Forbidden Fruit Festival 2016 – Sunday Review by Fran Winston
Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8 – Sunday June 5th 2016
I’m not gonna lie – having undertaken a mammoth amount of work of late I wasn’t actually sure if I would have the energy to do more than slump in a corner and let this festival go on around me. I’d clearly forgotten how infectious the energy is here because within an hour of entering the venue I felt completely energised despite existing on four hours sleep a night for the last month.
That’s the thing with Forbidden Fruit – it’s so laid back and chilled but with high octane acts that you find yourself getting swept up in the atmosphere. One person I spoke to confessed they hadn’t seen any acts and had spent the entire time chilling out with friends enjoying the vibe. While I wouldn’t recommend this as the best way to enjoy the festival they certainly seemed to be having a good time.
Personally I was very excited to see dance legends Underworld who I hadn’t seen perform live in several years. But with time to kill until they took to the stage, I took in some of the other acts on offer. I managed to catch the tail end of Patrick McDonnell’s set on the comedy stage which tickled my funny bone nicely before heading to check out the amazing Nailler 9 in the Bulmers Lounge (thanks for playing Prince – that went down well) and I caught a tiny bit of the Groove Armada DJ set on the Undergrowth Stage before heading to the Original Stage to see headliners Underworld.
This is a group that never disappoints live. The thing about them is that you don’t even need to know their music to get swept up in it. However most of the crowd seemed familiar with their back catalogue. Particularly their monster hit Born Slippy (which never gets old). There is something very life affirming about seeing thousands of strangers all coming together to enjoy a shared live music moment and Born Slippy was just one of those. Even people who had been sitting on the peripheries and the ones who had been slightly jet lagged by that time suddenly came to life.
All in all, it was a wonderful line up and the chilled vibe left everyone I saw with a huge smile on their face. However, it wasn’t flawless. Reviewing the festival last year I commented on the queues for facilities and also the fact that they weren’t policed leading to queue jumpers and arguments and nothing had improved in that respect. I was 50 minutes inside the venue queuing for toilets (I’d just done a three hour journey from Belfast so trust me it wasn’t optional!) and a drink before I could relax. Numerous people were jumping the queue in the ladies and being quite obnoxious and ignorant about it. I was verbally abused by one girl when I pulled her up on her queue jumping and another guy at the bar also got thick with me when I sent him to the back of the queue after he had significantly skipped it. These may seem like small gripes but they can really ruin and event for people (and the girl who abused me was extremely offensive) and the fact that there was no one watching it or controlling it meant that the offenders felt they had free reign. In a Snapchat as I left the venue that was actually my main commentary which completely detracts from how good the event was on the whole. To put it in context I go to a lot of festivals and outdoor events and this is honestly the worst I have ever attended when it comes to this.
I can’t fault the organisers on vibe or line up and it was one of the most fun days I’ve had in a while. But seriously they really need to think about how they manage the facilities and the queues. It is a terrible shame to tarnish something so good by leaving people with bad memories of their trips to the toilet!
Other than that roll on next year. See you in 2017 Forbidden Fruit.