- 02 Sep 18
The Managing Director of Festival Republic Melvin Benn reveals his favourite acts at this year's festival. "Dua Lipa probably had the largest audience we've ever seen.. it's pop, but it's pop that talks to, in particular, young women."
He admitted that there is a stigma to pop music, and he has set out to change that. "Sometimes there is a superiority... that want to knock pop...I am not one of those people. That's why we've got Seamus Heaney... in Mindfield." By mixing pop and more high brow culture, Benn hopes to introduce people to new genres. "The idea that somehow we should be superior to pop, I'm not into that."
With the ever-growing popularity of the festival, Benn admits that he has big plans for the future. "I'm definitely going to make it a little bit more spacious. I'm looking to incorporate another field into the main Stage area."
He acknowledges that the scale and demand for Electric Picnic is unbelievable, even compared to UK festivals. "Glasonbury... sells 130,000 tickets in a population of 65 million. The Picnic is selling 50,000 tickets in an Irish population."
When asked what new segment has worked well. Benn replied: "I'm delighted with Berlin house, that's really been a big treat for me." He also expressed delight at the incredible aerial display which took place on Saturday night after Massive Attack. The performance was made up of seventy volunteers and in order to perform, they had to refrain from alcohol for the whole weekend.
Another highlight was the all-female comedy line-up on Thursdasy night. "I think the women's comedy on Thursday night was absolutely fantastic for me. The opportunity, the platform... of being able to have a full women line-up, in any comedy stage at a major festival, that's politics. That's real life politics, it's not just talking politics."
When asked how many years did Electric Picnic will go on for, he answers assuredly: "Forever."
- 08 Dec 23