MindField at Electric Picnic 2012

Date: 31 Aug, 2012 Date: 31 Aug, 2012
Location: Stradbally, Co. Laois

The MindField spoken word arena returns again to Electric Picnic with a stimulating spark-filled programme designed to entertain, inform and inflame. Set among the ancient trees on the lawns of Stradbally Hall you’ll find an oasis of literary readings, political debate, performance poetry, science experiments, inspiring talks, news quizzes, public conversations and much more. With the Puball Gaeilge Irish language stage back, the inclusion of the Amnesty Stage for the first time and the feast for the senses that is the Theatre of Food, the MindField Arena invites us to fill our brains with new thoughts, ideas and experiences that we hope will engage and help inspire us to all be change makers.


At the heart of MindField is the Leviathan tent where economist, author and broadcaster, David McWilliams will host three special Leviathan: Political Cabaret events with panels of eminent international and Irish journalists, academics, politicians and commentators. Topics include: Does Ireland Really Need a Second Republic? with Fintan O’Toole (The Irish Times), Carol Hunt (Sunday Independent), John McGuirk (Libertas), Paddy Cosgrave (F.ounders) and Eamonn McCann; How Can We Solve the Global Economic Crisis? hosted by Gunther Grun of the ECB (aka Barry Murphy) with David McWilliams, Peter Antonioni (University College London, Economics for Dummies), Professor Brian Lucey (TCD), Norah Casey (Entrepreneur, Dragon’s Den) and Margaret E Ward; Democracy Next?: Revolution in the Muslim World with Libyan-Irish officer of the Tripoli Brigade, Hussam Najjair, who fought in Libya and more recently in Syria; Mary Fitzgerald, foreign correspondent of The Irish Times and others, all with musical satire from Paddy Cullivan (Late Late Show House Band).

RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan will host a public conversation in association with Ashoka, which follows on from their groundbreaking ChangeNation events earlier this year at Farmleigh and Dublin Castle featuring some of the world’s leading, change-making social entrepreneurs including Brendan Dunford (Burren Beo), Krystian Fikert (MyMind), Sharon Kielthy (McKinsey) and Erin Fornoff (Ashoka).

Friday’s Fear & Loathing & Loving At Electric Picnic with Gavin Friday & BP Fallon “You can call it ‘Two Rock’n’Roll Tarts Have A Chinwag’ if you want'” says BP Fallon who will be in surreal conversation with Gavin Friday. Eccentric left-field one-offs, Friday and Fallon have much in common – a love of Marc Bolan and Ghandi and an appreciation of Quentin Crisp, a healthy distain for the mainstream and an exploration of the impossible.

This will not simply be another interview in a tent – think Gavin in full flow at Mr Pussy’s and BP Fallon interviewed by Jack White – ie anything can happen – and will. Kick off your Electric Picnic with some MindField mind warp!

Saturday’s MindField News Quiz returns to the Leviathan Stage with a very special guest host and quick fire current affairs rounds that lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Sunday’s Ryan Tubridy’s Picnic Brunch takes a jaundiced look at the Sunday papers and a review of the festival in the company of Miriam O’Callaghan, Paddy Cullivan and some of Stradbally’s most tired and emotional.

The History Ireland Hedge School hosted by History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham will present two fascinating shows: Racism and the Irish: perpetrators or victims? with Mary Corcoran (NUI Maynooth), Lar Joye (National Museum), Angus Mitchell (Casement—Life and Times) and Hiram Morgan (UCC); and From the Liberty Boys to the Westies: gang culture in Ireland with David Donnelly (ex-Black Catholics punk gang), Donal Fallon (Come Here To Me Blog), John Gibney (History Ireland) and Niamh Hourigan (UCC).

Salon du Chat reprise their unique “speed-debating” salon of gourmet conversation chosen from a menu of provocative menu options. Engage in intense dialogue with complete strangers, make new friends and influence people.

The hugely popular Banter public talks series will present a special edition hosted by The Irish Times’ Jim Carroll on How the Irish Media Failed Ireland with Carol Hunt (Sunday Independent), Simon Carswell (The Irish Times), John Ryan (Broadsheet.ie) and Enda Leahy (Mail on Sunday)

The Cáca Milis Cabaret closes Friday night with its rambunctious “postmodern vaudeville” blend of music, dance, spoken word, circus clownery and classic cabaret and the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra close Saturday and Sunday’s Leviathan proceedings.


Fresh from its critically-acclaimed contribution to the European City of Science celebrations at ESOF2012, Science Gallery returns to Electric Picnic this year with a spectacular line-up of live shows, stimulating workshops, and mind-bending events and enclosed in a spectacular inflatable tent.

Science Gallery’s HACK THE CITY exhibition will transform into HACK THE PICNIC, with artists and scientists bringing their DIY hacker mindset to build, tweak, and modify gadgets, gear, and the whole festival experience for the better. Running over two days, the Science Gallery line-up has something for everyone, with attractions that include the brand new 100% Hammer-Free High Striker, a live recording of Futureproof, and festival favourite, Ignite. There are also live dissections, the steampunk robotic busker, Scientific Sue’s Science Shows, 3D printing and the Science Gallery Shop.


MindField is privileged to welcome back Willie White, now Artistic Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, to curate the Theatre Stage which features a programme of inspirational and entertaining shows, carefully selected for the Electric Picnic and MindField audience. Shows include: Bears in Space, a new hour of madness from Collapsing Horse; Come Rhyme With Me, a verbal explosion of slams, jams, backhands and audience spam; Fight Night with Aonghus Óg McAnally; I ? HotForTheatre’s Alice ? I by Amy Conroy, Winner of two Absolut Fringe Awards; Journey to the End of the Night, written, directed and performed by: Dylan Tighe; The Year of Magical Wanking by Neil Watkins; and Make and Do return to Electric Picnic, 2012 to present a suite of specially designed festival games. In celebration of festival reliables like wellington boots, random hook-ups and lots of food, we invite you to a lemon jousting contest, a gumboot dance challenge and a game of Love at First sight; finally there’s a special preview of Singlehood, conceived and developed by Una McKevitt in collaboration with David Coffey, which premieres at the Absolut Fringe this year.


The original Word stage is back with a massive programme of drama, discussion, poetry, prose, comedy, rap, and rock ‘n’ roll, featuring: Velvet Revolution by Mick Donnellan, The Hero Returns, by Maedhbh Haicead, Sex, Lies and Sausage Rolls with Joe Rooney, Fran Healy and Sharron Mannion, plus specials guests; Jolt Theatre Company; Danny Dowling and Friends; The Brownbread Mixtape with their comedy sketches and poetry; Nighthawks hosted by Colman Keegan; and Irish Beatboxing champ Samir. There’s Olaf Tyaransen, Poetry Ireland with some of Ireland’s best-known poets; The Cúirt Literary Festivals Slam Poetry Finalists; Poetry and beats with Marty Mulligan and The Aftermath and special guests. There’s live music with Crow Black Chicken, The Aftermath and guests plus many more poets, rappers, comedians, philosophers and dreamers.


Ar ais aris, the hugely popular and entertaining antidote to all that forced learning of Peig and friends, the Puball Gaeilge is back with a lively, energetic and fun programme of entertainment, conversation, games and activities, all in our first national language. Don’t be intimidated, just engage with whatever cupla focail you have and learn to love the teanga Gaeilge anew. Look out for GAA Karaoke performed over TG4’s live commentary of GAA matches. There’s theatre and drama from Fíbín, Manchán Mangan agus Aisteorií Bulfin; Filíocht / Poetry le rogha filí agus filíocht ón bhFéile Imram (Poets from the IMRAM festival) le Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Cathain is Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Sorcha Fox Seán Rua Ó Súilleabháin Loius De Paor & Rónán Browne; and, as the evenings draw in, there’s Caiberét Craiceálta / Crackpot Caberét le Rónán Mac Aodh Bhuí. There’s also Púca Puppets; Léacht / Lecture, speakers corner and much more.

Amnesty Ireland

Amnesty International is joining forces with Screen Directors Guild of Ireland at this year’s Electric Picnic at Stradbally to explore issues around human rights through the medium of film. Along with films by leading Irish directors like Juanita Wilson, Darragh Byrne, Conor Horgan and Perry Ogden the cinema tent, located in the festival’s Mindfield, will also be showing animated films and shorts for children in the mornings. After each showing, the film’s director will take part in a public interview, discussing the thinking behind their work, and how film can entertain, inform and challenge thinking on contemporary human rights issues.

Kieran Clifford, Campaigns and Activism Manager for Amnesty International Ireland, said:

“We’re enormously proud to be working with the Screen Director’s Guild, and with so many talented directors, to showcase some of Ireland’s best films.

Birch Hamilton, Executive Director of Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering again with Amnesty International to explore human rights issues through film screenings and dialogue at Electric Picnic.

“Film has a powerful ability to present human rights issues in meaningful way and we look forward a both an inspiring and fun dialogue with directors and Electric Picnic goers this year.”