Ireland's Electric Picnic has announced plans to help finance exhibits in the popular Trailer Park section of the festival. Artists and creators have been given the opportunity to let their creative hair down, as Electric Picnic is set to provide up to ten grants of between €500 and €3,000 for designing, building and presenting an Art Caravan for the boutique music and arts festival.
Taking place annually in early September in Stradbally, Co.Laois, Electric Picnic is Ireland's largest music and arts event. Previous years' musical acts have included Duran Duran, who brought an explosion of colours and sounds in 2017, and Manic Street Preachers, who in 2015 hailed the sell-out event as "the best of the summer".
For Trailer Park, the 2018 search is underway, and for the first time Electric Picnic is casting its net further afield to creative talent overseas and inviting applications from the United Kingdom to enter. The deadline for entries is 15th April.
Trailer Park is Electric Picnic's moment of madness, a haven of hilarious caravans, utilitarian mobile homes that have undergone surgery, vans re-functioned, campers converted. Collectively they create a metropolis of tiny venues, interactive cultural outposts, fun-clinics and oddball theatres.
For the past four years over sixty creators have been given grants to help them realise their wildest ideas, and become part of one of the strangest art and design communities in the country.
Judges are looking for more jubilant and bewildering caravan-based ideas to join Trailer Park, seeking fresh designers, artists, engineers, technicians, community groups, thespians, dancers, builders, architects, furniture makers, photographers, sculptors, horticulturalists, steelworkers, and most of all dreamers to emerge from their cerebral laboratories with some preposterous festival inventions.
These bursaries being awarded are not for labour; they are for materials or skills that entrants do not have. Electric Picnic is seeking projects that stand on their own as installations, independent of performances or activities, although these may well accompany and complete the installation. They do not need to be roadworthy, but it would definitely help if they were. They do need to be safe. They need to be about the design of the exterior as well as the interior, and applicants should think about lighting as the area operates at night-time as well as daytime.
Please note that this project will require a significant time investment, and the ability to adhere to firm deadlines, and is going to need to be fuelled by artistic and practical passion.
The number of crew passes required to host your venue for the three full days of the festival is 8, and these obviously include camping. They can’t be shared.
Below is a hand FAQ for entrants:
How many grants are awarded?
Up to 10, including some proposals may be selected but not funded if deemed deliverable without our help.
When may I apply for a grant?
The deadline for emailed grant proposals is April 15th, at 11:59 AM. No exceptions. We much prefer that you email your proposal, but if you cannot, your mail must be received by us before the deadline.
When will I know if I’ve been awarded a grant?
Most final decisions will be made by April 22nd, and you will be notified by 29th of April.
What if I have an idea, but not a caravan?
We have access to a very limited number of caravans and vehicles that can be made available, but these will remain the property of Trailer Park after the festival. We thoroughly advise that you go in search of your own caravan - the country is full of them, often people will be delighted for you to take them away, and we prefer to see older caravan being remodelled. Those who provide their own caravan/vehicle will retain ownership of their caravan project at the conclusion of the event.
Should I be awarded a grant, how much will I receive?
This varies from project to project, but grants normally pay for only a portion of production costs – predominantly to cover material costs, but not for your own labour or time. Designers should be ready to provide other methods and sources of funding if they are going to be needed, and illustrate an effort to encourage collaboration and co-operation with other practitioners in Ireland. You are more likely to be awarded a grant if you are asking for an amount that is on the lower end of the range.
When and how will I receive money?
A schedule of payment is developed for each project, agreeable to you, to ensure delivery of the final work.
When does the complete piece need to be delivered or collected?
Your caravan must be in position by the 15th August at Stradbally Hall. Note that further work on the caravan can be completed onsite, but the caravan itself MUST be available for positioning onsite on that date.
Who is responsible for keeping my installation safe?
Site Security will be responsible for anti-vandalism measures in the weeks running up to the event, but you should make sure your caravan is lockable and safe. During the Festival, you are wholly responsible. Trailer Park will provide infrastructure to stop festival goers from going where they shouldn’t.
Who is responsible if an accident occurs during the event?
Ensuring your creation does not physically harm anyone is a key responsibility of the designer. You will need to think about a method statement if appropriate, and Festival Republic’s own structural engineer and their safety officer will inspect each creation to ensure they are fit for purpose. Festival Republic will then provide public liability insurance for during the Festival. You must take responsibility for the safety of anyone involved in the design, manufacture, transport and removal of the structure before and after the event.
Are residential caravans (creations which provide bedding) eligible?
No. This competition promotes interactivity and artwork, although caravans can have the functional aspects of sleeping areas included etc.
What are your criteria for awarding grants?
Whether we like it. Interactivity with festival-goers. Interactive design brings people together around it, provoking reactions and creating roles and transforming voyeurs into active contributors. (Sometimes, the mere act of encounter (such as a mobile sculpture) is sufficient, but most of the time more in needed).The thoroughness of your proposal, including a detailed budget, a construction schedule, and at least one drawing. Make it easy for us to choose you.
Does ownership of the caravan/vehicle remain with the designer/maker?
If the designer/maker owns the caravan or vehicle, yes. If they are making use of a caravan or vehicle supplied by us, no.
What happens to these installations after the Festival?
The creators must leave the site 'greenfield'. We may be able to help here with storage, and this can be discussed individually, and may carry a cost.
A note from the Artistic Director, Roz Jellett:
“In Trailer Park we really do set out to make people laugh, inspire and engage. Projects that marry creativity, participation and style. This competition loves a good host, so if you have a gang of friends who like to make people around you have fun, simply think of how you might do that in the most unusual way, and either inside or in front of a room on wheels.”
2018's Electric Picnic is set to take place between 31st August - 2nd September 2018, with tickets due to go on sale in March. For the latest updates, visit ElectricPicnic.ie.
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