First-class Fringe promises networking with a zing at Inspirefest

28 Jun 2016

Wyvern Lingo return to Inspirefest Fringe for the second year in a row

The Inspirefest Fringe festival returns this week with an eclectic mix of science, technology, theatre and music.

Inspirefest 2016 is just around the corner and, as well as a carefully curated event packed with a roster of exciting speakers, the line-up for the Fringe festival promises an indulgent cocktail of science, technology and the arts in a relaxed setting.

Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to network at the Inspirefest conference, but evenings at the Fringe give delegates, VIPs and speakers the chance to bond through the experience of art, theatre, music and sci-tech interactions in a stunning Georgian garden square.

Conference attendees will be transported via Inspirefest double-decker buses from the main event in Bord Gáis Energy Theatre to the leafy surrounds of Merrion Square park for an eclectic evening of culture and creativity at Inspirefest Fringe.

Just in case the weather isn’t on side (this is Ireland, after all) Fringe events are taking place under protective cover so that nothing will spoil the creative energy.

Performance art

The fun kicks off on Thursday evening with ResearchFest, a new competition where eight selected PhD students will compete to complete a comprehensive three-minute pitch of their research in front of a panel of judges. The best communicator on the day will be crowned ResearchFest champion.

Ensuring a side of arts with your science, Echo Brown brings her critically-acclaimed solo show Black Virgins are Not for Hipsters to the Dublin stage on Thursday. The startling one-woman show provides a micro and macro view of race relations, black womanhood, gentrification, childhood sexual abuse and the prison industrial complex in 21st-century America.

On Friday, Inspirefest speaker and award-winning storyteller Zoe Philpott will don an interactive LED dress to perform Ada.Ada.Ada, an ode to Ada Lovelace that’s sure to entertain, educate and inspire.

To top all of that off, there are two fantastic musical acts to end each evening on a high note. Thursday sees the return of Wyvern Lingo to the Inspirefest stage, fresh from supporting Hozier on his sold-out UK tour. Following that, legendary award-winning Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan will close the event on Friday with a highly-anticipated set.

Food for thought

Throughout the Fringe, visitors will be enticed into the sci-tech Expo Tent with weird and wonderful interactive exhibitions blending science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Among the eight exhibitors will be Accenture’s ‘Women on Walls’ initiative, as well as Ediphone, where you can get a tailored audio signature of your own voice printed onto a T-shirt. Other exhibitors will be there to wow visitors with tricks of light, magical materials and technology that can read your emotions.

To fuel all this thought-provoking fun, there’ll be food and drink on-site (wood-fired pizza and beer, anyone?) plus a Health and Wellness Zone fronted by Republic of Ireland football international and Sodexo wellbeing ambassador Stephanie Roche. This will also be the spot to fetch yourself a massage, if you need to relax after a day full of inspiring talks.

Inspirefest Fringe takes place in Merrion Square from 6pm to 10pm on Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July. Access to the Fringe festival is free to all Inspirefest attendees, though a limited number of Fringe-only tickets are now available for €20 per night, with all proceeds going to Focus Ireland and Fighting Blindness.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book your tickets now to join us from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.