Electric Picnic 2019 wants your caravan creations for Trailer Park project!

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

Electric Picnic 2019 wants your caravan creations for Trailer Park project!

Would you like to become a creator at Electric Picnic this year? The festival is now on the hunt for creators to invent, design, build and host their own caravan or mobile structure at this year’s Electric Picnic. The most jaw-dropping and inspiring ideas will be given pride of place in the bustling metropolis of Trailer Park.

This year Electric Picnic has teamed up with Will Hardie, the master craftsman behind Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and Shed of the Year, to launch in this year’s Trailer Park competition.

The judging panel will be led by Will who will be joined by Roz and Hugo Jellett (the creative directors of Trailer Park) to choose the best ideas and work with them to bring the wacky designs into being. Winners will be invited with a team of friends to host the creation at Electric Picnic.

Will Hardie said this is a chance to bring the craziest and brightest creations to the picnic.

“I’m delighted to be involved in this competition, I love that Trailer Park supports people's passion and vision to turn the humble caravan into wonderful and wacky creations and where better to do this than at a festival where all can be entertained and inspired.  Ireland and the UK are home to so many creative and eccentric individuals who demonstrate incredible vision, ingenuity and skill in the wacky projects they build at home. This is a chance to bring your crazy inventions to the brightest and most creative festivals around!”

The Trailer Park is spreading its tentacles as far as the UK and will debut at Latitude –  one of the UK’s best-loved festivals. 

Trailer Park will become Latitude’s quirky hub for the unpredictable, with a haven of hilarious caravans, utilitarian mobile homes that have undergone surgery, vans re-functioned and campers converted.

“Festivals are such explosions of fun and creativity, a place where for a few days we can let our hair down and go wild, a place where the extraordinary, eccentric and unique almost become normal!  The combination of creativity, caravans and festivals is a winner.  I’m always astounded by the passion with which folk adapt and embellish their caravans. There is a huge community that is wild about these humble structures and this is a competition that celebrates this quirky world without limits," Will added.

Artists, architects, theatre-makers, performance groups and creators of all sorts, with an appetite for what makes a festival really sing, will be given an opportunity to let their creative hair down. Up to 10 grants up to €2000 are being offered for designing, building and presenting your own CONCEPTUAL CARAVANS at Electric Picnic.

That’s it really – you turn a caravan (or something with wheels that can come and go) into something implausibly wonderful, and we will give it a home from home, in Trailer Park, the mobile-tropolis in the centre of the festival.

Your design proposals will be read by our judging panel, and we’ll choose the best ideas and work with you to bring your designs into being.

If all goes according to plan, you will then come – with a team of your friends – to host the creation at Electric Picnic.

We have given out over 60 grants to Irish makers in the past few years for the eponymous Electric Picnic, and some incredible ideas have materialised (see examples below) – have a look because they will give you a sense of scale and expectation!

The deadline for entries is 15th April, so it’s time to get creative!


Trailer Park is a haven of hilarious caravans, utilitarian mobile homes that have undergone surgery, vans re-functioned, campers converted. Collectively they create a metropolis of tiny venues, interactive cultural outposts, fun-clinics and oddball theatres.

At Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland, for the past five years, over 60 creators have been given grants to help them realise their wildest ideas, and become part of one of the strangest art and design communities in the country. It is now the turn of Latitude…

We are looking for more jubilant and bewildering caravan-based ideas to join Trailer Park - we are seeking fresh designers, artists, engineers, architects, community groups, thespians, dancers, builders, furniture makers, photographers, sculptors, horticulturalists, steelworkers and most of alldreamers and asking them to emerge from their cerebral laboratories with some preposterous festival inventions!


These bursaries are not for your labour; they are for materials or skills that you do not have! We are looking for projects that stand on their own as installations, independent of performances or activities, although these may well accompany and complete the installation. They do not need to be roadworthy, but it would definitely help if they were. They do need to be safe. They need to be about the design of the exterior as well as the interior, and applicants should think about lighting as the area operates at night-time as well as daytime.

Please note that this project will require a significant time investment, and the ability to adhere to firm deadlines, and is going to need to be fuelled by artistic and practical passion.

The number of crew passes required to host your venue for the three full days of the festival is 8, and these obviously include camping. They can’t be shared.


How many grants are awarded?

Up to 10, including some proposals may be selected but not funded if deemed deliverable without our help.

When may I apply for a grant?

The deadline for emailed grant proposals is April 15, at 11:59 AM. No exceptions. We much prefer that you email your proposal, but if you cannot, your mail must be received by us before the deadline.

When will I know if I’ve been awarded a grant?

Most final decisions will be made by April 25th.

What if I have an idea, but not a caravan?

We have access to a very limited number of caravans and vehicles that can be made available, but these will remain the property of Trailer Park after the festival. We thoroughly advise that you go in search of your own caravan - the country is full of them, often people will be delighted for you to take them away, and we prefer to see older caravans being remodelled. Those who provide their own caravan/vehicle will retain ownership of their caravan project at the conclusion of the event.

Should I be awarded a grant, how much will I receive?

This varies from project to project, but grants normally pay for only a portion of production costs – predominantly to cover material costs, but not for your own labour or time. Designers should be ready to provide other methods and sources of funding if they are going to be needed, and illustrate an effort to encourage collaboration and co-operation with other practitioners (for example performative groups).

When and how will I receive money?

A schedule of payment is developed for each project, agreeable to you, to ensure delivery of the final work.

When does the complete piece need to be delivered or collected?

Your caravan must be in position by the 20th August in Electric Picnic. Note that further work on the caravan can be completed onsite, but the caravan itself MUST be available for positioning onsite on that date.

Who is responsible for keeping my installation safe?

Site Security will be responsible for anti-vandalism measures in the weeks running up to the event, but you should make sure your caravan is lockable and safe. During the Festival, you are wholly responsible. Trailer Park will provide infrastructure to stop festival-goers from going where they shouldn’t.

Who is responsible if an accident occurs during the event?

Ensuring your creation does not physically harm anyone is a key responsibility of the designer. You will need to think about a method statement if appropriate, and Festival Republic’s own structural engineer and their safety officer will inspect each creation to ensure they are fit for purpose. Festival Republic will then provide public liability insurance for during the Festival. You must take responsibility for the safety of anyone involved in the design, manufacture, transport and removal of the structure before and after the event.

Are residential caravans (creations which provide bedding) eligible?

No. This competition promotes interactivity and artwork, although caravans can have the functional aspects of sleeping areas included etc.

What are your criteria for awarding grants?

It has to be visually spectacular.


Interactivity with festival-goers. Interactive design brings people together around it, provoking reactions and creating roles and transforming voyeurs into active contributors. (Sometimes, the mere act of encounter (such as a mobile sculpture) is sufficient, but most of the time more in needed).

The thoroughness of your proposal, including a detailed budget, a construction schedule, and at least one drawing. Make it easy for us to choose you.

Is retailing to the public from the caravan possible?

In certain rare instances it is, but full-on food concessions and bars of any kind should not use this competition as back door for a commercial venture.

Does ownership of the caravan/vehicle remain with the designer/maker?

If the designer/maker owns the caravan or vehicle, yes. If they are making use of a caravan or vehicle supplied by us, no.

What happens to these installations after the Festival?

The creators must leave the site 'greenfield'. We may be able to help with storage, and this can be discussed individually, and may carry a cost.

Artistic Director, Roz Jellett suggested ideas for Trailer Park inspiration.

“In Trailer Park we really do set out to make people laugh, inspire and engage. Projects that marry creativity, participation and style. This competition loves a good host, so if you have a gang of friends who like to make people around you have fun, simply think of how you might do that in the most unusual way, and either inside or in front of a room on wheels.”

To get you thinking, some past submissions have included:

1. To Let – A team of real estate agents try to sell a decrepid caravan to passers-by.

2. Caravan Club Extravanaganza – the front side folds down to become a stage for bands.

3. Police check-point – an officious police van checking passers-by for anything out of order

4. Crappervan – yes one of them.

5. Turbante – a Brazilian collective who dress people in turbans.

6. Narnia – into a caravan and out the back is a snowy kingdom.

7. Tow Ho Ho – a caravan stuffed with Christmas cheer, continual carols and yuletide songs for three days, and an inebriated Santa experience.

8. Trailer Tower – a viewing platform in a caravan that is craned into the sky.

9. Caravagina – a rebirthing experience.

10. Redneck Wedding – a mobile home with a confederate flag outside and an extended and complicated family within.

11. Lord Ganesh’s Larder – A regular delivery van given the vibrant Calcutta bus makeover, including an elephant carriage on the roof.

12. Terrible Terry’s Jail – A caravan with jails bars on the windows for misbehaving festival goers, who then have to find the escape plan.

13. Gangsta Granny – A collection of senior ladies knitting everything that moves, and serving tea to a hip-hop soundtrack.

14. Seagull’s Nest – seagulls scavenge the nearby neighbourhood for debris to bring back to their giant nest (including a broken caravan).

15. Mad De-Programming Machine – a scientific experiment using submarine parts, wires and colanders to give your brains a fresh start.