Culture, comic book art and celebrations at Earhart Festival

Flash Harry will perform at the Earhart Tribute Fest in Ballyarnett Park. (20811JC1)
Flash Harry will perform at the Earhart Tribute Fest in Ballyarnett Park. (20811JC1)

This year’s week-long Earhart Festival will run from Sunday, August 7 until Monday, August 15, with a city-wide focus featuring a number of cultural highlights throughout the week.

Sunday, August 7 - The festival kicks off with a grand festival launch at Northside Village Centre with music and family fun events with the staging, later that night of A Whole Handlin’ at Hannah’s House and Waiting For John Jo by The Here We Go Theatre Company in the Arc Centre at Bloomfield Park.

The Cullen School of Irish Dance will perform at the Craft Village 'Trad in the Village' event on Tuesday, August 9. (20811JC2)

The Cullen School of Irish Dance will perform at the Craft Village 'Trad in the Village' event on Tuesday, August 9. (20811JC2)

Messin’ With the Music

Monday sees the launch of Messin’ With the Music a week-long series of music workshops aimed at the 14-17 age group. The sessions will be facilitated by three top-level professional musicians, Denis McLaughlin, Caolin McLaughlin and Tommy McAleer. All three have extensive international experience and background in the music industry.

The idea is to afford young aspirant musicians the opportunity to perform live on the stage of the Earhart Festival on Sunday, 14th August.

This will be achieved by taking part in a series of creative music-making workshops learning skills such as: composition, songwriting, musical theory, performance, aural awareness, rhythm and the music business. As well as the Earhart performance there will be a special showcase evening for parents on Friday 12th at 7pm.

A collaborative horror graphic novel set against the backdrop of the historic city - Walled City Dreams - will be launched on Saturday, August 14 at Sandinos Bar from 7pm -9pm. (20811JC3)

A collaborative horror graphic novel set against the backdrop of the historic city - Walled City Dreams - will be launched on Saturday, August 14 at Sandinos Bar from 7pm -9pm. (20811JC3)

Why Am I

The Arc Centre Bloomfield will play host to Vin McCullough’s one man play, Why Am I.

Presented by the Here We Go Theatre Company this touching and thought provoking monologue charts one man’s experience of life, affliction and the human condition. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a moving and deeply touching night of drama.

Clay Animation Workshops

Monday also sees the start of a series of workshops featuring stop-frame, clay animation techniques aimed at kids and young people. The week-long series will be facilitated by well-known animator Tomas O’Maonaigh.

This is a great opportunity to work with an experienced professional in the area of stop-frame animation, design and create your own

Trad at the Village

A day long celebration (in partnership with Café Del Mondo and the Inner City Trust) of the city’s finest contemporary Irish folk music and dancing at the Craft Village.

The event will feature the Cullen School of Irish Dance which boasts many Ulster, All Ireland and International champions; An Grianan Choltas, reels, jigs and polkas a feast of Irish traditional music at its purest.

Also performing will be singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ronan Kearney, Six piece, celtic rockers The Grin; and Sheegus a contemporary folk line-up featuring some of Ireland’s finest trad talents.

The Ultimate Derry Quiz

The John McCool Memorial Cup takes place at Shantallow House from 9pm till late. This is a night not to be missed for all quiz heads everywhere. Do you know the history of your own city? Music, sport, street names, famous people, well known buildings etc.

Community Films at the Nerve Centre Day four of the festival features a fascinating screening of community made films from the past twelve years of community arts projects from Greater Shantallow Community Arts at the Nerve Centre’s Cinema in Magazine Street.

Films featured will include: Agnes the story of the 19th century local nursing heroine Agnes Jones, directed by Eion Coffey, written by Felicity McCall and starring Bronagh Gallagher and Dan Gordon. Emma, a harrowing story of addition; Peter, a tale highlighting the effects of bullying; a film of the staging of Fassbinger’s Bremen Freedom; Touch of a Button a short about internet predators and Liam O Reilly’s Whole Handlin’ at Hannah’s House by the Here We Go Theatre Company.

Wednesday - 12 Noon - Festival Film Fest at the Nerve Centre Cinema

An exhibition celebrating twelve years of community film production including: Agnes Jones: Emma; Peter; Touch of a Button: Whole Handlin’ at Hannah’s House and Bremen Freedom. There’ll also be a celebration of past festivals with hundreds of photos of community members and the story of Amelia Earhart at Northside Village Centre.

Cultural Celebration Night at the City Hotel

Thursday night sees the annual Cultural Celebration night at the city Hotel, a major cultural community celebration of the City of Culture and a bringing together of all the main creative organisations in the city. The evening also provides an opportunity for the forging of networks and partnerships plus; a night of performances from artists, showcasing of talent and a platform for the experience of culturally diverse traditions.

Comic Book Feature - Zombie HI! Team drawing live in the Guildhall Square

A strong feature of this year’s festival is a number of digital arts projects. Friday afternoon will see the artists from the Zombie Hi team drawing live in Guildhall Square from 2pm -4pm, providing a great opportunity to meet the team and have your ‘Zombie Portrait’ done at the same time.

Saturday afternoon has a strong sports element with a fishing tournament in Creggan Country Park, GAA at Ballyarnett Country Park and a fantastic, not to be missed Wrestling bill by Wrestling IE at Templemore Sports Complex at 2pm (£5 entrance fee payable at door).

Book Launch at Sandinos:

Walled City Dreams

Saturday evening sees the launch of a graphic novel, Walled City Dreams at Sandinos Bar from 7pm -9pm. This beautiful collection of comic book tales by six local artists and writers features an anthology of ghost and horror stories that uses Derry and the old walled city as a backdrop.

The book features new work by well known graphic artist, Joe Campbell; stories from the Zombie Hi team; Gio Logue, John Campbell and Danny McLaughlin and retro superhero fare from Darren McCay. There is also a short story from writer, James Chamberlain.

Earhart Festival Carnival Day

Tribute Fest in the Park

This year’s festival at Ballyarnett will see a grand ‘Tribute Fest’ with headliners Flash Harry providing one of the best Queen tributes to be found anywhere supported by Gaga 4 Pink and the Killers of Leon. There will also be a host of local showcases on stage including: The staging of New Steps a musical by the Redshirts, The bands from the Messin’ With the Music sessions; The Street Feet Dance Crew, Dannika, The Clameens, Ceoltiri Oga; the Cullen School of Irish Dance all kicked off with a fly past in honour of Amelia Earhart by Letterkenny Flying Club.

There will also be loads of attractions in the field with Cullen’s Amusements open all day, fun stalls, The Scallywag Puppet Theatre, kids games; The Total Bull Experience; The Maiden City Archery and the Drive 105 Roadshow. Fun starts at 12 noon and continues to 7pm.

(Please note the Carnival day is a non-alcoholic event: £5 entrance fee payable at door.)