27 Sept 2022

'A bit of stability' - Electric Picnic promoter reveals plans for 2023 festival

'A bit of stability' - Electric Picnic promoter reveals plans for 2023 festival

With Electric Picnic still underway in sunshine between the showers, the 2023 event is already being arranged, the promoter has revealed.

Speaking on Sunday (September 4) at the festival, Melvin Benn described the return of the festival in Laois as "glorious".

"It is hard to know what's better. Is it what acts we bring or what the audience brings? The two collide and it's an amazing thing, the spirit, the craic. The amount of people that are stopping me and telling me how they were waiting for this.

"The picnic is the point where Covid gets put behind us, it's the last show where people were hanging on to their tickets," Melvin Benn said. 

Despite the torrential rain forecast throughout the weekend, he said there were very few low points. 

He said, "[There were] lots of highs actually, lots of highs. I think the low is that it's going to finish, the low is that today's the last day, the low is that Monday we'll pack it all up and we have to wait for another year." 

This year's festival went from 55,000 to 70,000 ticket holders, with Mr Benn confirming there are no plans to expand capacity in the immediate future, calling the main arena "magnificent". 

"Not in 2023," he said.

"I don't think there's a better main stage festival arena in the world better than that one now and with the screens and stage presence it's glorious, it's unbelievable. Overall I don't feel like I'm moving anything next year, I moved quite a few things this year, I don't think I'm moving anything next year so a bit of stability there," he added. 

The promoter has huge hopes for the future in regards to sustainability and hopes to someday be able to power the main stage with renewable energy sources. 

He said, "I think very big businesses should be doing that and Electric Picnic will certainly be making a stand on that position doing everything we can to do that." 

Tickets for next year are going on sale this Saturday, he said, and there is another big change planned.

"It is going fully digital. There will be no more queues at Ticketmaster. The loyalty programme will continue," he said.

They are already in discussion with performers for next year, however Mr Benn did not drop any hints. 

Despite mucky paths and quite a few soaked tents and sleeping bags, the rain stopped early Sunday morning leaving the day unexpectedly sunny.

According to Mr Benn, it is down to the ideal location of Stradbally in Laois. 

"The local hills managed that," Melvin said, explaining how a local told him that rain breaks on the hills north of Laois taking the brunt away from the valley of Stradbally. 

He feels that Laois has truly welcomed the picnic back, after a two year break due to the Covid pandemic.

"Laois has been really really welcoming, literally across the board, everyone has been really welcoming," he said.

He is proud to have returned the festival at a bigger size to Laois. 

"It's huge pride but part of that pride is being able to bring so many creative people together. So many creative people help make the picnic what it is. Giving them that opportunity to express themselves is actually also a source of pride for me. They make the picnic what it is," Mr Benn said. 

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