Saturday, 25 August 2012


Excitement is rising about the impending Electric Picnic Extravaganze, Stradbally, Co Laois next weekend. It's not all music. You have to check out Mindfield.

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.

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) and Paddy Cosgrave (F.ounders);
  • 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).
 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. 

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 ( 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 Bradd 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.

### I will talking about Science Meets Poetry at the Saturday Ignite. Come and say hello.
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 MacAnally;
  • I Heart Alice Heart I (Project) Winner of two Absolut Fringe Awards;
  • Journey to the End of the Night, written, directed and performed by: Dylan Tighe; 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 Colm Keegan; and
  • Irish Beatboxing champ Samir.
  • There’s Olaf Tyaransen, Poetry Ireland with some of Ireland’s best-known poets;
  • The Cúirt Literary Festival’s 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.
  • ### The Poetry Divas and their unmissable show at 2pm Saturday (or thereabouts) ###

Amnesty Ireland Amnesty Ireland moves to the MindField arena this year with an outstanding programme of film screenings and talks with their makers including:
  • Conor Horgan with One Hundred Mornings,
  • Juanita Wilson with As If I Am Not There,
  • Darragh Byrne with Parked,
  • Perry Ogden with Pavee Lackeen,
as well as lots of wonderful animation shorts including the Secret of Kells.
The central theme of this year’s Amnesty presence at the Electric Picnic is forced eviction with a special feature of a shanty hut at the centre of the MindField arena.

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