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National Concert Hall Announces ‘Utopia’, A Weekend of Immersive Experiences

October 11, 2021

The National Concert Hall presents Utopia, a special weekend of events programmed and developed by Una Mullally and Conner Habib as part of its autumn season REFRACTIONS.

This series of five idealistic, speculative, and aspirational events from October 20th -24th brings forth utopian visions of individuals and ignites the utopian will of the collective and asks audiences and artists alike: what do you want? If this era has changed us, then everything needs to be different. The only option is to strive for utopia. 

Utopia presents new forms of ‘gigs’ and ‘talks’ with a series of improvised, threshold crossing, experimental shows. Be present and feel alive with music, philosophy and new ideas creating new pathways. 

Utopia curator Una Mullally says, “I’ve never been more excited to get back to live music, but I also want to return to something different. Everyone has changed, and I want to see that reflected in the form of live shows we can now get to witness. The Utopia series is about imagining something new and trusting the audience’s and artists’ desire that instead of ‘back to normal’ we should go forward towards something extraordinary.” 

Conner Habib adds, “The Utopia series reflects my hope that the artistic and creative ruts we were stuck in for a decade have been shattered by the past two years. Amongst the frustrations and fears, we’ve also been given a tremendous opportunity to imagine in new directions; whether that’s imagining a new kind of concert experience, a new spiritual pathway for Ireland, or just a new culture overall that gives space for us to be creative and engaged participants, not just spectators.” 

On Wednesday 20th October at 7.30pm the series begins with the live podcast event Everyone United with Conner Habib, Andrea Horan and Una Mullally. The evening will combine the insights of the countercultural podcast Against Everyone With Conner Habib and the nationwide history and culture show, Andrea and Una’s United Ireland and feature very special guests.

The following evening, Thursday 21st October at 7.30pm Irish mystic and philosopher John Moriarty is celebrated in Republic of Birds: John Moriarty’s Visions of Ireland. This first national celebration of John Moriarty’s work includes special guests and a rare screening of Julius Ziz and Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s 2012 documentary about John, Dreamtime, Revisited. 

On Saturday 23rd October Kate Butler, Don Rosco and No Place Like Drone present The Chill Out Room as a Radical Space (Loving You) from 10am-7.30pm. This free event features new sonic work by commissioned artists and provides a communal space to imagine another future. DJs and music manipulators, No Place Like Drone, Don Rosco and Kate Butler, invoke the chill-out room of the rave era, offering nothing less than blissed out psychedelia, kosmiche, transcendentalism and mysticism, with specially commissioned music by Laura LAIR, Jonathan Deasy and Bambi. 

At 8pm that night MCs convene on the NCH stage for Utopia: Cypher at 8pm when Rebel Phoenix, Strange Boy, DJ Replay, Dyramid and more guests to be announced will create a freestyle cypher. The unrehearsed, spontaneous show features beats from emerging producers across Ireland, and bars from extraordinary MCs cutting through the noise. 

The series closes on Sunday 24th October at 8pm when Utopia: Murmuration sees David Le’aupepe, Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister), David Kitt, MayKay, Daoirí Farrell, Rory Friers (And So I Watch You From Afar), Izumi Kimura, Ben Castle and more come together for a musical performance which emerges in the moment. A live musical performance emerging in the moment, as a group of musicians come together as a collective to find their way to and through songs and sounds as they are conjured live on stage. This one-off experimental process rooted in risk, trust, improvisation and potential, asks the artists and the audience to cross a threshold, and see what happens. 

Utopia is presented by the National Concert Hall. It is programmed and developed by Una Mullally and Conner Habib.  

Una Mullally is a writer, broadcaster and podcaster. She has written for the Irish Times since 2011 and she contributes a weekly current affairs column as well as features and interviews. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times and many other high-profile publications. In March 2015, Mullally won Journalist of the Year at the GALA LGBT Awards.

Conner Habib is a writer, lecturer, poet and podcaster. His essays and poetry have appeared in CR Fashion Book, The Stranger, Vice, Salon, Slate and several anthologies. His debut novel, Hawk Mountain, will be published by Doubleday in 2022.



Everyone United with Conner Habib, Andrea Horan and Una Mullally


Utopia: Republic of Birds: John Moriarty’s Visions of Ireland


Utopia: The Chill Out Room as a Radical Space (Loving You)

This event is unticketed, but numbers may be limited at any one time during the day.


Utopia: Cypher

Feat. Rebel Phoenix, Strange Boy, DJ Replay, Dyramid and more guests to be announced


Utopia: Murmuration

Featuring David Le’aupepe, Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister), David Kitt, MayKay, Daoirí Farrell, Rory Friers (And So I Watch You From Afar), Izumi Kimura, Ben Castle and more guests to be announced.

REFRACTIONS is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

Livestreams will be available to view for 48 hours.

Tickets In-Person from €10 Livestream from €7.50 except The Chill Out Room as a Radical Space (Loving You) which is free.

All tickets available from www.nch.ie

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