Reflections: Electric Picnic 2015

The Community Garden Network volunteered to help coordinate a pop-up Community & Farm Garden in Global Green at the 2015 Electric Picnic. While we were there we met some inspirational groups and community gardeners from around the island who are now much more aware of the Network and each other.

Dee Sewell of Greenside Up posted a blog about the set up and groups involved, asking the question “Was the Electric Picnic Ready for a Community Garden?” which you can find here. However, the following are some lovely reflections from Fionnuala of East Clare Co-op of her experience there. We hope you enjoy Fionnuala’s poem.

East Clare Co-op at Electric Picnic
Photo Credit: East Clare Co-op

Our Co-op in the Electric Picnic in 2015

Co-creating collaborating in Global Green

We took a look about before setting our stall

(Well in fairness our stall was no stall at all)

We planned 2 round tables out there in the air

For our own eclectic picnic back home in Clare

Off we went with a curious glee

You won’t believe the sights we did see

a huge gold rimmed mirror, a bed in a tree

A stilted man in a skirt and acrobats 3

A big London bus,  a caravan in the air

A machine to de-programme you, tattoos for your hair

Make a wish, Gerry Fish, Giant’s Jug and Chair,

Attention to details, signs of great care

Body paint, tophats,  Oxfam vintage sale

2 men holding hands- at least I think they were male.

In every direction were sights to be seen,

creative, engaging, clever and green.

We were mosaicing all day near big bales of hay

In a beautiful garden that was made in a day

A garden with seedlings, food baskets and knitting

Pallet planters, benches- all perfectly fitting

With its own water feature and exciting bike races

Away from the chaos, a pleasant oasis

A man made of waste, a bomb made of seeds

Surfboards and knitting, without any weeds

Urban and rural we made it all flow

How did we do it? I’ll never know

Duncan Stewart arrived  in no great haste

Resilience, car sharing, giving out about  waste

We must work it together, climate change is here

The crisis, now bad will worsen we fear

I see the boy who lost his life in the sea

A victim, an innocent refugee,

And tears start swelling up in me

We are drowning in a sea of apathy

I want to shout out above this crowd

Wake up! Wake up! Do the Earth proud

Get involved, get connected, share the wisdom inside

Love your community with energy and pride!

The All Ireland final!  We caught the end in a tent

Up Galway we shouted, but those hurlers were spent

The cats got their cream again Ah no surprise there

Not like 13 when we took Liam to Clare

Seorla  from  Sligo with 3 kinds of dancers,

Step, set and seanos – those light footed prancers!

And married men on the tear raving wild on the shots

And Curious faces belonging to tots

We are tiling to beats with a buzz and a boom

And a woman nearby sweeps up with her broom

We took a stroll out in the chilly night air

And feel the vibrations and the wind in our hair

Big wheels, a circus, and architects boxes

A woman with an udder, and  big furry foxes

And a beach down in trenchtown past the big sailing boat

And a hula hoop whirling round some ladies throat

A  gentle black giant nearly 2 metres tall

A chick in a poncho, 2 lads in a brawl

Body and Soul ah we had to see that

Everyone says that’s where It’s at

grass roofs tiny tea, a flirt in a yurt

And man on a fence in a big flowery skirt

A warm fire to sit by and look up at the stars

And wonder of planets like Venus and Mars

And the night amphitheater to dance with the wind

And terrible toilets that look like they’ve sinned

Good Grub, Hot Tub and trees that looked weird

And plenty a young fella wearing a beard

And back to the main drag where anything goes

Bamboozled by choice and led by my nose

Salty dog cottage bog Imagination abound

With a sea of messiness all over the ground

From Clare to Calais, foraging the waste

To house some homeless in another place

What is the time? It is asked of me

Back home to reality

“It’s 10 past debauchery”

A reflection about Electric Picnic 2015
Photo Credit: East Clare Co-op

You can find more about East Clare Community Co-operative Society and all the work they’re doing over in Scariff on their website.

If you’d like to know more about community gardening and how they’re run, subscribe to the blog and we’ll be adding some In-focus posts over the coming months.

Community Garden Network at Electric Picnic 2015

Community Garden Network at the Electric Picnic

From the 4th to the 6th September 2015 The Community Garden Network will be involved with Global Green Village at the Electric Picnic.

We’ll be creating a pop up community garden and sharing the space with a lovely bunch of people that include Cloughjordan Farm, Irish Seedsavers, Green Me, East Clare Coop, Moy Gardens and Urban Farms among others.

If you’re at the festival don’t forget to stop by and have a chat! In the meantime, here’s more information about Global Green at Electric Picnic straight from the organisers:


Collaborative experiment brings together activists, artists, makers, musicians, foodies and hackers

A pop-up ecovillage at the heart of this year’s Electric Picnic, created by some of the people behind the acclaimed ecovillage in Cloughjordan, will showcase new musical acts, offer the most authentic food on site – served by the food producers themselves – and host discussions, demonstrations and slam poetry on radical ideas for a community-led future that works.

Global Green, now in its eighth year, is the festival’s dynamic “green edge”. Created by Cultivate Living and Learning – based at the more permanent ecovillage in Cloughjordan in Co Tipperary – Global Green lays claim to being the conscious heartbeat of Electric Picnic, reminding us of the alternative, environmental roots of the three-day event in Stradbally, Co Laois.

Davie Philip of Cultivate said: “Global Green in 2015 is an exciting experiment in collaboration, an ecovillage brought to life by a diverse community of cultural creatives, activists, artists, musicians, foodies, hackers, social entrepreneurs and slam poets.”

Central to the politics of sustainability is food. In a single visit to this year’s Global Green, festival-goers can meet local food-producers, learn how to bake, join a discussion on the politics of food and, most importantly, eat some of the delicious food offered by The Outsiders’ Food Project, all sourced from within a 50-mile radius of Cloughjordan – which itself is just 35 miles from Stradbally. The Food Project received the Judges’ Award for best food at the festival in 2014.

Davie Philip said: “On hand to tell the amazing story of local food will be the farmers, the seed-savers, the craft baker, the cooks and young food entrepreneurs, the campaigners fighting for food sovereignty and solidarity globally, the local food activists helping us appreciate what Ireland has to offer and, closing the loop, the composters turning what we waste back to soil.”

As grassroots organising and radical politics gather momentum in Ireland and across Europe and as activists count down the final weeks to the major climate summit in Paris in December, Global Green’s hEdge School will host talks and discussions on sustainability, activism, and community.

Speakers range from TV presenter Duncan Stewart, Thomas Crosby of Stradbally Hall and Green Party councillor Claire Byrne to professional-surfer-turned-community-farmer Fergal Smith and Melvin Benn (head of Festival Republic, which runs Electric Picnic, and a board member of Julie’s Bicycle, which works for sustainability in the creative industries). Dóchas, Friends of the Earth, the Irish Environmental Network and the Heritage Council will lead discussions on climate change, sustainable development, local resilience and the challenge of how to communicate critical issues in an accessible way.

Finally, Global Green has its finger on Ireland’s musical pulse with atmospheric, electro, acoustic and folk music by day and dance and hip-hop beats by night in its Voices Rising tent. Highlights include Saint Sister, Elephant, Hauer, Replete, The Expert and Deetrich, to name but a few, and this year sees the introduction of a performance poetry showcase featuring Julie Goo, Temper-Mental MissElayneous, Fergus Costello and Cormac Lally.

You can shake off that fuzzy head and get your festival day underway with Global Green’s popular morning mindfulness and yoga sessions and then hang out on the green for the best coffee and breakfast on site. Visit the ecovillage throughout the day for the music, ideas, food and atmosphere, and at night find out why it’s the best-kept secret of the Electric Picnic.