any more.

The goose­bumps on your arms sig­nify that your body temperature is re­turn­ing to nor­mal, the thud of far-off mu­sic is now no louder than the buzz of the con­ver­sa­tion, and you are ready to go and do some­thing: ei­ther head for the woods or buy an over­priced drink at the cock­tail bar.

That’s what Elec­tric Lines feels like. Granted, a few tracks sound as if God­dard stud­ied the Dev Hynes guide to pro­duc­ing lo-tempo songs with a fe­male voice, but the over­all vibe is that

sum­mer’s just around the cor­ner and we’re go­ing to have a great time.

Con­sider ev­ery week­end un­til the end of May as a prac­tice ses­sion for the sum­mer of fes­ti­vals.

For­bid­den Fruit (June 3rd-5th) will de­liver Danny Brown, Fly­ing Lo­tus, Moderat, Nao, Booka Shade and, with a DJ set, Hot Chip (Hey Joe!) as armies of peo­ple swing­ing bags of cans pa­rade their way to Kil­main­ham and tut at peo­ple wear­ing Na­tive Amer­i­can head-dresses. When the sun comes out for a grand to­tal of 30 min­utes there’ll be a cho­rus of “And to think we could have wasted our money and gone to Pri­mav­era in­stead – LOL.”

Your friends will ex­haust ev­ery Face­book com­pe­ti­tion go­ing in the build-up to Body &

Soul (June 23rd to 25th), in Co West­meath, try­ing to win tick­ets so they can treat ev­ery chip van play­ing Todd Terje’s In­spec­tor Norse as if it’s a main-stage act.

As mis­er­able damp win­ter days are re­placed by mag­i­cal damp sum­mer nights, our delu­sions are played up so we can have a good time in a field for 72 hours. You lose it all – your mind, your phone and your friend Mary, who was last seen with a blonde by the Fer­ris wheel – on the Fri­day night and re­fuel it all come Sun­day af­ter­noon with dry sham­poo, a Be­rocca and a hand­ful of Crazy Caramels, Tesco’s knock-off Mars bars. You pour one out for the friend who for­got to book Mon­day off work as you try to scratch last night’s glit­ter out of your eyes.

Na­tion­wide, young peo­ple will go on pil­grim­ages along scenic walk­ways such as the Bray-to-Grey­stones route, on their cho­sen week­ends off booze, so they can re­ju­ve­nate for the next big one. The ease of smaller events like An­other

Love Story (Au­gust 18th-20th), in Co Meath, and Castlepaloo

za (Au­gust 4th-6th), in Co Of­faly, are mini­breaks com­pared to the rest.

The fi­nal fling, Elec­tric Pic­nic (Septem­ber 1st-3rd), is the an­nual re­minder of who ex­pects to have ev­ery­thing done for them, as Face­book sta­tuses re­quest lifts, free tick­ets or spare tents. Your usual cul­prits will swear they’ll never re­turn to Strad­bally, but some­how they ar­rive on Sun­day with a day ticket, just as you knew they would, all giddy and clean, say­ing that the fomo was too strong.

The Ir­ish fes­ti­val cir­cuit rarely changes – maybe to the point of ex­haus­tion – but the Buzz, sci­en­tif­i­cally a very dif­fi­cult thing to shake off, will get you. It can creep up on you when you least ex­pect it, and if it hasn’t got you now then, just like sum­mer, it’s right around the cor­ner.

Take a bow: Daithí on the Body & Soul stage at Elec­tric Pic­nic

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