Dr Billy Mag Fhloinn, folklorist, archivist and artist, spoke to Seán Rocks on RTÉ Radio One's Arena about the concept of the 'pagan rave' which he curates in West Kerry.
Dr Mag Fhloinn describes the pagan rave as 'different things at different times', depending on its size. He says, 'at times it can be a very small amount of performers wearing masks, playing instruments we specially craft for the event'. The costumes, rituals and music intend to 'invoke an otherworldly sense'.
Cheeky Pagan Rave before lunch. Can't beat it. pic.twitter.com/oe9tBTGqss— Ireland's Edge (@IrelandsEdge) December 1, 2018
Billy describes how the event is rooted in pagan tradition which is inspired by folk traditions from around Europe, Ireland and the public imagination of paganism:
'we draw on the popular imagination of what paganism is, truth be told, it's been gone for so long we'll never really know what the nature of it really was but there's a strong sense in the public imagination of what they thought paganism might actually be'.
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Billy says this 'creative imaginative' performance is deeply rooted in symbolism and is simultaneously of the past, present and the future:
'we are drawing very deeply of the past, but we are also of the present and looking to the future'.
On technology, Billy says whilst those who are behind the event embrace technology, he asks the audience if 'would rather experience the performance on a four-inch screen or would you rather put down your phone and throw yourself at it and engage and participate?'
You can find out more about the Pagan Rave and Billy's other projects here
Arena is broadcast Monday to Friday between 7 and 8 on RTÉ Radio One.