Earl Sweatshirt went down a treat with the Forbidden Fruit audience. Picture: James Martin

LAST weekend signalled the arrival of the summer festival season kicking off in earnest with the uber hip Forbidden Fruit festival within the splendid surrounding of the Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
Now in its fifth year, the festival (reflecting its urban location) has evolved into a more urban /dance line up. Nowadays performers have less to transport in the way of instruments and backline. And the sole requirements for this year’s headliners – Fatboy Slim, Wu Tang Clan and Richie Hawtin – barely consisted of a few mics, mixers and a couple laptops to wow the masses.
Friday evening was an easing-in process with punters getting into the spirit of things with a truncated line up and just the original stage and undergrowth stage with full line up in the form of DJs Nicolas Jaar and Mark Knight warming up for the main man, Fatboy Slim. Always one to play to the crowd, he didn’t disappoint and crammed as many of his 90s hit and remixes into a 90-minute festival friendly set.
The comedy stage on Saturday and Sunday hosted some of Ireland’s top talent. This included Fred Cooke, Pat McDonnell and David McSavage. Damian Lazarus and the Ancients Moons provided an uplifting take on house to a rammed tent while over on the lighthouse stage Mount Kimbie shook things up.
The original stage had its bass speakers pushed to the limit with hip hop the order of the evening. Earl Sweatshirt kept it downbeat before Joey Bada$$ lifted proceedings with a mix of old and new dating back to the nineties. Even the absence of RZA failed to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm as the Wu Tang Clan gave ’em what they came for.
Sunday was all about the four-to-the-floor and house music with the main stage and tents peppered with good time DJs and collectives. Representatives Sleep Thieves did themselves proud with a production to match their dense, deep mood over at the live live stage. Booka Shade’s hotly anticipated live appearance didn’t disappoint either.
Gorgon City followed and by now it was a race against time to fit as much as possible before the curfew crept in. A quick dart to the live live stage to lively local collective the Greedy Pig dj’ and the busy undergrowth stage to check out a mix of breaks, acid and house expertly delivered by Maya Jane Coles and then the much anticipated Hamburg resident, Cyril Hahn, followed.
Shame the same couldn’t be said of pin-up Hot Since 82, as he fluffed his lines at least twice early in his set. Benefiting from the full production it should have been easy for Richie Hawtin to deliver yet seemed to be unaware of his 90-minute set time.
The chugging under tune kept ticking along for 45 minutes or so with only a drop here and there to lift the masses from their shuffle.