Forget Oxegen, the Festival of Politics is coming to town

Forget Oxegen or even Glastonbury, this year pack your sleeping bags and get ready for the Festival of Politics, the biggest peace-loving political chin wagging seisiún ever to invade our streets.

The week-long fiesta for the public, being run by Oireachtas party-goers in October, will coincide with TDs and Senators returning to work after a distressingly long summer break.

A festival producer is being sought to run “high calibre” shows and entertainment. Eager punters can look forward to themed events, running in the morning, over lunchtime and in the evening.

And yes, the exciting line up being footed by taxpayers’ money includes public interviews, chaired panel discussions, team and individual debates and lectures.

But before some suggest this is a beggar’s banquet, our daring Oireachtas heroes are lining up comedy and music acts as well.

According to a notice for the Houses of the Oireachtas Festival of Politics, “the festival will constitute approximately 25-30 separate events in approximately eight different venues.”

Some will seat 300 to 1,000 people.

Can we expect some ‘taste of politics’ stands throughout the week, where the great unwashed can sample political party messages at stalls dotted across a few leafy corners of Dublin?

Yes and more.

The intelligentsia at Leinster House have decided to make the events from Monday October 6 to Saturday October 11 a national festival. Four venues will be used outside the capital.

And you can expect our politicians to fully participate in the planned celebrations.

Some sceptics might suggest the festival is just a veiled opportunity for parties to sell their message. Of course it is, but it’s being done with class.

Events will include large scale venues, lights, audience participation, choreographed shows as well as “schools and youth related events with local, national and international themes”.

Dust down those wellies and dig out the ponchos, the Festival of Politics is coming to town.


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