The line-up for the MindField area of this years' Electric Picnic has been revealed, with podcasters, poets and musicians all set to take to the stage. Taking place in Stradbally, Co. Laois from 30th August – 2nd September, and featuring The Prodigy, Massive Attack, N.E.R.D. and Kendrick Lamar, Electric Picnic is Ireland’s largest music and arts festival.
The Electric Picnic's totally unique spoken word arena, this year sees a couple of big changes with the addition of a new podcast stage called Ah, Hear! and a new writing and ideas stage called Manifesto. Already returning to the beautiful countryside setting are The Word, Leviathan, An Puball Gaeilge, Dublin Theatre Festival Theatre Stage as well as the newly expanded Theatre of Food and DANCE DAYS by Dublin Dance Festival presenting yoga flow, boogie bounce, breakdance, ballroom, burlesque and more, suitable for all levels.
Highlights of the inspiring and engaging programme include talks on foreign affairs and Brexit, hosted by the Rubberbandits' Blindboy Boatclub, who will also present live editions of his massively popular podcast, now listened to by a worldwide audience of 200,000 every week. Ah, Hear! the new podcast stage also features Soundings hosted by Lisa Hannigan and Dylan Haskins with special guests Marian Keyes and Ships; a host of podcasts curated by the Headstuff Podcast Network collective; and a special An Irishman Abroad podcast with Jarlath Regan.
Highlights of the new Manifesto stage include Northern Soul, a conversation about growing up in music in Northern Ireland with Tim Wheeler from Ash andBronagh Gallagher; readings of Seamus Heaney's poems from the recently published 100 Poems selected by his family. Stray Lines is an intriguing new format that brings together live readings of comics and graphic novels with visuals, special effects and music. New to the Parish hosted by Sorcha Pollak features a panel of fascinating people new to Ireland with reflections on this country's direct provision regime from theatre maker Oonagh Murphy. Joining us also are International Dublin Literary Award winner Mike McCormack (Solar Bones); former political prisoner, Ibrahim Halawa; writer, Michael Harding; and legendary comedy producer John Lloyd (Blackadder, Spitting Image, QI).
With 14 million readers in 2017, the Internet sensation that is the satirical news website Waterford Whispers News will present a Sky News-style special preview of their new live show which premieres in October. National treasure Miriam O'Callaghan presents the annual Sunday Brunch Show with very special guests reviewing the papers, chewing the fat and having the craic. Blindboy Boatclub also hosts the delightful Illuminate illustrated talks with artists and creatives including celebrated jewellery designer Chupi among many others.
There's an Amnesty Hour Special on Human Rights Defenders hosted by Roisin Ingle; debates on fake news and the digital public square with the Irish Research Council, the ever-popular Salon du Chat; History Ireland Hedge Schools; and Paddy Cullivan's Ten Dark Secrets of 1798.
The Theatre Stage - presented in association with Dublin Theatre Festival - brings a provocative and thoughtful programme of performances to this year's festival. Programme highlights include Kicking All the Boxes developed by world-renowned performer and theatre maker Mikel Murfi, written and performed by Liz FitzGibbon; Thisispopbaby's presentation of Tara Flynn's deeply personal, brave and funny Not a Funny Word which had such an impact in the lead up to the referendum on the Eighth Amendment; and electrifying performances by The Word Up Collective featuring Hassan Baker, Jake Hurley & Nick Stanley, Amber O'Connell, Sasha Terfous. The Breadline Collective in association with Theatre Upstairs presents Say Nothin’ to No One by Thommas Kane Byrne; Sickle Moon Productions present Tryst by Finbarr Doyle and Jeda de Brí, performed by Katie McCann, Clodagh Mooney Duggan and Finbarr Doyle; and Pan Narran’s Theatre present My Left Nut performed and co-written by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney - the true story of a Belfast boy growing up with no father to guide him through, and a giant ball to weigh him down. Malaprop present LOVE + devised by Dylan Coburn Gray, Claire O’Reilly, Breffni Holahan, Maeve O’Mahony; and X+Co./Xnthony present Confirmation performed by Anthony Keigher (Xnthony) A musical memoir about growing up in Roscommon.
The Word Stage is, as always, packed to the rafters with an electric mix of spoken word, storytelling, poetry, cutting-edge comedy and theatre; rap, funk and rock and roll. UK rapper Finn Detax will be strutting his stuff on Friday, while The Word Up Collective will be bringing all kinds of cool to the stage over the weekend featuring some of the top rappers and spoken word artists on the Irish scene. Expect blistering sets from Outsider YP, Jay Ronic and Tommy G. There's also lots of live music by night with festival favourites Good Man Sheila and Cronin and their special guests ready to whip the crowd into a frenzy along with Bobby and The Blunts, Backroad Smokers Club, Megacone, and Reprisal. During the day we will please delicate minds with storytelling, poetry and comedy, building up to dulcet tones from the likes of Oscar Mild, Con Murphy and Distant Sons. Sunday night closes The Word Stage with a rip roaring high octane trad. set from Ruaile Buaile.
Puball Gaeilge – the festival’s Irish language stage – will have another exciting programme of events this year as it celebrates 11 years at Electric Picnic in conjunction with Raidió na Life and Glór na nGael. Among the programme of events at this year’s Puball Gaeilge, will be exciting live performances from many excellent bands and musical acts, live podcasting, a magic show, Ted Talks as Gaeilge, comedians, plays, poetry and lots more! Each night will see new music presented by Raidió na Life, Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, and Raidió Fáilte. Among those who festival-goers can see at Friday night’s Siamsa Raidió Na Life will beCult Called Man, Nocturnes, Three Underneath, Oski Bravo, Exiles, Bruadar and Ullchabháin. Saturday night’s Cabaret Craiceáilte will see Belfast’s edgy Irish-language rappers Kneecap, alongside other fantastic musical acts such as Shane Hennesy, Thatchers of the Acropolis and more. Sunday’s Scléip Raidió Fáilte will feature appearances from Abhainn Bheara, Gráinne Holland, Éiriú, LÁS, and Na Hot Totties among others.