When new festival Forbidden Fruit was announced for Ireland in 2011 many thought it was as crazy as it was brave. In the few years after the recession, the first belt hole to tighten was our party stashes, as clubs, pubs and festivals folded.
Looking back though, the addition of Forbidden Fruit was a shrewd move. With a setting of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, it was Ireland’s first proper city festival, offering the tent and field capers you’d get at the Picnic. It’s no more than five minutes from regular public transport, with the bonus of having a bed each night.
The goodwill to the weekender was set out from year one, with Aphex Twin as a huge scalp, along with Flaming Lips, Battles and Jamie xx and Caribou before they were headline status. Over the next three editions, the festival straddled the line between electronica, hip-hop and guitar bands, with knockout headliners like Chic, New Order and 2 Many DJs, as well as booking Kasabian in 2013 to try and hoover up the Oxegen crowd.
This year organisers have taken a bit of a left turn for the better — channelling the bookings largely towards hip-hop, house and techno, specialising without becoming wilfully obscure. The three headliners have all headlined to crowds bigger than a festival main stage — with Fatboy Slim once turning Brighton beach into a 250,000-strong rave and Wu-Tang Clan topping festival bills worldwide.
Techno innovator Richie Hawtin plays to thousands weekly at international festivals and residencies in Ibiza, so he’s hardly a gamble either. And once we’re snared by the big names, we still have killer hip-hop acts like Joey Bada$$, Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt and the biggest rap success story of recent years, Run the Jewels.
Wu-Tang set to Bring da Ruckus
Techno artists, Swede Adam Beyer, Belfast man Ejeca and Dubliner Matador will go toe-to-toe with Richie Hawtin’s relentless set, while Hot Since 82, Nicolas Jaar and Booka Shade have already been pounding the European festival circuit.
Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus is also introducing his new live act The Ancient Moons, while you won’t get bored of a three-hour set from Mr Scruff — one DJ who takes you on a ‘journey’ without it sounding like PR fluff.
And even though we’re being kicked out before 11pm, there are three nights of after-parties in the city centre, with Nicolas Jaar, Damian Lazarus, Floating Points, Groove Armada, Hot Since 82, Adam Beyer, Matador and Booka Shade chasing the buzz into the early hours.