Electric Picnic has made some changes for the better!
To begin with, the festival is going to be longer than ever. For the first time, there will be entertainment on the Thursday night. Festival-goers have always been able to arrive at the campsite the night before the festival begins to avail of the best spots to pitch their tents. Now the organisers have announced there will be an all-female comedy line-up to open the festival on the Thursday night.
Melvin Benn, Festival Director, said “The Thursday night will have incredible meaning as well as incredible comedians”
Bosses hope it will “bring more gender balance to the festival” after they noticed a lack of female comedians on line-ups.
The Thursday night of female comedians will be MCed by international star Joanne McNally.
The line-up includes Aoife Dooley, Lisa Casey, Sharon Mannion, Aine Gallagher, Harriet Braine, Ashlee Bentley, Sahar Ali, Blaithin DeBurca, Aoife O’Connor, Christina McMahon, Orla O’Doherty Brown, Fiona Frawley and Grace Mulvey.
Electric Picnic to host all-female comedy lineup as a result of a chance meeting between Melvin Bragg and Emily O’Callaghan, a sometime stand-up who bemoaned the lack of women on the lineups at festival. pic.twitter.com/mSszSu3qsY
— Louise McSharry (@louisemcsharry) December 11, 2017
Melvin Benn spoke of how he first started an initiative to aid female musicians to get recognition: “We launched a first initiative in the UK in August this year; ReBalance, which will enable future and current female musicians within the industry, to have the support they need to be recognised.
He said in Ireland, the priority of the festival would be to elevate Irish female comedians: “In Ireland, our first step is to introduce an all-female comedy line up which will perform on Thursday night on the Hazel Wood stage”.
Emily Callaghan commented on how the new addition of Thursday night will be the perfect time to showcase female comedy: “Every act at The Hazel Wood Comedy stage will be hand-picked. I’m really excited to run this and I hope many people will wander down to the woods on Thursday and be blown away by the talent on display. I am so excited to see the show myself as there will be so many acts that I admire and who make me laugh. I am also delighted to announce we have the amazing Joanne McNally on board as MC. It’s the perfect start to kick off the weekend and I know that the audience will love it”