From the music to the mudslides, Forbidden Fruit kicked off festival season with a bang
10th Jun 2022
Two days, 38,000 steps, and one pair of severely mud-covered boots later, Forbidden Fruit 2022 was one for the books.
Whether it was Belfast’s AVA Festival, Billie Eilish at the 3Arena, Creamfields across the pond, it seems as though everyone and their mother spent the June bank holiday weekend at a concert of some description.
I was lucky enough to spend Saturday and Sunday at the sold out Forbidden Fruit festival, held on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.
Marking not only the long-awaited return of Irish festivals, but Forbidden Fruit’s tenth anniversary, there were high expectations for this year’s festivities, and let me tell you — it did not disappoint.
Boasting an eclectic mix of genres while blending home-grown talent, emerging artists and international names, the talent was divided across multiple stages. Naturally, this presented a challenge, and I ended up getting quite the workout in as I sprinted between tents and food trucks, stopping momentarily for a dizzying spin on the festival swings.
Dublin’s very own reigned supreme on Saturday, with Gemma Dunleavy taking to the main stage for a serious set that just so happened to feature a cover of ‘Toca’s Miracle’, and had the whole crowd shouting every word of ‘Up De Flats’.
Swiftly followed by KOJAQUE, who I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live a number of times now, the Dublin rapper said what the whole crowd was thinking between tracks on his hour-long set: “The sun is out, it’s been too long.”
Having positioned myself front and centre, I was primed and ready for a stand-out performance from Loyle Carner, and he most certainly did not let me down. Visibly energised by the crowd, the south London rapper and poet rewarded the crowd with a teaser track from an upcoming album, and it was clear he didn’t want to leave the stage any time soon.
In the interlude between Loyle Carner and day one’s headline act Bicep, I lolloped across to The Undergrowth stage to catch a glimpse of For Those I Love as he commanded a tent full of fervent fans. En route back to the main stage, I somehow managed to squeeze in an earful of SHIV’s rendition of Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’, before rounding the night off with Belfast electronic legends, Bicep, as they closed out their set with well-known tune, ‘Apricots’.
Where Saturday brought blue skies and sunshine, day two of Forbidden Fruit 2022 was nothing short of a washout. A true testament to the Irish appetite for a well-oiled good time, the downpour didn’t stop music fans from coming out in force.
Colourful festival gear was covered up with rain ponchos and umbrellas that managed to create a rainbow effect across the sloping field as fans made their way to the main stage for performances from Aby Coulibaly, Biig Piig and Tom Misch.
Then, as the clock struck eight, our Lorde and saviour descended on the stage for her first ever Irish performance. “I can’t believe you’re getting this wet for me,” the New Zealand singer laughed, seeming genuinely taken aback by the masses of Irish fans gathered to hear her gospel.
Performing hits from all three albums to a rain-soaked crowd, through her utter radiance, the sun managed to break through the clouds just in time for ‘Solar Power’. I believe they call that divine intervention.
Over in The Undergrowth, it quickly became clear that Peggy Gou was the real headline act for Forbidden Fruit 2022. Drawing a crowd far larger than the tent would allow for, fans were nothing short of mesmerised by the ‘Starry Night’ DJ. The crowd was still cheering long after Gou wrapped up her set, so you can imagine the scenes.
Desperately trying to leave no stone unturned, I swung by the RTÉ 2FM Rising tent just in time to catch Galway natives NewDad cover Charli XCX’s ‘ILY2’ before their own dream pop hit, ‘I Don’t Recognise You’.
On the main stage, the seven-piece Hot Chip band rounded off Forbidden Fruit 2022 with ‘I Feel Better’, and the light show was sensational. Though the rain had eased off and darkness was beginning to settle over Kilmainham, wet grass ensured that the vast majority of those in attendance left the festival covered in mud.
Allow me to leave you with this truly incredible compilation of the best slips and slides from Forbidden Fruit 2022.
As the rain was constant for most of the day, another kind of entertainment was on display at #forbiddenfruit #ff22
Here's a thread with the best falls from this year's edition pic.twitter.com/5wHSKu6pcr
— Flying Irishman (@GabiColman) June 5, 2022