Carat commissioned us to launch Tourism Ireland’s campaign to promote travel to the Emerald Isle. We were tasked with creating an immersive experience that rivalled the musical line up at Bestival.
Working closely with Carat and Vivid Design Works, we created Shenanigans! From the outside, it looked like a traditional Irish pub or guest-house. But once you stepped inside, it quickly became clear that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover…
Shenanigans! was, in fact, 4 completely separate experiences, each one more weird and wonderful than the previous. Stepping through the front door, the audience found themselves not in the pub they were expecting, but in the cabin of Shenanigans Airways Flight 002, preparing to land at Dublin Airport. The manic flight crew were in need of some assistance, as the aircraft couldn’t land before a certain passenger in First Class located his lost sunglasses. You could say that he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for…
With the glasses located, the guests were hurriedly ushered through the curtain into First Class… except they weren’t in an airplane anymore.
The audience emerged into the tunnel of a sports Stadium. With the sounds of the crowds roaring in the distance, the Irish Rugby Team emerged from nowhere: It’s half-time at the 6 Nations final, and Ireland are down by only a couple of points. The audience were swept up into a rousing huddle where they were invited to offer inspirational words to the team and to chant the Irish National Anthem, before charging onto the pitch to claim the title…
Except, this being Shenanigans, that’s not where they emerged. Instead, they found themselves backstage at the Belfast MAC Theatre during the interval, with a harassed Stage Manager urgently in need of understudies as the cast have been taken ill. A debonair Director appeared to run them through a few lines, and they have the talent… but not the accents. An accent coach was on hand to teach them the finer points of Belfast slang and pronunciation, before sending them out on stage for the second act…
Where they walked into the middle of an Irish party, much like the one they thought they were going to in the first place. A group of dancers scooped up our intrepid guests and led them on a merry jig around our traditional Irish pub, before leading them to a socially-enabled photobooth (with props of course) to leave them with a permanent memory of a fantastical journey.
Over 3 1/2 days at the Festival, over 1400 people made their way into Shenanigans – approximately 280 separate groups of people.
In addition, in partnership with XFM, a promotional video was recorded which received over 100,000 views (at time of writing) on YouTube.
We also got some rather compelling media coverage:
Bestival 2013: 5 Thing Everyone Was Talking About
But step inside and it’s arguably the most surreal thing you’ve ever done in a field since you overdosed on psychedelic rum in the Glastonbury comedy shed… A Brilliant Showing.
Emerging breathless and dazed back into Bestival without a drop of Guinness in me, it dawns that Shenanigans is actually a theatrical art happening designed by the Tourism Ireland to make going to Ireland seem like a riot of a time. And it damn well works.
Bestival 2013: Top 10 Moments
Shenanigans took you on a journey deep into the heart of Ireland, immersing you in the famed Irish charm and wit.