Fes­ti­val fo­cus on great out­doors

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Brendan Keenan - Me­dia & Mar­ket­ing with Michael Cullen

WITH to­day’s young­sters be­ing bam­boo­zled by all things tech, it’s heart­en­ing to see a new sum­mer fes­ti­val which en­cour­ages kids to en­joy some old-fash­ioned fash­ioned play, fun and imag­i­na­tion. The fo­cus of Playsti­val, spon­sored by The Happy Pear, is a re­turn to ba­sics by al­low­ing fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­ence a more in­no­cent ap­proach to games and play.

Set across this weekend in Ov­erend’s Air­field Es­tate ur­ban farm in Dun­drum, in south Dublin, Playsti­val is about hands-on, imag­i­na­tive fun and themed ‘play uni­verses’, with no fancy tech or screens about. The idea be­hind the fes­ti­val is to get away from screen time. Or­gan­iser Shell Holden, of Laya City Spec­tac­u­lar fame, said “we’re look­ing at Ire­land’s first gen­er­a­tion that never gets to say ‘be­fore the in­ter­net’”.

It’s a gen­er­a­tion grow­ing up while be­ing switched on 24/7, amid grow­ing con­cerns for pos­si­ble neg­a­tive ef­fects on their cog­ni­tive and so­cial devel­op­ment. The ob­jec­tive is to pro­vide fam­i­lies with a chance to en­joy sim­ple play, fun and imag­i­na­tion and help boost sus­tained phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing.

The ‘play uni­verses’ in­volve wooden games cre­ated by the French com­pany Festi­jeux. The games are var­ied to suit kids from 18 months to 12 years old. They in­clude a con­struc­tion site, an ar­chi­tect’s of­fice built on team skills, a pedal-pow­ered park train, a kid’s food mar­ket, an­i­mal farm, tod­dler’s is­land, tea party and a Wild West visit.

Par­ents can ei­ther join in with their kids or let them play with other young­sters. As well as games, Playsti­val in­cludes Laugh­ter Yoga and the BrickX Club for Lego builds. Kids can act up at Miss Ali’s Stage Schools work­shop, get crafty with the Pa­per Pet Shop or dis­cover a world of sci­ence with Ju­nior Ein­steins.

Air­field Es­tate’s farm food is on sale over the weekend, in­clud­ing a BBQ grill, home baked treats, ice cream and barista coffees. Brunch will be served at the Ov­erends’ Kitchen all day. The Sta­bles Cafe will have grab‘n’go pic­nic foods for vis­i­tors to en­joy on the 38-acre es­tate. Playsti­val tick­ets cost €12.42 while un­der-twos go free.

∗ With Au­gust be­ing a pop­u­lar time for wed­dings, a sur­vey by the Bride­book. co.uk app shows the av­er­age cost of ty­ing the knot has hit an all-time high of £30,365, up 12pc on last year’s to­tal of £26,989. Even when some of the frills are dropped, such as videog­ra­phers and en­ter­tain­ment, the av­er­age Big Day event bill stops just a few quid short of £18,000.

Bride­book says the hy­per-per­sonal wed­ding has ar­rived as cou­ples do things their way to re­flect them­selves as a cou­ple. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can have a 70kg de­con­structed lemon-and-el­der­flower wed­ding cake and ‘Stand By Me’ sung in St Ge­orge’s Chapel in Wind­sor Cas­tle, cou­ples no longer need to be bound by tra­di­tion – all of which can add to the bud­get.

A sur­vey by One4All shows that Ir­ish wed­ding guests pay out an av­er­age of €643 on out­fits, trans­port, re­cep­tion drinks, ac­com­mo­da­tion and gifts. Brits have a heftier bill when at­tend­ing wed­dings, with a Prov­i­dent study show­ing guests must cough up £1,015 – dou­ble if the wed­ding is over­seas.

∗ Drinks, re­tail, food and fi­nance were the top four cat­e­gory spenders on out of home (OOH) ad­ver­tis­ing dur­ing the first half of the year. Ki­netic re­ports that drinks ac­counted for 20pc of over­all OOH spend, with Di­a­geo, Heineken and Coca-Cola all fea­tured in the top 10. Just Eat was the top re­called cam­paign.

The top food spenders in­cluded Cad­bury, Mars, Fer­rero and Danone. NTA fig­ures show that pas­sen­ger num­bers on pub­lic trans­port were up by 17pc last year, which is good news for ad­ver­tis­ers us­ing Ir­ish Rail, Dublin Bus and Luas net­works.

∗ New­stalk will soon roll out a new early morn­ing news show called ‘Break­fast Brief­ing’. Pre­sented by An­drea Gil­li­gan, the half-hour show will air from 6am with the morn­ing’s top sto­ries and set the day’s agenda. It will be the only live news pro­gramme on ra­dio at that time of day.

Gil­li­gan, a na­tive of Done­gal, has worked for New­stalk for five years as the af­ter­noon news an­chor. She presents ‘Be­tween the Lines’ on Sun­day morn­ings and fills in else­where. ‘Break­fast Brief­ing’ starts on Mon­day, Au­gust 27.

∗ Weir & Sons jewellers landed the award for best re­tail pub­li­ca­tion for its ‘Style’ house mag­a­zine at the Global Con­tent mar­ket­ing awards in the US. Sto­ries on lux­ury watch brands such as Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer and Longines fea­ture in the bi-an­nual pub­li­ca­tion. Dublin con­tent agency 256 helps Weirs with the mag­a­zine.

And fi­nally... Bou­quets to SoftCo for sup­port­ing the Ire­land hockey team com­pet­ing in their first World Cup since 2002. SoftCo’s ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and co-founder Su­san Spence was her­self a first-class goalie. The in­ter­na­tional soft­ware group’s other sport spon­sor­ships in­clude All Blacks leg­end Dan Carter and Ire­land icon Ro­nan O’Gara.

Michael Cullen is ed­i­tor of Mar­ket­ing. ie; cullen@mar­ket­ing.ie

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