Two Laois farming couples customised a cattle trailer, filling it with creature comforts for their overnight stays at the recent Electric Picnic.

Johnny and Aisling Bracken and Ross and Caitriona Robinson look forward to the music and arts festival at Stradbally Hall every year.

“We love it – it’s our yearly outing, and this year we met up with a lot of other farmers and older people there,” said Bracken, a sheep and suckler farmer who builds livestock trailers and sheds in his business, Bracken Enterprise, Portarlington.

In previous years they borrowed a caravan. “This year we thought we would buy a caravan, but life was so busy, that never happened,” said Bracken whose wife Aisling works in Breslin’s pharmacy, Portlaoise, suppliers of veterinary vaccines nationwide.

Robinson is also a sheep and suckler farmer whose business, Pornahinch Products, specialises in forest machinery. He also sells Graham Edward trailers. His wife Caitriona owns Just for Kids creche in Portarlington.

With busy everyday lives, the couples wanted to stay over at the festival, and immerse themselves in the festival experience.

It was Robinson who came up with the idea of kitting out his trailer for the Electric Picnic. They equipped it with: a 4ft bed; a sofa; a breakfast bar; and a portable toilet. “We didn’t put too much into it as we were a bit nervous about getting into the campsite with our camper van tickets,” said Bracken.

“However, we had no trouble getting in, and we got loads of comments from people. When we were leaving the campsite on Monday, the trailer got a lot of attention,” he said.

It worked out great. We were bone dry on the Saturday night, which was very wet. We had a gas stove so we could have tea and coffee, and hot food. We were able to relax, and invite friends around.

“We stayed overnight, and nipped home at lunchtime for showers. Aisling and I stayed in the back of the van and Ross and Caitriona were in the trailer.”

Hanging out in the trailer added to the whole festival feeling for the two couples, and they plan to repeat the experience next year. “We will invest more in kitting out the trailer then. We might even install a shower,” said Bracken.

Who knew? The new festival essential is a cattle trailer.