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.


Meet the Commish (091, Nov 2014)

Did you know that Dublin now has a commissioner for start ups? Her name is Niamh Bushnell and her gig is to sell the city as the place to be to start, develop and grow tech and innovative businesses.

Dublin's new commissioner for start-ups Niamh Bushnell
Dublin’s new commissioner for start-ups Niamh Bushnell

So, how she’s going to do this? What exactly does Dublin have to offer domestic and foreign start ups that they won’t get anywhere else? Is it all about tax and jobs and allowing Enda and the suits press shiny buttons and make big announcements? What’s the real effect on the city’s rep as a start up hub of gatherings like the Web Summit? Has the Commish got pots of cash to offer the would-bes, newbies and tyros?

Join us for the very first Banter Uptown at the lovely MVP pub (29 Upper Clanbrassil Street) on Tuesday November 4 as we hear from the commissioner about her plans and aims. Doors open 6pm, the Bantering starts at 6.30pm, admission is free and you can book tickets here.

We’ll be doing more Banter Uptown events at the MVP in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for that.

Who cares about privacy in 2014? (088, Oct 2014)

Privacy has become the new generation gap. Some don’t really care or think too much about what’s out there about them. They’ve come of age in an always online world where they know those photos from those mad nights in the Shaw or Pepper or MVP are out there along with so many other discarded digital snapshots. That’s life, that’s their life.

Smile! Photo: Michell Zappa https://www.flickr.com/photos/michellzappa/
Smile! Photo: Michell Zappa https://www.flickr.com/photos/michellzappa/

But others wonder about how much private information they are giving away and why. They stop for a nanosecond to ask yourself why does this or that company want this or that piece of private data. Irish Water want your PPS number – really? Sure, even the guards stopping you for not having a light on your bike wouldn’t ask you for that (yet). To say nothing of U2 invading our iTunes libraries like a gang of Nigerian spammers or the companies with familiar avatars making out like bandits with our private data…

Our panel look at changing perceptions about and attitudes to privacy. Are we happy about what happens to what we say, do and share online? Is it too late to do anything about what we’ve given away? What’s the effect of the erosion on privacy on our mental health? Is talking about privacy just another middle-class liberal preoccupation? Should we all just shut up and learn how to love the algorithm?

The privacy panelFiona Hyde (The Daily Edge/The Journal), Dearbhail McDonald(Associate Editor & Legal Editor The Irish Independent), Mark Smyth (senior clinical psychologist and member of Psychological Society of Ireland) and Rick O’Shea (2fm).

The small print: Banter on privacy takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday October 8. Doors open at 6pm and the Bantering gets underway at 6.30pm sharp. Limited invite list and ticket information here.

Banter Sunday Brunch Summit at Mountain Dew (083, July 2014)

We’re fans of unusual venues at Banter – from an artist’s kitchen in Donegal with a Picasso on the wall to a former bomb shelter in London – so rocking up to the O’Herlihy’s back garden in the wilds outside Macroom was par for the course. The occasion was the Mountain Dew Festival, the little festival in the heart of the countryside which has been running since 2011 featuring a hand-picked selection of local and international acts each year.

This time out, festival organiser Colm O’Herlihy invited us to host a Banter Sunday Brunch Summit and we were delighted to say yes. We’re huge fans of the Sunday morning radio review shows except we don’t think they’re done as well as they could be so we decided to do a Banter radio review show to see what it would be like. One thing we learned is that Marian really does earn her loot.

We’d Nialler9Angela Dorgan (FMC/Hard Working Class Heroes), Brendan Canty (Feel Good Lost) and Stevie Grainger (Red FM, formerly of the Pavilion and DJ Steamy Gee) reviewing the papers and having the chats about whatever caught their eye. We’d Eileen Hogan from UCC talking about the Sir Henry’s exhibition on-campus. We’d Jack Crotty from Rocket Man talking about his adventures in food to date (Rocket Man’s slow-cooked buffalo kebab from the night before got the thumbs up all round).

We’d the infamous Meltybrains? telling jokes and larking around. We’d festival organiser Colm O’Herlihy talking about why he puts on this event. We’d sweet performances from Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley. And we’d a few Banter firsts with an onstage costume change and a panelist spectacularly leaving the stage.  A great day out in Co Cork.

Banter Review of the Year (069, Dec 2013)

If we were simply talking about the review of the Banter year, there would certainly be lots to talk about. This was the year of peak Banter, 27 events and counting as we roamed from Cork to DerryKinsale to Londonthe Burren to Belfast and Dingle to our spiritual home at the Twisted Pepper in Dublin, where it all began.

We talked about everything from craft beers and Bruce Springsteen to bikes and farming. We had fascinating conversations with people like Alan McGeePeter HookDr Steve MyersMaeve O’RourkePaul MorleyMary FitzgeraldNeil Hannon and tons more. 2013 was a blast – and we’ve some amazing stuff already in the pipeline for 2014.

As has become the norm at Banter (and we did this in 200920102011 and 2012), we end the year with the review of the year. It’s always a splendid night out as our panel run the rule over the events, news stories, heroes and villians of the last 12 months.

Our panel for the review which will probably cover everything from horseburgers and the Anglo tapes to Martin O’Neill, the Clare hurlers and the selfie: Aine Lawlor (presenter of RTE Radio One’s News At One, RTE TV’s The Week In Politics and Facing Cancer), Alison Curtis (Today FM DJ and producer), Paddy Cosgrave (Web Summit, F.ounders) and Ciaran Walsh (managing editor Le Cool Dublin and co-founder Sweatshop).


RTE’s Aine Lawlor

Date, time and venue: Monday December 16, 6.30pm (doors open 6pm), Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1.

Admission is free, but you must sign up in advance to our guestlist here.

PLEASE NOTE: the invite list for this event is now full. Additional spaces may become available nearer the date so check back for more information.

A conversation with Fish Go Deep (062, Oct 2013)

Fish Go Deep’s Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson are celebrating 25 years in the house music business this year. That’s 25 years all the way from Sweat in Sir Henry’s to a plethora of quality releases and their currently monthly run at Cork’s Pavilion.


There’s a full weekend of activities planned for the end of November in Cork and the duo will be playing at The Beatyard festival in Dublin on October 19.

As part of their trip to the capital, Banter will be hosting a conversation with Greg and Shane about their quarter-century run. Given the longstanding interest in Sir Henry’s (helped of late by Deep’s run during Dublin Fringe), the pair’s long run of quality productions and pop’s current fondness for the kind of deep house grooves Fish Go Deep were always plugging, this promises to be a fascinating encounter.

A conversation with Fish Go Deep takes place at the Twisted Pepper, Dublin on Saturday October 19. Doors open at 9pm and the Bantering gets underway at 9.30pm. Admission is free, but you need to sign up to the invite list here.

Banter at Come Home For Your Tea (061, Oct 2013)

A few months ago on the hottest day of the year, Banter took up situ on the back of a truck in a Cork town square for a day of primetime yakking and premier league music during the Kinsale Arts Festival. We were happy, the participants were happy, the audience were happy and the festival were happy so we’ve decided to do it again, albeit not in the town square on the back of a truck.

Come Home For Your Tea is a two-day event happening on Saturday and Sunday October 12 and 13 in Kinsale featuring a bunch of Banter talks (incuding a day out in the Charles Fort, the spectacular William Robinson-designed late 17th century military installation), Kinsale’s 37th Gourmet Festival and open-days in the town’s many galleries. Here’s the Banter agenda for the weekend:

What’s On Your Plate? (Saturday, Black Pig Wine Bar & Cafe, 2pm)

From celebrity cheffing and annual cookbooks to restaurant hype and bluster, the simple act of eating well has become embued with all manner of connotations and associations. But in a time when many families struggle to feed themselves and food poverty is a real issue, is it time for a back to basics movement? With Darina Allen (Ballymaloe Cookery School), Caroline Hennessy (Bibliocook) and Gerry Godley (Hot Potatoes)

#Next- What Comes After Social Media? (Saturday, The Folk House, 3.30pm)

Facebook and Twitter have been in the dock all year long and as we’ve seen with every technological innovation from MySpace to Bebo, nothing lasts forever. What comes after social media? What will replace our constant tweeting and updates? What will Web 4.0 look like? With Damien Mulley (Mulley Communications) and Una Mullally (Irish Times)

A Special Relationship (Saturday, The Tap Tavern, 5pm)

A discussion on the how and why of us and them and the relationship between this little island and the big island to the right of us with Patrick Guinness (historian and author) and Manchán Magan (writer and documentary-maker)

Other Voices (Sunday, Charles Fort, noon)

A conversation with broadcaster Philip King, the Dingle-based Corkman about the art and the business of putting music on screen from the most westerly and wildest point in Europe.

Fáilte – the Irish hospitality industry (Sunday, Charles Fort, 1.30pm)

If we as a nation want to put our best face out and are promoting The Gathering as a come-home-to-Ireland initiative, how do we make sure our hospitality industry also comes up to the mark? A discussion featuring Tim Magee (Host & Company PR) and Ciaran Fitzgerald (owner of the Blue Haven Collection)

Colm Mac Con Iomaire (Sunday, Charles Fort, 3pm)

A member of The Frames since day one and the violinist with The Swell Season touring band, Colm will be talking about his life in music. He will also be playing some tunes for us so expect to hear some magic from his debut solo album “The Hare’s Corner”.

Admission to all Banter events is free of charge.

Radio Ireland: the state of the talk radio nation (058, Sep 2013)

It’s Sunday September 1, the day before Pat Kenny and Sean O’Rourke take to the airwaves to do battle for mid-morning radio listeners in Ireland. As we’ve seen from the shenanigans around Kenny’s transfer (unlike Real Madrid at the time of writing with Gareth Bale, Denis O’Brien got his man) and RTE’s robust response with O’Rourke, talk radio is big news and big business in Ireland.


Given that both presenters are unavailable to talk to us on the day of this Banter – both will be at home making their sandwiches and preparing their opening lines when we take to the stage – we’ve gathered a panel of other interested parties to look at the state of the Irish talk radio nation and the national obsession with people talking about stuff on the wireless. Who’s going to win this much touted match-up? Where’s local radio in all of this? And why do Irish people love talk radio so much?

The radioheads: Miriam O’Callaghan (RTE Radio One), Caroline Clarke (producer of the Moncrieff show on Newstalk) John Purcell (chairman of Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, CEO KCLR 96FM and director of Newstalk) and Yvonne Judge (broadcaster,  radio producer with RTE Radio One and 2fm and former editor and deputy head of 2fm). Banter’s Joe Duffy: myself

Radio Ireland takes place on the Leviathan stage at Mindfield at the Electric Picnic on Sunday September 1 at 5.30pm.

Big thanks to Mindfield big kahoona Naoise Nunn for the invite.

Banter in September: we’ll be heading to the CultureTECH festival in Derry and launching our Living for the City autumn/winter season at the Twisted Pepper.

Banter at the Kinsale Arts Festival (052, July 2013)

It’s time for Banter to hit the road. We’ve a couple of summer specials on the schedule and the season starts at the Kinsale Arts Festival on Saturday July 13.There will be four Banter sessions at the festival on the day in different venues around the town with special musical guests performing at each Banter. Details of venues and acts will only be announced on the day so follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook for announcements.

Cork = Rock: join Ashley Keating (Frank & Walters, Red FM, FIFA Records),Brendan Canty (Feel Good Lost) and Stevie Grainger (Red FM, The Pavilion) as they talk about Cork’s music now and then.

Bruce Springsteen and Ireland: seeing as The Boss is heading to Ireland this month to play to 140,000 fans all over the country, Springsteen aficionados Lilian Smith (RTE Radio One), Eamon Sweeney (Irish Independent) and Harry Browne(journalist, lecturer and author) discuss his appeal.

Meet the CuratorsFiona Kearney (Glucksman Gallery) and Claire Power(Temple Bar Gallery and Studios) discuss the art of the curator and gallery director.

State of the Books NationSiobhan Mannion (RTÉ Radio One The Book On One),Eoin Purcell (New Island Books) and Eithne Shortall (The Sunday Times) gauge the health of the books nation.

More information on what else is happening in Kinsale during the festival – including afternoon tea with Darina and Rachel Allen, a reading by City of Bohane author Kevin Barry, quips from Maeve Higgins and performances from DJ Kormac, Daithi, Wyvern Lingo, Donal Lunny, Little Bear and many more – here.

And we’ll be announcing details next week of what we have planned for Banter at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August.

What’s Eating Dubliners? (051, June 2013)

After Banter 50′s forensic look at the Irish live music business and festival scene, it’s onwards and upwards for the series of discussions and conversations which proves that it’s always good to talk.

Our next outing features a new addition to the Banter gang with the Hot Potatoes crew accepting our invitation to come and talk about food.

Hot Potatoes is a pop-up pow-wow exploring our complex, often contradictary relationship with food which is hosted by broadcaster, kitchen survivor and reluctant foodist Gerry Godley. GM crops and food security, Big Food and the supermarket multiples, gastroporn and the cult of food celebrity have all previously been grist to the mill for Hot Potatoes when it debuted at last summer’s Kilkenny Arts Festival.

While the larder is getting stocked for the ritual of gustatory consumption that is Taste of Dublin, Hot Potatoes asks what’s really eating Dubliners. Insights on the night come from Fiona McHugh (Fallon & Byrne), Catherine Cleary (Irish Times) and Temple Garner (San Lorenzo’s).

The Hot Potatoes’ deli counter

What’s Eating Dubliners takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday June 12. Doors open and bibs are donned at 7.30pm and the first course is served at 8pm sharp. Full information on tickets and invite list here.

The Craft of Irish Beer (049, Apr 2013)

It’s time for a drink. The Craft of Irish Beer, a Banter special as part of the Beatyard festival, will have a look at the growing Irish craft beer scene.

Over the last couple of years, craft beer has gone from being a niche product to a serious player in the often over-commercialised world of beer. Tonight, we’ll be looking at how and why this growth has occured, where the business is at the moment and, perhaps most importantly of all, where our speakers think we’re heading in the next couple of years.

The panel: Colin Hession (L Mulligan Grocer and WJ Kavanagh’s, Dublin), Grainne Walsh (Metalman Brewing, Waterford) and Alex Lawes (homebrewer par excellence). It’s a panel which reflects the diversity within the craft beer sector, featuring Alex, a new kid on the beer block brewing at home; Grainne, a brewer who has become an established player within just two years; and Colin, a chap who has done everything in the industry including running a wholesale operation, crafting his onw beers and opening his own bars.

A selection of craft beers at L Mulligan Grocer

The details: The Craft of Irish Beer takes place on Monday April 29 at the Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1. Doors open at 7.30pm and the conversation gets underway at 8pm sharp. Admission is €5 or €2 if you’re a Bodytonic member and tickets are available here.

The Anti Room podcast recording (043, Jan 2013)

Last October, we were delighted to welcome The Anti Room to Banter for a live recording of their monthly podcast. It was a fantastic night out so we’re really happy to announce that  The Anti Room are back.

On this occasion, Anti Room hosts Sinead Gleeson and Anna Carey will be joined by Laurie Penny (Penny Red), Suzy Byrne (Maman Poulet) and Anthea McTiernan (former chairperson of the IFPA, member of the Abortion Rights Campaign and editor of The Ticket).

The details: The Anti Room podcast recording takes place on Tuesday January 29 at The Workman’s Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. Our regular digs at the Twisted Pepper are closed due to renovations so huge thanks to Karl and all at the Workman’s for facilitating this at such short notice. Doors open at 7.30pm and the recording gets underway at 8pm sharp. Admission is free, but you need to be signed up to the invite list which you will find here.

About The Anti Room: The Anti Room was founded in 2008 by four Dublin-based journalists and was the home of many Irish ladies writing about everything from fashion to feminism and pop culture to politics. Last year, they’ve started podcasting and you can listen to or download some of the recent episodes here.

The Anti Room podcast live (037, Oct 2012)

We’ve had many firsts at Banter the last 12 months so it’s time for another one. We’re delighted to welcomeThe Anti Room to the Twisted Pepper on October 24 for a live recording of their monthly podcast.

The Anti Room was founded in 2008 by four Dublin-based journalists and was the home of many Irish ladies writing about everything from fashion to feminism and pop culture to politics. In recent months, they’ve started podcasting (you can listen to or download the first two below) so we’re chuffed that they’ve accepted our invitation to take over Banter for the night and do a live recording.

Anti Room hosts Sinead Gleeson and Anna Carey will be joined on the night by Miriam O’CallaghanMaeve Higgins and Martina Devlin. Four subjects will be up for discussion and, as per the other podcasts, you can expect a mix of light and serious topics.

The details: the Anti Room podcast live takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday October 24. Doors open at 7pm-ish and the recording gets underway at 7.30pm sharp (please note change of time for this one). Admission is free, but you need to be signed up to the invite list which you will find here.

The second Anti Room podcast (August 2012)

The first Anti Room podcast (July 2012)

Madonna’s Pop Lives (036, Oct 2012)

As part of the OneTwoOneTwo music documentary festival at the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin, we’ll be hosting a bit of a Banter session.

Taking place prior to a screening of the In Bed With Madonna doc, Madonna’s Pop Lives will look at the various creative and stylistic changes, makeovers and shimmies the pop star’s pop star has carried off over the course of her career. We’ll also talk about which ones worked (and which ones didn’t) and wonder if Madonna is still capable of similar groundbreaking shapeshifting in the future.

From the 1980s….

…to infinity and beyond


The panel: Melanie Morris (editor, Image magazine), Panti (pub landlady and performer), Jennifer Gannon (State magazine and all-round pop champion) and John Sullivan (H2 Films and uber Madonna fan)

The details: Lighthouse Cinema, Saturday October 20, 6pm. Admission is free. In Bed With Madonna will be screened at 7.40pm.

The summer of the Swedish House Mafia (035, Sep 2012)

Banter is coming home. After a summer spent yakking up and down the country – thanks to everyone who was involved in our sessions at Limerick’s Make A Move festivalDonegal’s Earagail Arts Festival, the Galway Arts Festival and the Electric Picnic – we’re heading back to base for the autumn/winter season.

Kicking off an action-packed couple of months, we start with one of the news stories of the summer. The summer of the Swedish House Mafia will look at how what should have been a lively, enjoyable day out in the Phoenix Park for 45,000 people became, to judge by some post-event coverage and commentary, a threat to the very fabric of society.

Swedish House Mafia onstage in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in July

Along the way, dance music found itself once again in the dock. We’ve been here before and we’ll probably be here again, but it was quite incredible and startling to see electronic music getting a rap on the knuckles on this occasion. From op-ed pieces to the authorities keen to pin the blame on someone for their lack of preperation, dance music found itself once again to be public enemy number one.

We’ll examine the fallout from this event and what it means for dance music and club culture in the future with panelists Conor Behan (Spin 1038GCN, DJ), Brian Boyd (The Irish Times), Mark Kavanagh (assistant editorIrish Daily Star, DJ) and Brian Spollen (MCD Concerts).

The details: the summer of the Swedish House Mafia takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Wednesday September 26. Doors open at 7.30pm-ish, the Banter gets underway at 8pm and will consist of a panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A. Admission is free (you need to be signed up to our mailing list which you will find here).

And keep October 24 free in your diary for a very special Banter event.