IRELAND’S largest festival adds over 50 acts to its main programming this week, whilst independent festivals and promoters make their marks in other corners of the world.
On top of its line-up announcements on the fringe stages Trenchtown and Terminus, Electric Picnic have made the formal announcement of their main programming. A legendary gathering of music and art, Electric Picnic will take place at Stradbally Hall in County Laois.
With international headliners such as Megan Thee Stallion, Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala, organisers have also made sure to include a healthy smattering of native talent. Representing the north, indie-rockers The Florentinas, Psych-pop outfit Lemonade Shoelace and rap trio Kneecap are amongst those who will take to the various stages from the 2nd to the 4th of September.

And speaking of Kneecap, the provocative three-piece took to their various socials to thank “the DUP and all our loyal supporters” following the unveiling of their new mural in the west of the city ahead of their performance at Féile an Phobail. Hardly their first time going through the news cycle, with their debut C.E.A.R.T.A. banned from RTÉ airwaves and their ‘warm welcome’ for the royal family during their headline performance in the Empire Music Hall. Alliance’s Naomi Long and DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson voiced concern and criticism, in that order, of the new art installation ahead of the trio’s performance in Falls Park to an audience of 10,000. I seem to remember Mark E. Smith said something about that once...

In more international facing news, we received word from AVA festival of their fringe events around the world taking place in late September. Teaming up with Dublin and Glasgow, as well as in their home of Belfast, ‘AVA Connections’ is a series of outlier parties that celebrate not just Belfast’s connection and contribution to the wider electronic world but also to spread the good word of AVA. Big-hitters such as Joy Orbison and FJAAK have all been confirmed for the relevant lineups.

It’s not the only news to come in, however, with the organisers of Irish queer club night Satellite Towns announcing their first foray into London. The brainchild of Irish DJs Sohotsospicy and Gadget and the Cloud, the club night will serve as a home-from-home for those who’ve moved from the cultural chasm of Dublin into the UK, with its first night held in Dalston. Organiser Aoife and Kelly said: “Our aim is to provide a platform for queer Irish artists to find their footing in London and to build a home away from home for musicians, DJs, dancers, drag queens and party-goers. We want to make moving away from home an easier, more welcoming process and to celebrate the amazing talents Ireland has to offer.”
Our final piece of live news this week comes from singer-songwriter Ryan McMullan. Rising to prominence through performances with Foy Vance and touring with Ed Sheeran, he’s been on the path to being a household name in Ireland for some time. Unfortunately, this week McMullan reported he would be taking a break from all performances for the rest of the year, barring his headlines in Belfast and Derry. Addressing his fans in a public statement, the pop singer wrote: “I'm heartbroken to have to do this, especially with the release of my debut album, but the truth is I've been struggling a lot lately with my mental health, and after speaking to professionals and my incredibly supportive team, I have decided that the best thing for me to do right now is to take a step back from touring.” We can only wish Ryan the very best as he recovers and looks after his health.

: Dublin trio Just Wondering release their new single ‘Just My Luck’ – they feel like a band whose time may have come

: Dublin trio Just Wondering release their new single ‘Just My Luck’ – they feel like a band whose time may have come

The spotlight this week falls on Dublin trio Just Wondering and their new single ‘Just My Luck’. Sonic chameleons as they are, the new track flits between alt-pop, hip hop, dance, electronic and indie at a frenetic pace. With a distinct retro aesthetic style and an impossibly contemporary sound, Just Wondering feels like a band of the moment.