Longitude has proved itself as the perfect urban festival with great sounds and manageable crowds
Best New Festival! Best Medium Festival! Deadliest Crowd Trophy! Cracking Weather Gong! Okay, so Longitude only came away with two of those prizes at the Irish Festival Awards 2013 (we made the other two up), but anyone who attended last year's inaugural shindig at Marlay Park will recall the glorious sunshine that left performers and fans utterly stunned for three days straight. Happy, too.
A fully-formed festival on the outskirts of the city, Longitude kicks off its second annual field party in Rathfarnham next weekend. What can we expect? Well, more of the same would be nice.
You see, we didn't think we needed another excuse to mix sunscreen and live music in Ireland. Festival Fatigue had taken hold. But then, along came Longitude, a sort of Electric Picnic in the capital.
Or, as it turned out, the festival that Forbidden Fruit wished it could be.
With Oxegen all but dead in the water, we imagine MCD put a lot of planning, prep and perspiration into the establishment of a shiny new weekend musical outing that could keep both the taste-makers and hip-shakers satisfied. Eventually, they gave us Longitude, an offshoot of Suffolk's well-received Latitude blowout, featuring a smart, capable and occasionally stellar line-up.
What made Longitude: Year One a success? Easy. Proper venue (believe it or not, Marlay Park works incredibly well for these things) and proper acts (Vampire Weekend, Villagers, Kraftwerk, Kodaline and Yeah Yeah Yeahs all topped the bill in 2013).
It doesn't take a genius to realise that real artists (that also includes Kodaline) and critically-acclaimed vinyl-scratchers bring out real music fans (no lazy button pushers here), and as a result, the Longitude clientele kept it fun, clean and trouble-free. Good times all round, then.
What we're dealing with here is a medium-sized party with relatively small crowds (10,000 punters per day) spread across four stages. Perfect.
And, best of all, no camping allowed. Which means no tents, no smelly, hungover fans and no greasy heads. But let's talk music. Yep, this year's bill has it covered.
Do not miss Haim, the Californian sisters whose marvellous, West Coast pop and 70s tinged rock should go down a treat, regardless of the weather.
Elsewhere, everyone's new favourite guitar-slinger from Wicklow, Hozier, will be stopping by with some treats from his hugely-anticipated debut album, due for release in September.
British pop star Sam Smith will also be taking time out from cracking America to make an appearance on the Saturday, and be sure to keep an hour free for the always reliable Le Galaxie. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The party kicks off next Friday. See you down the front.
Longitude takes place at Marlay Park, Friday July 18 - Sunday July 20. One day tickets cost €59.50, with three-day weekend tickets priced €149.50. Visit www.longitude.ie for more.
Longitude - THE EssentialS
Ten acts to keep an eye out for:
Bastille (Live on the Friday): Dan Smith (left) and friends bring their one and only hit to Marlay Park. At least it's a good song. You know the one.
Bombay Bicycle Club (Friday): Love the name. Love the tunes more. Hispter-friendly indie rock from London.
Chvrches (Saturday): Don't let the misspelt moniker put you off. This lively Scottish synthpop trio is the real deal.
The 1975 (Saturday): Aka, the lads behind Chocolate - one of the catchiest tunes of the year, in our books.
Massive Attack (Sunday): Could go either way, this one. But man, when the trip hop pioneers throw out the elusive Teardrop…
James Vincent McMorrow (Sunday): Young Jimmy (left) brings his backwoods folk man shtick home. And we guarantee it'll take your breath away.
San Fermin (Saturday): Let's hope these sketchy, National wannabes have improved since their last Dublin outing. There's definitely something there…
Rudimental (Sunday): Chart-topping drum and bass Londoners bring the noise…
First Aid Kit (Sunday): Swedish folk duo, our second-favourite sister act on the bill.
George Ezra (Friday): The bloke who gave us Budapest. That tune you've been humming for months…