A conversation with Danny Fields (141, July 2016)

It’s not possible to talk about Danny Fields without dropping a lot of names around the place. He’s the colourful dude of whom the New York Times said “you could make a convincing case that without Danny Fields, punk rock would not have happened.” He’s the man who was signed and managed Iggy and the Stooges, signed The MC5, managed The Ramones and worked in various roles with Jim Morrisonthe Velvet Underground and the Modern Lovers. And that’s just the bands: there are also connections with Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, his time as a writer (books on Warhol actress Cyrinda Foxe and Linda McCartney) and radio DJ on New Jersey’s WFMU.


He’s the subject of the rather brilliant Danny Says, a documentary by Brendan Toller on Fields’ life and times which was one of the hits at SXSW Film last year.

Fields recently published “My Ramones – Danny Fields”, a book about the band he managed from 1975 to 1980. Containing over 250 photos of the band as well as commentary by Fields, the book is published by First Third Books in a strictly limited hard back edition of 1300 copies.

The details: Banter’s conversation with Danny Fields takes place at The Chelsea Drugstore, (South Great Georges St., Dublin 2) on Wednesday July 13. Doors open at 6pm and limited tickets are available here.

Does Dublin need a night mayor? (140, July 2016)

The issue of a night mayor for major cities is something which has come up again and again this year. It was the subject for a fascinating panel at SXSW earlier this year and it’s also something which is finding its ways into discourse leftright and centre.

The point being made again and again is that if a city is serious about making the most of its nightlife, it stands to reason that they should also be serious about making sure there’s someone there to implement and oversee a proper strategy. Given that Paris, Zurich, Toulouse, Groningen, Amsterdam and Nijmegen already have a night mayor, is it time for Dublin to join them?

dublin-night-time-scenes-2-752x501As part of the ongoing Event Talks series from Banter and Eventbrite, we will be examining if Dublin needs a rep at city council level to represent night-time activity, how a night mayor might work, what it might mean for events organisers, the popularity of the concept amongst local policy makers and how it could be made happen. Our panel for this event is Richard Guiney (CEO DublinTown, Dublin City’s Business Improvement District), Niall Byrne (Nialler9) and Roisin McVeigh (Cheap TrickFrock Advisor and Totally Dublin).

The small print: Event Talks on Dublin’s night mayor will take place at Wood Quay Venue, Dublin 2 on Tuesday July 12. Doors open at 6pm and the event commences at 6.30pm. Admission is free and tickets can be booked here.

This is the third in the Event Talks series of event-related talks and conversations from Banter and Eventbrite to be held in the city over the coming months. You’ll find the video from the Event Talks event on festival trends and the reports which provided the talking points for the science of events discussion here.

Banter at Castlepalooza (139, July 2016)

We’re off to Castlepalooza in Tullamore, Co Offaly on Saturday for our debut appearance at the festival.



You’ll find Banter in the Big Blue tent behind the castle from 5pm to 8pm and our line-up is as follows:

5pm: A conversation with Tommy Tiernan

Tommy talks about this, that and the other. We listen. As simple as that.

7pm: A round with Steve Davis

You’ll know Steve Davis first and foremost as the most successful professional snooker player of the 1980s, winning a total of 28 major ranking events, including six World Championships. You’ll know him these days as a DJ and leftfield music champion, which is what brings him to Castlepalooza this weekend. We’ll talk snooker and music with Steve.

Tickets for Castlepalooza are available here.

Banter at Make A Move (138, July 2016)

A trip to Make A Move has become one of Banter’s favourite summer trips. Over the last few years, we’ve put on a range of talks and interviews at Limerick’s hip-hop and community arts festival including a 2012 discussion on the state of Irish hip-hopa 2014 pow-wow on the challenges around Limerick’s year in the spotlight as City of Culture and a superb aul’ chat with Kevin Barry last year (podcast here).

This year, we’re back in situ at the Shannow Rowing Club on Friday evening (July 1) for what we’re calling a music makers’ reality check – a series of insights and outsights from those deep in the game for those who want to get in the game but who don’t want to lose their heads. Our wise heads are John Lillis (Rusangano Family), Ciarán Ryan(Out On a Limb Records, radio documentary maker) and Nessa McGann (programme controller, Spin South West). Admission is free and we’ll kick off proceedings at 6pm. More information on what else is going on at Make A Move 2016 below


Event Talks: the science of events (137, June 2016)

Did you know that the colour pink can have a soothing effect on the people who go to your events, that blue has been shown to be calming and red can help make a crowd go wild? Or that it takes about 600 tweets to trend in Ireland?



As part of the ongoing Event Talks series, Banter and Eventbrite be looking at how science can help organisers to put on their events. Expect such issues as event design, the psychology of networking and bonding, the use of behavourial economics to make events zing, the science behind online engagement at an event and how emotional marketing contributes to an event experience to come up on the night.

The science of events panel: Dr. Shaun O’Boyle (research co-ordinator at Science Gallery and co-founder of Dublin Maker and Maurice & Shaun), Amanda Webb (Spider Working) and Dr Kenneth McKenzie (Strategic Planning Director with Target McConnells)

The small print: Event Talks on the science of events will take place at Science Gallery, Dublin 2 on Wednesday June 29. Doors open at 6pm and the event commences at 6.30pm. Admission is free and tickets can be booked here (this event is now sold out).

This is the second in the Event Talks series of event-related talks and conversations from Banter and Eventbrite to be held in the city over the coming months.

Punk rock wine (136, June 2016)

Is it time for wine to have a revolution? Over the last number of years, we’ve seen seismic changes and disruptions in the drinks world with craft beers, artisan cocktails, new-school whiskey distilleries and the gin revival. Wine may well be next.

Indeed, that revolution is already underway with the growth in availability and popularity of natural wines, as wine-makers seek to promote DIY practices, preach the importance of terroir and pitch the economics of smaller batches. We may even see the revolution extend to how wine is perceived with some of the more snobbish tendencies which tend to put off newcomers put to one side and downplayed in favour of people enjoying a great drink instead.


Joining us at Banter to discuss what’s next for wine and the wine business are Eric Narioo (founder Les Caves de Pyrene), Pascal Rossignol (owner, Le Caveau Wine Merchants), Julie Dupouy (sommelier, third place Association de la Sommellerie Internationale world championships), John Wilson (The Irish Times) and Shane Murphy (La Rousse Wines). There will also be a sampling of natural wines on the night

Label information: Banter on punk rock wines takes place at Wigwam (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday June 8. Doors open at 6pm, the event begins at 6.30pm and tickets can be booked here.

Banter at Bloom 2016 (135, June 2016)

This whole Banter shebang has taken me to some fascinating spots over the last six or seven years and last year’s run of talks, interviews and discussions at the Bloom festival in Dublin’s Phoenix Park was easily one of the highlights to date. It’s a huge family-friendly festival, pulling in around 100,000 people over the course of the June bank holiday weekend, and they’re there for a bit of everything, from show gardens and flower exhibitions to trade shows and what-have-you. Banter, it’s safe to say, is firmly in the what-have-you category.


Here’s the full rundown of who we’ll we talking to at Bloom this year and what we’ll be talking about – as you can see, it runs the waterfront from food, farming, gardens and wildlife to social issues, technology, health, history and retail. You’ll find the Banter tent located in the middle of Food Village at the festival (it’s number 27 on this map).


11am – The weatherman 

Head of Forecasting at Met Eireann Gerald Fleming on weather patterns from storms to sunshine

Noon – The A to Z of community shops 

The story of how to set up and run a community shop and café as told by Mary Fogarty and Maeve O’Hair from The Cottage, Loughmore, Co Tipperary

1.30pm – Bloom Fringe

Bloom is about more than just about what’s happening in the Phoenix Park. Marion Keogh and Róisín de Buitléar talk about Bloom Fringe and its workshops, talks, installations, pop-ups, art and demos on the streets of the capital.

2.30pm – Big Week On the Farm

In April, 1.5 million people tuned into RTE’s Big Week On the Farm show. We talk to John Fagan, the man whose Co Westmeath farm became the all-action site for the show, about what was involved.

3.30pm – Operation Transformation

Dr Eddie Murphy from the hugely popular TV series Operation Transformation talks health and fitness

4.30pm – Inside the Farmers Journal

Farmers Journal editor Justin McCarthy joins us at Banter to talk about his work at the paper and how to keep its readers happy in a challenging and changing world.


Noon – Meet the food buyers

How do food stores decide which artisan or new producers they’ll stock? We’ve brought together a number of food buyers from major outlets – Aoife Ryan from Retail In Motion, Diarmuid Murphy and James Watson from Dunnes Stores and Derek Murphy from Topaz – to talk about what they look for when they decide to put a new product on their shelves or menus.

1.30pm – The Ploughing

The biggest event to be held in Ireland every year, the National Ploughing Championships is an annual highlight for many. We hear from organiser Anna Marie McHugh about what’s required to keep 281,000 people happy and what’s in store for 2016

2.30pm – Chef profile: Mark Moriarty

Over the last few years, young Dublin chef Mark Moriarty has been picking up awards left, right and centre. He talks to us at Banter about what’s involved in staying at the top of the game

3.30pm – Meet the Commish

Niamh Bushnell is the first ever Dublin Commissioner for Startups. We’ll hear about her role and why Dublin and Ireland are proving to be a healthy breeding ground for new technology companies of all kinds.

4.30pm – What’s next for the food service sector?

When it comes to eating out, Irish diners are big fans of fast food, fast casual and healthy and fresh outlets. Bord Bia’s Maureen Gahan talks about the trends to watch when it comes to cafes and restaurants in Ireland


11am – Farming 1916

There has been a lot of talk this year about 1916, but what was happening on the Irish farm back then? Dr Arlene Crampsie from UCD’s School of Geography talks about the state of the land 100 years ago and the difficulties and challenges which Irish farmers faced

Noon – Mindfulness for gardening

We’re delighted to be joined by Banter at Bloom favourite Fiann Ó Nualláin. This time around, the garden designer, author and broadcaster talks about the role mindfulness and meditation has played in his new garden The Tao Of Now

1.30pm – the Café Rua story

Up to a decade ago, Aran McMahon was best known as a brilliant DJ and club promoter. These days, he’s running things at the award-winning Café Rua in Castlebar. He talks about what was involved in the career swap and the lessons he’s learned about running an Irish food business

2.30pm – Chef profile: The Happy Pear

They’re back! David and Stephen Flynn from The Happy Pear return to the Banter at Bloom tent to talk about their new book The World of the Happy Pear and their mission when it comes to food.

3.45pm – Decoding the ingredients

We hear and see a lot of information about healthy eating, good food and nutrition, but do we really know what all of this information actually means? Eatwell dietician Sarah Keogh helps us to decipher what’s on the back of packet

4.30pm – The Hurley Maker’s Son

You won’t read a better memoir all year than Patrick Deeley’s account of growing up on a farm in east Galway where his father was a skilled carpenter and the hurley maker of the title. We’ll talk to the author about what went into the book and how he swapped the sawmills for the schoolroom and a career as a teacher.


11am – A garden for Syria

Award-winning designer Brian Burke talks about War & Peace, his garden for GOALwhich will be showing at Bloom 2016 and has been inspired by the Syrian conflict.

Noon – A meeting with a Dragon

Folks will know Alison Cowzer as one of the people running the rule over pitches on Dragons’ Den. We talk to Alison about her own work in the food sector and some of the investments she wishes she had made in her career.

1.30pm – Chef profile: Catherine Fulvio

The cook from Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in Co Wicklow Catherine Fulvioon the ins and outs of keeping an Irish food enterprise on the road

2.30pm – Ear to the Ground

Ear to the Ground is the go-to TV show for anyone interested in rural and farming affairs. The show’s presenter Darragh McCullough, who is also deputy editor of the Irish Independent’s Farming supplement and runs a mixed farm in Co Meath, talks about what goes into the show and how it covers its beat.

3.30pm – What Are You Eating?

Rashers, sausages, dairy products, pork chops, bread, fruit and veg: these were just some of the food stuffs which presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes and producer Suzanne Campbell investigated for their RTE series What Are You Eating? earlier this year. They tell us about what we’re really eating – and if we really want to know.

4.30pm – Tech on the farm 

New technology is helping Irish farmers get the job done quicker and better than ever before. We hear from Steve Lock from Grassometer and John Larkin from Moocallabout their products, the reaction from the farming community and their plans for the future.


11am – Saving the bees

One third of Ireland’s bee species are threatened with extinction because we have reduced where they can nest and the amount of food our landscape provides for them. Erin Tiedeken from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan talks about the efforts being made to ensure bees can survive and thrive.

Noon – Fiann’s Clinic

Do you know what your garden can provide in terms of beauty treatments, natural cures and first aid? Meet the natural doctor, Fiann Ó Nualláin

2.30pm – Peter McVerry

Peter McVerry has been working with the young homeless of this city for more than 30 years. He joins us to talk about his work and what he makes of the government plans and actions to help those in need.

3.30pm – The coffee break

In 2008, Colin Harmon decided he was going to give up his career in investment funds and dedicate himself to coffee. His move from high finance to caffeine has been a good one and he’s at Bloom to tell the story of 3FE, his award-winning coffee and café business

4.30pm – Social farming

Social farming is the growing practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of social support for people to improve their health, well-being and self-esteem. Co Cavan farmer and gardener Barry Kavanagh is one of those involved in social farming and he tells us about what’s involved.

Tickets for Bloom 2016 are on sale here.

Event Talks: Festival trends (134, May 2016)

You don’t need us to tell you that the festival season is about to get in full swing. Every single promoter who’s booked a field or a tent for some upcoming shindig will be hoping that (a) people buy tickets and (b) the weather will be grand.


Festivals, though, are changing, evolving and growing. Across Ireland, more and more people are coming together to celebrate unique sounds, interests, and passions – from underground hip-hop to health and wellness to multi-day outdoor festivals – thanks to the huge array of well targeted, niche events.

There’s no such thing anymore as one-size-fits-all in the festival sector. Organisers and promoters are finding new ways to tailor packages and offer exclusive passes that cater to their audience’s growing appetite for customisation and greater choice. Some organisers are even adding new categories to their events (think beer tastings and art exhibits at a music festival), to excite more people and boost attendance.

Technology is also reshaping the industry. Advances in data analytics and wireless technology vastly improve how festivals are planned and managed. Social networks have helped event marketing and promotions, as fans build communities of like-minded friends and share their excitement (and sometimes disappointments). All of these trends are driving significant growth in festivals and events around Ireland, and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon.

Banter has joined forces with Eventbrite to bring together some interested parties to look at the area of trends when it comes to festivals and events. Join Hugh Scully (festival director at Interlude, owner Coppa &amp and RFID and event technology representative) and Johnny Boyle (Strategic Director at Modern Green) at the Wood Quay Venue (Dublin City Council, Fishamble St, Dublin 2) on Tuesday May 31. Doors open at 6pm and the Bantering begins at 6.30pm. Admission is free and tickets can be booked here.

This is the first in the Event Talks series from Banter and Eventbrite which we’ll be rolling out over the next few months.

Banter at Ballymaloe Litfest (133, May 2016)

Banter is going back to the country’s premier food and drink festival. After a successful debut at the Ballymaloe LitFest of Food & Wine in 2015 when we did what we were supposed to and didn’t annoy too many people, the festival team have invited Banter back for another round of conversations, discussions, talks and interviews in the Garden Tent as part of this year’s festival from May 20 to 22. Here’s the a la carte menu for the weekend

The Banter interview: Yotam Ottolenghi (Saturday, 4pm)


Inbetween juggling cookbooks, TV shows, colourful newspaper columns, shops and restuarants, our favourite Middle Eastern cuisine champion takes time to join us at Banter to discuss taste, dishes, vegetables and spices.

The next big trend (Sunday, 11am)

One for the early noshers in the audience. We ask noted food watchers Seamus Sheridan (Sheridans Cheesemongers), Hilary Quinn (Dublin Doughnut Co) and Sally McKenna (John & Sally McKenna’s Guides) what comes next after kale, chorizo and doughnuts.

So you want to open your own restaurant? (Sunday, 2pm)

All you ever wanted to know about the art, business, blood, sweat, tears and occasional cheers of running a restaurant in Ireland in 2016, but didn’t know who to ask. Jess Murphy (Kai, Galway) and John Farrell (Dillingers, The Butchers Grill, Super Miss Sue, Luna, 777 etc, Dublin) The most rock’n’roll discussion you will hear this year about what it really takes to run a successful food gaff.

Fire and smoke (Saturday, 10am)

Forget about the 1916 rising, the real revolution is the one involving copious amounts of fire, smoke and meat. Grilling connoisseurs Fingal Ferguson (farmer, charcutier, cheese maker, butcher and knife maker), Francis Mallmann (1884, Argentina), John Relihan(Duagh BBQ Festival and Holy Smoke, Cork) and Andy Noonan (Big Grill festival) tell us what gets them hot under the collar above slow and low.

Buzzing (Saturday, 1pm)

Do you have a caffeine habit yet? You may well do after this panel. Steve Leighton(Hasbean Coffee, London), Colin Harmon (3FE, Dublin), Joanna Alm (Drop Coffee, Stockholm) and Mark Kingston (Golden Bean, Ballymaloe) discuss the fine art of coffee, the recent innovations, the operators they like and what will be arriving into your cup in the coming years.

Banter will share the Garden Tent space with Joe McNamee’s Rants, Raves and Ruaille BuailleJohn Bowman’s Questions & Answers’ food specialCaroline Hennessy’s Cookbook ChroniclesIrish Food Writers GuildKathy Whyte of Change for HealthApril Danannthe Lalala Choir and a real bread workshop. You’ll find the full schedule for the Garden Tent and the full programme for the LitFest here. Admission to the Garden Tent and all the Fringe Festival events is €5 per day (kids under 12 go free)

The news agenda (132, April 2016)

One of the questions which comes up again and again at different Banter discussions is to do with who sets the news agenda. Be it the general election or Syria, people are curious about why certain stories make the mix, the filters which are used to make those decisions and the stories which don’t make the cut as a result.

Journalists work in the main newsroom area of the new Al Jazeera America television broadcast studio on West 34th Street August 16, 2013 in New York. Al Jazeera America, which will launch on August 20, will have its headquarters in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

Journalists work in the main newsroom area of the new Al Jazeera America television broadcast studio on West 34th Street August 16, 2013 in New York. Al Jazeera America, which will launch on August 20, will have its headquarters in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

This Banter discussion brings together a number of editors and producers to talk about their work, the decisions they make, the factors which inform those decisions and other issues around the editorial process. No doubt the question “is this news?” will be asked at least once on the night.

Banter news agenda panelSusan Daly (editor, The Journal), Richie Oakley (editor, The Times Ireland edition) and Vincent Murphy (editor, Morning Ireland, RTE Radio One)

The small print: Banter on the news agenda takes place at Wigwam (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday April 27. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion begins at 6.30pm sharp. Tickets can be reserved here.

The art of sponsorship (131, Apr 2016)

When it comes to putting on events and festivals, the hardest issue most organisers will have to deal with has to do with funding. Of course, there are harder questions – coming up with names for your event can be damn tricky, believe me – but getting the cash to put on your event in the first place, especially free events, is something which occupies a lot of time and causes a lot of sleepless nights.

One way of squaring that circle has to do with sponsorship, though this brings another set of questions over everything from who you approach to what do you give the would-be sponsor in return.


As part of EventBrite’s Free: Celebrating Free Events For All photography exhibition, we’ll be hosting a Banter discussion on the ins and outs of sponsorship. Our panelists Colin Hart (founder and creative director of independent ad agency The Public House), Sam Bishop (manager of Happenings and founder of Street Feast and Granby Park) and Aine O’Mahony (marketing and event management consultant) will talk about what works and what doesn’t work, what sponsors are looking for, the importance of integrity, relationship building and how you ensure the sponsor comes back with their chequebook the following year.

The small print: Banter on sponsorship takes place at Teeling Whiskey Distillery (13-17 Newmarket, Dublin 8 ) on Wednesday April 13 at 6pm. Admission is free, but you need to register in advance and you can do so here. Big thanks to Ann Lowney at EventBriteand John Mahon at The Locals for their help with this.

Banter at MusicTown (130, Apr 2016)

There’s a great line-up of events planned for the MusicTown festival in Dublin next month. Promoted by Dublin City Council, the festival will feature over 60 events throughout the city from April 6 to 17 inspired by the capital’s musical heritage and vibrant music scene.

As part of the festival, Banter will be hosting two events. The first takes place at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Newmarket, Dublin 8 on Saturday April 9. There will be music and words from Rusangano Family at 1pm with MuRli, God Knows and mynameisjOhn talking about their new album “Let the Dead Bury the Dead”, roots, hip-hop, identity, Ireland and the future – and performing tracks from their new album. The band will also perform in Dublin’s Sugar Club on the same night.


This will be followed by three radioheads discussing how music on the radio can foster, kindle and develop a love affair with music. Kelly-Anne Byrne (Today FM, TXFM), Philip King (RTE Radio One, Other Voices) and Donal Dineen (from Today FM to 2FM) will talk about the power of radio and music selectors.

Tickets are now available at €5 a pop here.

The second Banter event is a meet the family conversation with Neneh Cherry at the Wintergarden in the National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2 on Saturday April 16 at 7pm.


Neneh Cherry is the adventurous, pioneering and innovative singer, songwriter and performer who has been producing cool, sassy pop all her life, from “Buffalo Stance” and “7 Seconds” to the recent “Blank Project” album via collaborations with Gorillaz, Michael Stipe, Groove Armada, Pulp, Peter Gabriel, The Slits and Kleerup.

We’re chuffed to have Neneh join us at Banter to talk about her life and work. Later, she will DJ at Wigwam (Middle Abbey Street). Tickets for this Banter event are now on sale at €5.50 each here.

Banter on Syria (129, Mar 2016)

It’s five years since civil war broke out in Syria. During those five years, the country has been torn apart by tragedy and chaos. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian people have been killed and millions more have been displaced in the brutal conflict between Assad and those opposed to his rule – not to mention the emergence of the Islamic State jihadist militants who capitalised on the chaos and took control of large swathes of Syria and Iraq. The brutality of the conflict, the horrific blockades of cities, the deployment of chemical weapons, the evidence of war crimes on all sides and the confusion has destroyed much of this once proud nation.


As the fighting has intensified, the humanitarian crisis has grown and has alerted the world beyond Syria’s borders to what’s happening within. Over five million people are believed to have fled the country since the start of the war, most of them women and children. Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have struggled to cope with one of the largest refugee exoduses in history and about one in ten Syrian refugees have sought safety in Europe, leading to the tragic scenes over the last year of people drowning on European shores. These are people who five years ago were happily living in Syrian cities like Aleppo, Al-Raqqah and Homs, cities which have now been virtually destroyed in the conflict.

Banter on Syria has invited a number of interested parties along to discuss the lessons of the last five years. International aid organisation GOAL‘s chief executive Barry Andrews,  Médecins Sans Frontières Ireland director Jane-Ann McKenna and author of My Home is Your Home: A Journey round Syria and travel writer Mary Russell will talk about the human and cultural cost of the conflict, the current state of play as they see it, their fears about what’s yet to come and what can be done to bring about some semblance of relief from a conflict which seems both senseless and without end.

The small print: Banter on Syria will take place at MVP (Clanbrassil St., Dublin 8 ) on Wednesday March 9. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion, which
will be followed by an audience Q&A, will commence at 6.30pm. Tickets can be booked here.


Banter’s general election review (128, Feb 2016)

Before the polls open and voting begins, Banter gathers today some interested observers to run the rule over the 2016 general election campaign.


Who have been the men and women of the campaign, the troopers who’ve stood out in the last few weeks for various reasons and why?

For the policy wonks in the audience, did any of the parties produce anything worthwhile or will every single pledge and plan be abandoned before the summer regardless of who wins?

What are the key moments we’ll remember from the campaign? And the key phrases (other than f***** s*****)?

Has the stability versus chaos message which was signaled months ago turned out to be the one that mattered or has some other theme taken up the slack?

How has this election differed from previous ones?

The question of every election season since Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey came along: was this really the first ever social media election?

Was it a good election for the media?

We’ll also put our necks on the line and predict who will be smiling and who will be grimacing when the votes are counted – and if this will be the only election here in 2016

The panelSinead O’Carroll (News Editor, TheJournal.ie), Hugh Linehan (Culture Editor, The Irish Times) and Jane Suiter (DCU School of Communications and Institute for Future Media and Journalism)

The details: Banter’s general election review will take place at MVP, Clanbrassil St., Dublin on Wednesday February 24. Doors open at 6pm and the action starts at 6.30pm sharp. Tickets are now available here.

Want to learn about managing creativity?

We’ve done many diverse things over the last couple of years with Banter and there’s always room for more. The good folks at the Irish Writers Centre approached us about collaborating on a project and the forthcoming Managing Creativity one-day course is a result of this.


It’s intended to provide guidance, advice and a steer for writers, artists and arts managers for what to do once the actual work is finished and ready for the public. In many ways, finishing the work is just the start of the creative process and it can be just as challenging to distribute your work and ensure it receives the exposure and profile you’d like it to receive.

With the help of guest experts from a range of fields, this seminar will give participants a grounding in some of the key skills they’ll need to know. There will be four panels in total on the day covering topics such as setting up one-off events, getting your work into festivals, marketing, funding, finances and social media.

Managing Creativity will take place at the Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1 on Saturday February 27 and there’s more information here.


Howya: the evolution of the Dublin accent (127, Jan 2016)

Just what does Dublin sound sound like? In 2015, there’s a wide range of accents classifiable as the Dublin accent depending on which part of the city or county you happen to be in. We know the ones which are the stuff of caricature and mimic but there’s more to this than just Ross O’Carroll Kelly and Love/Hate.

Over the years, the Dublin accent – as well as the city’s slang, language and lexicon – has changed and morphed numerous times. Be it on the streets, the stage or the screen, what passes for what we hear around us in the the city in 2015 is a lot different to what it was 20 years ago or even in the rare aul’ times.


For this Banter, we’re looking at how these changes happened, the influences on accents, the unique confluence of events which have made Dublin accents turn out the way they have, the effect of various geographical divides on the dialect and just what the city might sound like a few years from now.

The Banter panel: Jenny Keogh (photographer, film-maker and director of Story Bud?), Aoife Dooley (Dublin Hun creator and illustrator) and Derek O’Connor (writer and film-maker)


The small print: Banter on the evolution of the Dublin accent takes place at MVP (Upper Clanbrassil St., Dublin) on Wednesday January 27). Doors open at
6pm and we’ll kick off at 6.30pm. Tickets are available here

Banter meets Willie Thorne (126, Jan 2016)

For the third year in a row, Banter will be starting the new year in the company of First Fortnight. Our events at the mental health creative arts festival have always been about sports and 2016 focuses on one sportsman in particular.

During snooker’s heyday in the 1980s, Willie Thorne was one of the game’s best known and well-liked players. He won 14 major titles and made a record 190 maximum 147 breaks, earning himself the nickname Mr Maximum. But behind the happy-go-lucky smile lurked a dark secret: Thorne was a gambling addict and, by the end of his career, he’d blown £1.5 million at betting shops and casinos. As the money from snooker dried up, Thorne’s destructive addiction showed no sign of abating and his life spiralled out of control. Desperation and depression took hold of him, culminating in a suicide attempt when he came close to ending it all.


Banter’s conversation with Willie Thorne takes place at Dublin’s Sugar Club on Saturday January 9 at 4.30pm. Tickets are now available here.

Check out the full First Fortnight programme here including the Therapy Sessionswith Jenneifer EvansSaint Sister and others, a screening of the excellent Brian Wilson flick Love & Mercy, a discussion around mental health and sports with Kenneth EganJohn Leonard and Breifne Earley and a public debate chaired by John Bowman on where political parties stand on mental health.

Review of the Year (125, Dec 2015)

There are only a couple of weeks left in 2015 so it must be time for the annual Banter Review of the Year. As we’ve done in 20092010201120122013 and 2014, we will be bringing together a number of smart folks to talk about the stories of the last 12 months which have resonated with them.


Some of our panelists have made the news in ’15, some have reported the news in ’15 and some have observed all that has happened with interest from the sidelines. It’s always one of the highlights of the Banter year, chiefly because it’s a night which reminds us of stuff that happened which we’d forgotten all about.

Banter’s Review of the Year panelKathy Sheridan (The Irish Times), Grainne Healy (co-director Yes Equality campaign) and Zoë Comyns (independent radio producer and founder New Normal Culture).

The small print: Banter’s Review of the Year takes place on Wednesday December 9 at MVP, Dublin 8. Doors open 6pm, the rewinding starts at 6.30pm and tickets are available here.

Banter at Other Voices (124, Dec 2015)

The Banter roadshow heads to the Kingdom for Other Voices on Saturday and Sunday December 5 and 6. It’s our fourth year in a row to take over the back of Foxy John’s pub in downtown Dingle for the weekend and we thank them and all at Other Voices for their patience so far. This will, I promise, be the year when we buy a pound of nails. And a new hammer.


As always, we have a great cast of characters for you to meet over the weekend with interviews and discussions about music, politics, photography, war, media, activism and film-making (some more guests to be added too).


Dónal Lunny

The list of acts associated with this master musician reads like a history of Irish music. Since the late 1960s, Dónal has played a pivotal role in the development and evolution of the Irish sound through his time with the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Mozaik, LAPD and dozens, probably hundreds, of other collaborations, projects, releases and tours. He continues to be as prolific today as he ever was, both as a solo artist and with groups like Usher’s Island. We think it’s high time to salute the legacy of this great musician and we’re honoured that he has agreed to join us in Dingle.

Una Mullally

Una is no stranger to Banter or Other Voices – indeed, she has appeared on more Banter panels and discussions than anyone else to date – but she’s here this time to talk about herself and an extraordinary year. In 2015, the journalist, broadcaster, activist and author has been centrestage with her excellent history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland, In the Name of Love, her role in this year’s referendum and her strong, resonant, deeply personal opinion pieces on cancer. We talk to her about all of this and much more.

Eoin Ó Broin

Eoin is a Sinn Féin councillor with South Dublin County Council and a party strategist. Ahead of the 2016 general election, Eoin joins us at Banter to talk about the rise of Sinn Féin as a political force, the party’s strengths and weaknesses, his views on the Irish left movement’s political fortunes, the changing nature of Irish activism and his insights on what will come next for the party.

Jean Curran

Jean is a Waterford-born photographic artist and photojournalist whose From Both Sides collection is a very different take on war photography which saw her take black and white photographic prints of soldiers in Afghanistan that were then painted by hand by an Afghan artist. Jean joins us to talk about what was involved in the project, embedding with the military in Afghanistan and her other projects like Neither Here Nor There, about young middle-class Malawian students moving to Ireland, and The Shoreline Cast, focusing on
Swahili fishermen working from a deserted beach near Kenya’s Jumba la Mtwana

The Banter Review of the Arts Year

Sunday Business Post arts editor and presenter of TXFM’s Songs In the Key of Life show Nadine O’Regan joins us by the fire at Foxy John’s to review the books, films, music and #WakingtheFeminists movement of the last 12 months.

Conor Horgan & Katie Holly

Meet the team behind The Queen of Ireland, the documentary film about Rory O’Neill, better known as Panti Bliss, in the lead-up to this year’s referendum on marriage equality. Director Conor and producer Katie join us at Banter in Dingle to talk about the motivation and process behind the critically acclaimed story about one of the stories of the year.

There will be also be music at Banter over the weekend from some fantastic acts namely Saint SisterSlow Moving CloudsHare Squead, Sample Answer and, as has become the tradition at Banter in Dingle, some local trad maestros in the shape of Méabh Ní Bheaglaioch and Matt Griffin whose new album “Cuisle” is out now.

Banter at ECM Weekend (123, Nov 2015)

There’s an intriguing weekend of music and more in store at the ECM Weekend at Triskel Christchurch in Cork this coming Friday to Sunday. There’s a performance by Anna Maria Friman, John Potter, Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman of lute songs written by John Paul Jones, Sting and Tony Banks as well as an appearance from Quercus with June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren.


There will also be screenings (including Sounds and Silence, which follows ECM label founder Manfred Eicher through recording studios, concerts, back rooms and asides while encountering Arvo Pärt, Jan Garbarek, Eleni Karaindrou, Anouar Brahem, Marilyn Mazur and others, and Arrows Into Infinity, Dorothy Darr and Jeffery Morse’s profile of Charles Lloyd) and a festival club.

Banter’s involvement with the weekend takes the form of a discussion about musical communities and connections. When Manfred Eicher set up ECM Records in Munich in the late 1960s, he established a connection between the records which represented his label and a worldwide clan of music fans who gravitated towards those releases. Whether it was the sound or the vision of those striking, idiosyncratic ECM releases, a connection was established and a reputation began to grow.

While much has changed since ECM’s early days, cultural connections, those bonds between those who make and produce and embellish and sell the music and those who fall in love with those creations, remain a invaluable albeit often intangible element. As part of the ECM Weekend, we’re joined by musician John Potter, composer Linda Buckley, Ergodos record label director Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and the Triskel’s artistic director Tony Sheehan to discuss the cultural connections which ensue when someone with a vision decides to act on that.

This discussion will take place at the Triskel Christchurch on Sunday November 29 at 2.30pm and tickets are available here.