29 and counting! Dazzling programme of events unveiled for August Féile
The 29th August Féile was launched this week at a packed event at Conway Mill. Guests got a first look at this year's festival line up, which runs from 3-13 August, is packed with live music, comedy, debate, discussion, talks, tours, community and family events.
Highlights amongst the hundreds of events include UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey, Altan at Clonard Monastery, dance night featuring Goodgreef Legends past, present and future, the cream of Irish comedy with Jake O'Kane at the Devenish, scribes at the rock with Hollie McNish, Shane Connaughton and Victoria Mcnulty, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, Robert Fisk, Tony McAuley, Ana Lo both reading from their memoirs, acclaimed theatre with Kabosh Theatre’s Green and Blue and Brassneck Theatre's Holy Holy Bus, remembering master fiddler Sean McGuire, the hounds of Ulster plus the traditional Carnival Parade and Party in the Park, plus Music on the Metro and Teddybears Picnic.
Director Kevin Gamble said at the launch: "As we approach our 30th anniversary, Ireland's biggest community festival is thrilled to unveil a packed August programme that we believe has something for everyone. We believe that Féile is a festival for people from all Communites and none. The sheer range of our stakeholders, funders and partners demonstrates that inclusiveness. We invite everybody to come join us 'up west' this August for a festival to remember."
Chief Executive of Arts Council Northern Ireland Roisin McDonough said: “The Arts Council, as long-term principal funder of Féile an Phobail, is proud to be associated with Féile’s continuing success. At the heart of this festival is a determination to improve inclusivity, build good relations, and promote the cultural and creative reputation of West Belfast. To achieve these commendable goals, Féile turns to the arts, because the arts have a special ability to create shared experiences that bring people and communities closer together. Through the arts, we discover a common ground and a common purpose that is welcoming and open to all.
Féile and the Arts Council want to make access to the arts as inclusive as possible. The Arts Council’s investment of government and National Lottery funds helps to subsidise ticket prices and enables Féile to host a range of free arts events. Affordability is a key factor in opening up the arts so that everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to participate. The secret, though, to attracting the huge audiences that flock to this festival every year, is the consistent quality of the arts events that are on offer. It is easy to see why Féile engenders such a strong sense of civic pride and why it remains one of these islands’ most popular and successful community festivals.”