With festival line ups being announced every second day, there’s no doubt about it – festival season is just around the corner and we can’t wait!

Ireland offers an abundance of festivals to choose from filled with artists from all over the world it’s sometimes hard to pick just one, especially for first time goers. Big festivals can often seem like the best option and while they often are everything you hoped for the smaller ones should not be overlooked.

Electric Picnic is often the first to spring to most minds when “big Irish festival” is mentioned. Selling out to almost 50,000 people, last year was the festival’s biggest year yet. The line up included acts such as Blur, Underworld and Florence and the Machine. The festival promises a variety of activities and aims to transport festival goes into to fairy-tale like land where the real world seems like a million miles away.

However it is Electric Picnic’s little sister, Indiependence, which provides quite a similar experience on a much smaller scale. Being my first festival experience in 2013, Indiependence will always have a place in my heart and it’s one I will always return to. Situated in Co. Cork, the three day camping festival has grown from a capacity of 5,000 t0 8,000 in just three years.

Originally an open air event held in the town square of Mitchelstown, the festival saw international artists such as Basement Jaxx grace their stage in 2015. It has also seen artists such as Public Enemy, Tom Odell, De La Soul and Bastille visit over the years. With tickets selling for just €90 at the early bird price Indiependence offers a similar experience to Electric Picnic for half the price.

So which is better? There’s no clear answer to this. However, Indiependence is a great start for a first time festival goer. It promises the same amazing atmosphere, music and crowd as Electric Picnic but on a baby scale so you can avoid the sometimes intimidating crowds of Picnic.

Over the past few years I’ve made the effort to get to at least one summer festival and if there’s one thing not to miss this summer it’s the Irish festival experience. Other festivals such as Longitude, Body and Soul, Knockanstocken, Life Festival and Forbidden Fruit are also starting to release line ups for the summer leaving us totally spoilt for choice.

So if you don’t mind living in wellies for a few days get yourself to at least one of the amazing festivals out there this year. I can promise you won’t regret it.

By Emily Hawkins


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