Posted in Blog

– to rouse to strong feeling or action

No generation in Ireland underwent such a social rebellion than the OAPs of today. Their evolution from teen to adult in the 1950s, 60s and 70s coincided with a global rise in non-conformism, rebellion and protest. With domestic TV we witnessed first-hand political upheaval across NI, USA, France, Asia and beyond. We also experienced a social revolution in sex, fashion, drugs, race, music, broadcasting and travel plus embraced a host of new initiatives and progressive businesses within the arts, media and publishing. And emerging from this cauldron of the hippy 60s and punk ‘70s were the creative pioneers and the commercial trailblazers who opened venues and theatres; established magazines, pirate radio stations and arts festivals. Today’s OAPs were in the audience (some at the coal face) and regardless of age, their life-long passion for innovation remains as this generation is hot-wired to embrace ‘the new’ across all genres of culture and the arts. And come election time we’re supposed to be happy with a few extra € on the pension! The V in proVoke = two fingers!

In February 2025,  Sideline Productions and The Project Arts Centre plan to fill a vital gap in the Dublin city arts calendar with proVoke – a festival of ideas, spoken word, podcasts, Q&As, comedy, theatre and music – designed and curated for the over 50s who look forward to and excited by an extended life.  The impact of proVoke will serve as a platform to spark other activists to develop their own local live events, groups and artists within their own communities. Why not similar future festivals nationwide as more and more supporters hop on board? The long-term objective is that proVoke will further enrich and motivate our 3rd Actors to engage physically, artistically and personally with new challenges throughout the year. So let’s move the dial on our 3rd Act as we encourage OAPs to follow their dreams and explore what ‘do you want to be when you grow up?’. And in the process engage with and attract a younger generation who not only enjoy their parents choices in travel, live entertainment and the arts, but also realise and appreciate that their future as an OAP is also pending.

The long-term plan is that similar community festivals could be staged in cultural centres nationwide and as a result stimulate further local talent and events throughout the year to not only create new work but also new friends. More older people suffer from loneliness than illness and as a result often fall into bad habits regarding social isolation, exercise and diet. So proVoke also offers this often silent minority a platform to engage and collaborate with old and new friends. What’s not to like?   

Let’s offer the stage to a generation that grew up with rock and roll; embraced all forms of rebellion plus dove head first into a wide social revolution in sexual freedom, civil rights and so much more. Most do not foresee themselves as ‘old’ or OAPS. We’re more like Old Age Punks!

Health willing we also have another 20 or 30 years to look forward to so let’s make it interesting, challenging and provocative.

FACT – there are more over 65s living in Ireland today than under 18s and the major difference is our older group have a political vote. proVoke will give them something to shout about.  Especially so close to a general election!

If you have ideas, suggestions and a passion for cultural/societal change E