The Global Green at the Electric Picnic

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Goska Smierzchalska photographyView 2011 Photos On Facebook | Michael D. Higgins Speaks at Cultivate Tent 3rd Sept 2011

2, 3, 4 September 2011, Stradbally Estate, County Laois. The Global Green returned for a 5th year at the Electric Picnic as the place to slow down, to celebrate cultural transformation, and to imagine a future that works for all.

It was a colourful and enchanting festival oasis where revelers went to Re-Charge, Re-Think, and Re-Engage away from the bright lights of the big arenas. Surfing the Waves of Change was this year’s theme for 3 days of energizing and thought-provoking entertainment and discussion. Food, film, music and debate were all on the menu, along with workshops and games for all ages.

Des Moriarty Photography

Clare Mulvany photography

Ines Billings Photography

 Who Was There?

Organised by Cultivate, Global Green is a collaboration of cultural creatives, activists, artists, environmentalists and civil society organizations which comes to life as the result of a shared vision for an obtainable and sustainable future. Sharing that vision are: Cultivate, Amnesty, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, the Irish Cycling Community, Stop Climate Chaos, Green Me, Green Ireland Interactive, Glas Energy, Arcade Fire’s Haiti Campaign, Irish Wildlife Trust, Transition Towns, Slow Food, Iceland:Ireland, The Melting Pot, Stop Food Waste, Grow It Yourself Ireland, Birdwatch, Fairtrade Ireland, Western Sahara Action Ireland, Master Composters, Wildside, Cully and Sully, Ballymaloe, Golden Bean, UNICEF, Console, Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, the Hedge Layers Association, Street Feast, Crafts Council and the Irish Architecture Foundation.

 What Was On?

Cultivate Tent

The Rethink Tank challenged people to engage with Ireland’s problems and work towards solving them. Presidential candidate Michael D. Higgins launched proceedings ahead of a busy two days of energising debate, including: Collaborating Through the Crisis; Rethinking The Green Economy; How Green is Ireland?.

Cultivate Sounds introduced fresh new Irish acts chosen for their worldviews as well as their musical brilliance: Conor Walsh, Ambiencellist, Reid, Carried by Waves, Colm Querney, John Blek & Rats, Owensie, Replete and DJ Steve Reddy. Owensie is an acoustic artist whose music, as the described by the Sunday Business Post, ‘deserves to be heard - and adored" while REID’s unique brand of electronica is never less than enthralling, and, well, the party never really starts until you have Steve Reddy behind the wheels of steel!

The Slow Tent

The festival’s best pizza and coffee were enjoyed to the tunes of Slow Down Sounds, and the Cork Ukulele Band. Talks included Slow Food, Growing It Ourselves, Composting and Community Farming, and on Sunday afternoon, The People’s Picnic.  Street Feast, Ireland:Iceland, Transition Towns and provided invigorating conversation and some delicious tasters provided by Cully & Scully.

 Amnesty Tent

The Bingo Room was back, and this year 50 was the lucky number as Amnesty International celebrated its 50th birthday. The Freedom Café dispensed Fair Trade coffee and treats while music came in the shape of deBurca, The Riptide Movement, Steve Whelan Band, Phunk’dup Live, The Wall Street Thieves and Toy Soldiers.

Cookery Demonstration

Cully & Sully and Chef Ivan Whelan did a soup-er cookery demonstration showing how to cook for "Great Taste and No Waste!" Menu included: Lambs heart with whiskey thyme and cream; Mussels with chervil and cider; Carageen with blackberries.

Goldsprints allowed folks to race their mate for 30 seconds in front of a cheering crowd on stationary bicycles with pumping tunes from the Cultivate Sounds DJs 

Yoga classes with Grainne McGloughlin and Mari Kennedy allowed early starters to scape away their hangover and replenish for the day ahead.

The Global Green Vintage Party stepped back in time to the 1920s & 30s with the Boudoir Sessions and their unmissable vaudeville show.

All this plus loads more including:

  • Cultivate’s new animated short, ‘Surfing The Waves of Change’, premiered in the Hexayurt.  

Festival goers could:

  • Download from the Sun and Upload to The Cloud’ at the Solar Blogging Station;
  •  Play giant Connect 4 Resilience with the Cloughjordan Ecovillagers;  
  • The Composting Station 
  • Vintage Cycle Fashion Shoot;
  •  the stunning installation ‘Craftitecture’ built by the Galway School of Boat Builders;
  •  find your‘’festival wildside’with Birdwatch Ireland,
  • The Irish Wildlife Trust and The Hedge Layers Association Ireland;
  •  bring the kids along for storytelling and puppet shows with Green Me’s Greenie; 
  • have a nice chat at Unicef’s Mrs Doyle’s Tea Tent;
  • learn about Morocco's occupation and enjoy tea served traditionally at Western Sahara Action Ireland;
  •  challenge yourself at the Invent Tent; 
  • and admire sculptures made from recycled wheelchairs by Muscular Dystrophy Ireland.


Cultivate’s Rethink Tank
19.00 Cultivate Sounds: Ambiencellist
20.00 Premiere screening of ‘Surfing the Waves of Change’, the new short film from
21.00 Goldsprint – Indoor bike racing with the cycling community.
19.00 Bingo, Music and the Freedom Café
The Slow Tent
Slow Down Sounds, Pizza and Coffee
Building a Hexayurt with inventor Vinay Gupta
Programme of short talks and music

Cultivate’s Rethink Tank
11.00 – Yoga with Grainne McLaughlin
12.30 – opens its Rethink Tank at this year’s Picnic with Michael D Higgins, candidate for the Presidency of Ireland, who will share a few thoughts on how we might achieve a creative and sustainable relationship between ourselves and the environment.
13.00 - Cultivate Sounds: Conor Walsh
14.00 - t.b.a
15.00 – Rethink Tank - Collaborating Through the Crises
In these difficult times, even when everything seems quite fractured, we are witnessing a strengthened sense of collaboration and a real recognition of the need to work together to overcome the challenges we face and a strengthened sense of collaboration
The rise of open source technologies, creative commons, co-working spaces and community supported businesses demonstrates how people with similar concerns, challenges and values are coming together to work cooperatively on important projects.
Claire Carpenter (The Melting Pot (Edinburgh)
Matt Mills (Sustain West Cork & Transition Towns)
Vinay Gupta (Hexayurt Open Source Project)
Ollie Moore (Cloughjordan Community Farm)
Dylan Haskins TBC
Facilitated by Davie Philip (Cultivate & Cloughjordan Ecovillage)
16.20 - Cultivate Sounds: John Blek and the Rats
17.10 – The "Great Taste and No waste!" Cookery Demonstration
18.30 - Cultivate Sounds: REID
19.00 - Cultivate Sounds: DJ Steve Reddy
21.00 - Goldsprint Bike Racing
13.00 – Bingo, Music and the Freedom Café.
The Slow Tent
All day Slow Down Sounds, Pizza and Coffee
15.30  Food For Thought – Short talks on Local Food and the Green Economy
16.30  Food for Thought – Short Talks on Growing It Ourselves with GIY and Community Gardens
All day – The Surfing the Waves of Change Animation and other short films.
Programme of short talks and music

Cultivate’s Rethink Tank
12.00 – Yoga with Marie Kennedy
13.00 – Cultivate Sounds: Colm Querney
14.00 - Cultivate Sounds: This is Laura
15.00 – The Green Economy
We could be on the cusp of the biggest transformation in society since the industrial revolution. Establishing green jobs and exploiting the Irelands ‘green and clean’ image may well prove to be the key to Ireland's economic recovery. Do we have the right systems in place to facilitate this transformation? Our panel discuss how we can make sure we have the skills and capacity to catch this new economic wave.
Colm Byrne (Glas Learning)
John Harrington (RealEyes)
Kaethe Burt-O'Dea (Desireland)
Jeff Colley (Construct Ireland)
Facilitated by Devyn Olson-Sawyer (Green Works)
16.00 – Cultivate Sounds: Owensie
16.30 – How Green is Ireland?
Climate Change is not going away and we know that our persistent reliance on depleting fossil fuels is bad for us, bad for the economy and definitely bad for the environment. Ireland emits more climate-changing pollution per person by burning fossil fuels than China, India and Sweden put together. In the interests of the economy, global justice and a safe future for all, Ireland has to play its part by radically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and increase our renewable energy supply. Can we trust the decision makers to pursue this agenda and commit to binding carbon reduction targets both internationally and nationally? Our panel discusses why we need to do this and how we might go about it.
Gavin Harte (Stop Climate Chaos)
Richard O’Rouke (Association of the Study of Peak Oil)
Taja Naidoo (Progressio)
Eamon Ryan (Green Party)
Facilitated by Davie Philip (Cultivate / Cloughjordan Ecovillage)
17.30 - Cultivate Sounds: We Cut Corners
18.30 - Cultivate Sounds: Carried by Waves
20.00 - Goldsprint Bike Racing

12.00 – Bingo
20.00 – Band and DJ
23.00 – The Global Green Vintage Party
The Slow Tent
All day - Slow Down Sounds, Pizza and Coffee
14.00 - Food for Thought – Short talks on Slow Food, Composting and Community Farming
17.30 - The People’s Picnic * Sharing food and ideas for a brighter world
All day – The Surfing the Waves of Change Animation and other short films.
Programme of short talks and music