Marquee to be pitched up at new West venue

Falls Park to take centre stage at Féile an Phobail

By Francesca Ryan

W ith less than a week to go until the official launch of Féile an Phobail 2012, the Andersonstown News can reveal some of the exciting acts that will be taking to the stage this summer. From August 1 to August 12, West Belfast will be awash with culture and entertainment and will become a veritable hive of activity as the country’s largest community festival gets under way.

Some 100,000 people are expected to converge on the district to take part in the plethora of events on offer and this year all eyes will be on the Falls Park which will become Féile HQ for the 12 days.

The Féile Marquee, with a massive 1,200 capacity, will this year be located in the Falls Park, making it easily accessible to people across West Belfast. The Marquee will host the ever-popular comedy night (August 9) with Eric Lalor, Best Irish comedian 2011, Danny Dowling and our very own Paddy McDonnell taking part. The musical highlights include the Wolfe Tones, Gary Óg and Shebeen  August 8), Alabama 3 and  Shannon and the Shortcuts (August 10), the American Drifters and the Beach Boys Tribute Band (August 11), Bad Manners, who are always a smash hit, and Dog House Ska (August 12). Mary Black will headline a concert in the refurbished Clonard Monastery with support from Gerry Creen on Friday, August 3.

“Féile is into its 24th year,” said Féile Director Kevin Gamble, “and this year, the Falls Park and venues throughout the Gaeltacht Quarter will be the hub of Féile activity. We will also have events on in venues throughout the the East, North and South of the city, as well as Belfast city centre, Lisburn and North Down.

“This will make the Falls Park the most collaborative and active park in the city.  While we have used it many times in the past, we are delighted that this year it will be the focus point of our festival.”

Kevin went on to highlight just some of the events taking place in the Falls Park in a few weeks time.

“The annual Carnival Parade, on August 5, will make its way from Casement to the Falls Park,” he said.  “The parade has steadily got bigger and better and ranks as the most colourful and inclusive parade in Ireland.

“This year’s theme is Giants of the North and includes Cú Chulainn and the Titanic and also lesser known giants such as Fir Bholg and the Celtic Dragon.

“The parade will be followed by the popular Party in the Park, a perfect setting for a perfect family day of fun and entertainment with live music including the Rihanna Xperience, supported by Vixen, and a special performance all the way from Derry by singer/songwriter Clodagh Quinn.



The Falls Park will also host the Teddy Bears Picnic, Eco Bike Tours, Bowling, Ju Jitsu, Tai Chi and a tree top aerial assault course, and, of course, the Féile finale on Sunday, August 12 that includes a West Belfast Traders’ Forum Market and a free family day in the Marquee with tribute bands including Hanna Montana, Amy Winehouse, Olly Murs and so much more.

“The Falls Park is the perfect venue for these events including the classes in mind, spirit and body control,” says Kevin.  “It’s also the location for the 5k run, which is part of the Park Run initiative and Healthy Hearts of West Belfast project in the Falls Park and attracts dozens of participants each Saturday. It is not a race against other runners and is open to everyone.”

More acts will be released during next Wednesday’s Féile launch.

“The launch takes place from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Falls Park Bowling Pavilion and everyone is welcome to come along to kick off this year’s festival in style.”

Féile tickets are on sale now at Contact the Féile office on 90 313440, follow on Facebook and Twitter @feilebelfast

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