IT WAS A SEA­SON OF FES­TI­VAL HIGHS

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t was another big year on the Ir­ish fes­ti­val front with Elec­tric Pic­nic, Lon­gi­tude and Sea Ses­sions all sell­ing out weeks in ad­vance, and at­ten­dances up at both Forbidden Fruit and Body & Soul. Elec­tric Pic­nic was a big­ger suc­cess than ever be­fore, with record num­bers stream­ing to Strad­bally for what proved to be a stonk­ing week­end's mu­sic.

There were also pre­cious few tick­ets to be had for All

To­gether Now, which made its Au­gust Bank Hol­i­day bow on the Cur­ragh­more Es­tate in Water­ford. The three-dayer found John Reynolds, who trag­i­cally died in Oc­to­ber on the eve of another of his events, Me­trop­o­lis, re­turn­ing to his bou­tique fes­ti­val roots with a bill topped by Roisin Mur­phy, Fleet Foxes, Vil­lagers, Mura Masa, First Aid Kit, Mog­wai and Chaka Khan.

John also joined David Bell in launch­ing Vinyl, May’s con­ver­sa­tional bash, which lured such leg­endary fig­ures as Flood, Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde, Cil­lian Mur­phy, Ge­off Bar­row, Lol Tol­hurst, Scott Gorham, Tracey Thorn and Tim Burgess to the Royal Hospi­tal Kil­main­ham.

Both are tes­ti­mony to John’s imag­i­na­tion and abil­ity. He will be sorely missed.

Mean­while, in what will hope­fully be­come the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion, Elec­tric Pic­nic or­gan­is­ers Fes­ti­val Repub­lic took the bold step of sup­port­ing the launch of The Folly,a

gen­der-bal­anced two-day event in the grounds of Cul­lahill Cas­tle in Laois. The Lost Broth­ers, Cur­tis Walsh, Holly Macve and Molly Ster­ling helped make it a July week­end to re­mem­ber.

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