In praise of Kilkenomics

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I am writing this as I am about to leave Kilkenny in Ireland, having done five gigs on Friday and Saturday at the Kilkenomics festival of, yes, economics.

This is the first time I have been, and if I am asked, I will be here again. It's extraordinary to find so many economists, and more importantly so many audiences, keen to discuss economic issues all in one place.

My only regret was that such was the intensity of my own schedule there was almost no chance to get in to see other people's events, so I missed many good people unless they happened to be sharing platforms with me.

The obvious thought that follows is, of course, why this happens here but not in the UK? Could such a festival work anywhere but Ireland? I am not in any way volunteering to organise such an event. It would be great if someone felt so inclined.