If you're wondering what we've been doing with all that spare time that we have since we quit doing Culture Night full time, next weekend (14/15 October)at Mount Stewart will in part answer your question.
This is our second year doing the Mount Stewart Conversations Festival and as always when you do something for the second time you can really get your teeth into it. As well as having a much clearer idea of how the event would work we've had longer to think about it and more time to really work up the ideas as our heads aren't fully consumed with running Culture Night.
Right away the main thing that we decided to communicate was the idea that even if you weren't interested in coming to the headline events this would still be an amazing weekend to visit. The festival will mean that there's SO much extra bang for your buck not less.
The other thing we wanted to do now that we had time was to get all the amazing artists that we work with to work up a bit more of a bespoke experience. What is a festival of ideas? Is it just lots of people who know stuff talking about things. Well yes it is that a bit, but what if a festival of ideas was a place where you didn't just get told things or even engaged in debate about things? What if it's like a Disneyland for your brain? What if it's like a carnival of thought experiments? What if the main thing that you learnt at the festival was to question everything?
And then I got obsessed with the idea of the Easter Egg hunt that they have round the lake. It's basically just some laminated clues round the lake and if you collect them all then you get some chocolate. AND THEY COME IN THEIR THOUSANDS!!! What if instead of laminated clues there were actual characters to collect? And what if those characters represented thought experiments not questions about famous rabbits? What if my kids, who get given a binary, bible centred moral compass in their school had the chance to engage in broader philosophical concepts through the medium of an animated scavenger hunt? YES!
So on the weekend of the 14th & 15th October there's a bunch of REALLY brilliant things happening in Mount Stewart that we didn't organise. Some of them are paid for and some of them are free. But there's also three strands of programming that we at Seedhead are really excited about and they're ALL FREE*.
Check out the Facebook pages for more details. Like, share and invite your friends and family to the North of Ireland's first ever Festival of Head Melting.
The Garden of Thought Experiments
The Lake Trail at MSC
The Faculty Lectures at MSC
*You need regular admission to Mount Stewart. Members are free and admission to the festival for non-members is the same as any other weekend, (except this weekend you get a ton of extra free stuff)