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Out of House and Outhouses

Last week we got ourselves out of the office and down to the site of the festival for some hands on prep work. It’s always great to get into the practical work but especially so when your venue is Dunderry Park!

If you’ve never been down it really is a special place. About 15 minutes drive from Navan and only a ten minute walk from Dunderry village it nonetheless manages to make you feel isolated in the best possible way. With its open fields, small areas of woodlands and a pair of donkeys (not to mention donkey sized long haired alsatians) it’s hard not to become immersed in that “back to your roots” feeling. The Georgian Mansion itself is also an impressive feature, renovated on the inside to act as a guest house for various groups that have workshops there.

We weren’t there just to soak in the atmosphere though. Top of our to do list was to clear out the outhouses. Dunderry has a number of old outhouses and stables that have fallen into disuse or as collection points for things too useless for a use but too useful to be thrown away. The plan is for these outhouses to be used by our various art crews and people who will be constructing things for the festival, so obviously three feet deep in old newspaper, hay and miscellaneous animal, er, output isn’t the most scintillating of creative environments. While it was hard work, Dunderry was, as always, obliging with the weather and we had a lot of helping hands. Over the course of two days we managed to get most of the stables and outhouses cleared dumping some of it in the skip and saving that which could be of some use for art crews.

Another vital task on the first two days was to meet with our prospective site manager, Ed and show him around Dunderry Park, get to know him a little. Ed has worked on many other festivals such as the recent Vantastival and his air of quiet confidence and experience really put everyone at ease.

As the day wore on all 15 or so of us gathered at the table for a big slap up meal, hunger makes the best relish as they say! Afterwards we settled down to do our own thing with people variously drinking beers and telling stories by the fireplace while others settled down to an evening of Lord of the Rings on the projector. We all just soaked in the good vibes. Because that’s what it’s all about really. Fulfilling work during the day and chilling out at night. All of us felt like we were living in some kind of commune. And while there might have been a few soreheads in the morning (mine), everyone was up, in good spirits and ready for another day’s labour.