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25th party is set to be one for everyone to remember

Buzz around the Mill as excitement builds

Joby Fox singing at the launch of Féile 2013 Joby Fox singing at the launch of Féile 2013
By Ciara Quinn

THE Mill on Conway Street was buzzing on Monday as crowds packed in for the official Féile an Phobail launch.

Féile 25 is set to be Ireland’s biggest and most vibrant community festival ever with a stellar line-up of musicians including The Coronas, Happy Mondays, Charlatans, The Priests and ska legends The Beat. Comedy, debate, exhibitions and much, much more will add to the mix.

Belfast’s First Citizen, Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was joined by Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chairman Howard Hastings at the launch. Also there were Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and West Belfast MP Paul Maskey. Féile Director Kevin Gamble introduced West Belfast singer-songwriter Joby Fox who entertained the audience with a rendition of his popular hit, ‘Belfast’.

Speaking during the launch Mr Gamble said the festival had “stayed true to its roots”.

“A quarter of a century of inclusive engagement with communities from within and outside West Belfast is a great achievement in anybody’s book,” he said. “But I’m hugely proud to say, that as Féile an Phobail has grown year in year out, it has also stayed resolutely true to its roots.

“In true Féile style, our 25th birthday is going to be a celebration of the very best of the West, and we’re delighted to have so many big names taking part alongside the very best of local talent.  As ever, we endeavour to make our events accessible to all, whether they be free or affordably priced. Féile 25 will be the biggest party taking place  in Belfast this year and it’s the most exciting line-up Féile has ever seen.”

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín was also there on the day and she added: “Despite growing into a prestigious international event, the organisers have managed to retain their connection with the local community. This is something to be celebrated and to take pride in. I am delighted this year’s festival has been expanded to include extra events to complement the hosting of the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast. These additional events will ensure both locals and visitors will have an opportunity to join in the fun and experience the friendly Belfast welcome.”

The Féile programme is online at www.feilebelfast. com and tickets can be purchased there and also from and the Belfast Welcome Centre.

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