Crowds expected at Derry’s unique teen festival

Lisneal College students Callum Henson and Benjamin Thompson and their backing group on Friday enjoying the music last year.  DER2415MC070
Lisneal College students Callum Henson and Benjamin Thompson and their backing group on Friday enjoying the music last year. DER2415MC070

Hundreds of local teenagers are set to rock up at Belmont next week to take part in the Trip To The Trail 2016 Festival.

Upwards of 400 teenagers from schools and groups across the north west are expected to take part in the event, which gets under way at 11am on Friday, June 17 and runs until 2pm.

Oakgrove student Naomi Ferguson (centre) pictured with friends Roisin Liddy and Maureen Gorman last year. DER2415MC072

Oakgrove student Naomi Ferguson (centre) pictured with friends Roisin Liddy and Maureen Gorman last year. DER2415MC072

The festival at the Playtrail is open to all those aged 13 to 18, and people are welcome to come along on the day.

Two stages are being erected for the festival, with the band and acoustic stages showcasing top local musicians and emerging talent from the region.

There will also be stilt walkers and graffiti art projects, as well as interactive drum circles, with Fab Lab also among those confirmed to take part.

Among the schools taking part are Ardnashee College in Derry, Knockavoe School in Strabane, Oakgrove College and St Cecilia’s College.

LOOK AT YOU!. . . Paul Deery, Geraldine McKeever, Ellen Nicholl and Tasha McGowan at the Playtrail on Friday. DER2415MC068

LOOK AT YOU!. . . Paul Deery, Geraldine McKeever, Ellen Nicholl and Tasha McGowan at the Playtrail on Friday. DER2415MC068

The festival is returning for a third year and is the only one of its kind in the north west and offers local young people the chance to mingle with peers of all abilities.

The festival is being staged by a partnership involving the Tuned In Project, the Nerve Centre and Liberty Consortium The Playtrail, while the main funders are the Big Lottery and Children In Need.

Phil Conn, Manager at Tuned In, said: “The beauty of it is that it brings learning disabilities to the fore front in a way that is very inclusive, everybody having fun together and having a bit of craic.

“It’s all about seeing past disability and looking at ability and focusing on the fun people can have together.”

Local band 'The Kashmir Krows' pictured before going on stage at last year's festival. DER2415MC073

Local band 'The Kashmir Krows' pictured before going on stage at last year's festival. DER2415MC073

Anyone aged 13 to 18 who wishes to come along on the day is more than welcome.

Local band 'Shoot The Messenger' pictured performing at Friday's 'Trip to the Trail' at the Belmont Playtrail, Derry. DER2415MC061

Local band 'Shoot The Messenger' pictured performing at Friday's 'Trip to the Trail' at the Belmont Playtrail, Derry. DER2415MC061