Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co. Laois is now the biggest music festival in the country — but revelers looking for variety in the beer selection will be left disappointed. Despite a strong sustainability policy, Electric Picnic have yet again snubbed local brewery Ballykilcavan in favour of an exclusive deal with Heineken.
In a video posted on social media, David from Ballykilcavan explained that they were not allowed to sell at Electric Picnic despite the brewery being a just down the road from the festival site. They were not invited to have a bar at the festival, and they can’t even exhibit at the Laois food & producers’ group.
This makes absolutely no sense to me, considering Electric Picnic’s policy on sustainability and supporting local. Ballykilcavan is as local as it gets, they grow their own barley, use their own water, farm sustainably, encourage biodiversity on their farm, are gold members of Origin Green and have won multiple major sustainability awards. The beer would have far fewer air miles than those coming from the Heineken brewery in Cork.
Despite much comment on this on social media, the Electric Picnic organisers seem to be ignoring the topic. Nobody would expect Ballykilcavan to replace Heineken at the festival, but surely consumers should at least be given the choice of the local, sustainably produced beer.
Because of all of this, I will be having my own Bally Picnic from the 1st to the 3rd of September. I will only drink Ballykilcavan beer that weekend, in solidarity with them being snubbed by Electric Picnic, and I will encourage others to do the same. Who’s with me?