Féile launched with a fanfare at the Mill

IT’S BACK: Kevin Gamble, Féile an Phobail, Terence Brannigan, Chairman of Tourism Northern Ireland,  and Dr Katy Radford of the Arts Council Northern Ireland IT’S BACK: Kevin Gamble, Féile an Phobail, Terence Brannigan, Chairman of Tourism Northern Ireland, and Dr Katy Radford of the Arts Council Northern Ireland
By Brónach Ní Thuama

THIS year’s Féile an Phobail was officially launched in the Conway Mill on Tuesday, bringing an exciting line-up of events for local people and visitors.

This August’s jam-packed programme includes street theatre, children’s events, parties in the park, concerts, sports, discussions and debates, exhibitions and drama in what is the largest community festival and summer school in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, Féile Director Kevin Gamble, said: “This year we have over 200 events in 30 different venues right across the city of Belfast. “Our 2017 programme is a showcase of the arts, community, culture and good relations, attracting more tourism than ever. Féile an Phobail is at the heart of modern Belfast, where our communities are increasingly multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Collaboration is at the core of our work – showcasing good relations in action, attracting more tourism and visitors spend and building increased social and cultural capital.”

He added: “Our main 5,000 capacity marquee, based in the award-winning Falls Park is the heart of our innovative festival. Like the wider Gaeltacht Quarter it is accessible and welcoming to all the citizens of our city and our many visitors.”

Also speaking at the launch was Terence Brannigan, Chairman of Tourism NI. “Events such as Féile are firmly established within our tourism fabric, adding value to the positive perceptions and profile of our destination and have been recognised as having an important role in contributing to the economy,” he said.

“Féile an Phobail aims to attract 81,000 visitors, and I commend the dedication and hard work of Kevin Gamble and his team for the creation and delivery of a high quality and inclusive festival programme.”

Some of this year’s highlights are: UB40 in the marquee, Altan’s 30th anniversary celebration in Clonard Monastery, BoyzLife live at the Devenish and Jake O’Kane with the ‘Best of Irish comedy Night’ Live at the Devenish, the ever popular dance night in the Marquee, The Wolfe Tones also in the Marquee and the always popular Scribes at the Rock.

As well as this there is a full and extensive list of discussions and debates, dramas, exhibitions and walking tours. One of the main talks is ‘An outstanding leader: The life and times of Martin McGuinness’, which will be held in St Mary’s University College, this will be chaired by Danny Morrison with the panel comprising of Mitchel McLaughlin, Mary Lou McDonald TD and a member of the McGuinness family.

For further information on Féile and this year’s events, which run from August 3-13 visit www.feilebelfast.com. 

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