After Life Fest broke the festival seal last weekend, we’re ready for another summer of three-day sessions, and Forbidden Fruit still has claims on being the handiest of the lot.
On the go since 2011, Forbidden Fruit has been selling out in the last few years, as punters figure it’s easier to rock up to IMMA after a bus or Luas to Heuston, and leave the grounds at a half-sensible time and go home to your bed (or an after-party, in fairness).
After a few years trying to be all-rounders, with largely indie acts on the main stage and techno in the tents, bookers changed tact in 2015 to go for largely electronic music in its various hybrids, along with hip-hop and grime.
The last two years has brought the likes of Richie Hawtin, Run the Jewels, Wu-Tang Clan, Skepta, Underworld, Kiasmos, Joey Bada$$ and Tiga.
This year they’ve secured the biggest name in underground electronics, Aphex Twin, for his first Irish show since he headlined the first Forbidden Fruit. And after his last onslaught of glitch bombs, electronic brain-wrongs and mapping punters’ faces to evil AFX graphics on the big screen, prepare to have your brain scrambled on Sunday night.
Another electronic heritage act, Orbital have come out of their have they/haven’t they retirement for a masterclass in festival rave nostalgia tomorrow, with a foolproof setlist that includes Chime, Satan, The Box, Lush and Halcyon.
And shifting the goalposts to have the final day on the bank holiday Monday, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has not only been invited to headline, but he’s curated the main stage for the day, and there’s also a Bon Iver jam planned for Monday before the closing show.
Vernon and his band released one of the across the board top 10 critical smashes last year with the album 22, A Million, and its experimental leanings will lead to one of the more leftfield festival slots of the summer.
And we’re in good hands with Vernon as curator — with psychedelic jazz electronics from Flying Lotus and his Captain Murphy rap alter-ego if we’re lucky; Detroit rap kingpin Danny Brown; Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, folk trio The Staves and plenty more through the day.
Sunday is the big house and techno day, with Motor City Drum Ensemble, KiNK, Denis Sulta and Fatima Yamaha setting the scene for the AFX takeover later that night.
Elsewhere, on Saturday make sure to catch south London drill/grime crew 67, one of the rowdiest acts on the poster, who just might be one of the left of centre highlights. Tonight there’ll be further grime capers as Giggs furthers his slow takeover of the UK scene, after being snapped up for features by Drake.
There’ll also be some Dublin-rooted grime, with MC Mango and producer Mathman set to shut down the Bulmers Live Stage with gritty on-point rhymes and splintered grime and rave.
Mathman, aka RTE Pulse’s Adam Fogarty is also acting as curator of the Bulmers Live stage, with an impeccable roster of Irish acts secured over the weekend, including the breezy electronic pop of Soule; Ireland’s most hyped hip-hop act and Meteor Award winners Rusangano Family; proggy electronic pop duo Ships, dark electronics from Bad Bones, self-proclaimed ‘agrosoul’ act BARQ and plenty more — 19 acts in total.
And with plenty of after-parties in the city going on till the early hours, don’t be worrying that the craic stops when you’re escorted out of IMMA.