Hinterland

Hinterland or ‘The Festival Formerly Known As Hay’.

Don’t be intimidated. Don’t even think twice, cos it’s all right. Even after a triumphant rebirth last June I still occasionally call it ‘Hay’. My wife almost always calls it ‘Hay’. Our five year old child would be calling it ‘Hay’ if she was not far more interested in the back page of last year’s programme brochure which has a picture of that skinny guy from the Late Late Toy Show. Will he bring lego?

But we’re Hinterland now, and we intend to put the name on the map. We started on 22 June 2017 with an archive of historians [if it’s not the proper collective noun then it should be] telling us lots of fascinating things we didn’t know about public figures like Ronald Reagan, Charles de Gaulle, and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. They never recovered. The public figures that is. The historians are fine. Some of them will even be back in 2018.

The name change is, as you might expect, all about world domination. Never forget that Rome was once a tiny village bordering on a swamp. 2017 guests, such as Sebastian Barry, Paul Howard, Chris Mullin, Patricia Scanlan, and the dude from the Toy Show were, to use a zeitgeisty Trumpian word, ‘complicit’ in all of this. But we won’t be declaring our first republic just yet.

We also got in touch with our ‘inner hippy’ last year on the fiftieth anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ by marrying the huge Litquake book festival in San Francisco and having a child together called Lit Crawl. This included an adaptation of James Joyce’s The Dead performed in a funeral parlour,  poems about movies, and the music of Woody Guthrie.

Nerves got a bit frayed last June when the ticket machine printer got out of whack and started spewing out what looked suspiciously like a novel. Maybe we’ll issue it an invitation to do a reading this year.  But first we have to get the plaque up on the wooden bench where Brian Eno lay down and dozed with his partner for a few minutes (we have photographic evidence … somewhere) in 2015 after a grilling from Sinead Gleeson. Then there’s the memorial statue of Germaine Greer, a guest at our first festival in 2013, to be erected.

Next June the mayhem will all start all over again.

We’ll have the usual pain in the arse working round the Local Heroes as Mark Smith starts to assemble the Type Trail exhibits. Will he have another blatantly phallic object protruding from the front of the hotel? Or a Scrabble solution on the gable end of the solicitor’s office? Or another LGBT design on the railings of the local convent (very naughty). Whatever will he think of next?  Probably manning the barricades to mark 50 years since les evenements in Paris. All he needs is a load of cobble block and someone to throw it at.

Colm Tóibín will pay his first visit, as will Caitriona Perry and David McCullagh. John Banville, Michael Harding, Frank McGuiness, Lisa McInerney, Peter Frankopan and ‘Mammy’ herself, Mary O’Rourke, will be back. We’ll mark the centenary of 1918, and the fiftieth anniversary of 1968 (we’re good at subtracting) with another archive of historians, including Roy Foster. Guardian journalist Nick Davis will be telling us how he managed to expose the News of the World phone hacking scandal. We’ll celebrate Harry Potter’s ‘twenty-first’ with some really weird shenanigans.

And God only knows what this year’s Litcrawl will drag in!

https://www.hinterland.ie/about-hinterland-festival.aspx

We are HINTERLAND now! “After a triumphant rebirth last June, I still occasionally call it ‘Hay’. We started on 22 June 2017 with an archive of historians telling us lots of fascinating things we didn’t know about public figures like Ronald Reagan, Charles de Gaulle, and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. Some of them will even be back in 2018. Next June the mayhem will all start all over again. Colm Tóibín will pay his first visit, as will Caitriona Perry and David McCullagh. Returning will be John Banville, Michael Harding, Frank McGuiness, Lisa McInerney, Peter Frankopan and ‘Mammy’ herself, Mary O’Rourke. Guardian journalist Nick Davis will be telling us how he managed to expose the News of the World phone hacking scandal. We’ll celebrate Harry Potter’s ‘twenty-first’ with some really weird shenanigans. And God only knows what this year’s Lit crawl will drag in!” Myles Dungan.