The third annual Stendhal Festival of Music and Art provided “great times” for everyone who came to Ballymully Cottage Farm outside Limavady for the weekend.
From up and coming local talent to well known names in the industry, Paddy Casey and Neil Hannon of The Devin Comedy, Stendhal festival director Ross parkhill said the two-day affair is growing each year.
“Stendhal continued this year because we want to grow it annually and we want to get more people here and inspire more people with the arts. We’re trying to get kids into art in a non-curricular environment so that they can do something that naturally captures their enthusiasm,” said Ross.
“We started ten-week workshops that were free to the local community in the arts centre in Limavady. We’re obviously only getting established as this is year three of Stendhal, but our project plan is to start developing arts in the local region. In the long-term the ethos of Stendhal is innovation because we all as a race, never mind as a region, need to innovate and create. Therefore getting workshops out there and getting people out in a more social environment into the arts is going to lead to more engineers, more entrepreneurs and less reliance on public sector employment”.
One of the many acts to play at Stendhal this year was local band ‘Dying Breed’. Bassist Gareth Whiteside said: “We decided to play at Stendhal this year because it is a prestigious event and attracts a good audience of people from all over Northern Ireland. It’s fun to see what type of crowd we can bring in and hope that they all enjoy our music.”
June Doorish, one of the family area co-ordinators for Stendhal Festival, told the ‘Journal’: “I think that the key of making Stendhal family-friendly is to get something that everybody will like, and I think that everybody’s been so pleased at the variety and choice on offer this year at Stendhal.” There were a range of activities available for children such as caricatures , crafts, a puppet and an interactive fairy trail which was led by local drama club ‘Dramabugs’. As well as music and art; dance, theatre and augmented woodland in the form of ‘Woodtown’.”
Kim Sharp, enjoying Stendhal with her children, said: “There’s a very relaxed atmosphere at Stendhal where people feel like they can bring their family and not have to worry about how safe they are, and its generally great fun.”
Hundreds of festival-goers decided to camp in spite of the predicted wet weather, including Kerry Boyd, who said: “I love the atmosphere of Stendhal. I enjoy all of the bands and having good fun camping with my friends.”
Stendhal Festival of Arts’ official Facebook page posted a status on Sunday addressed to everyone who contributed to this year’s success: “Well folks, safe to say that was an incredible festival. Massive hug to each and all who brought their energy through the gate over the weekend and the last weeks/months. Can’t wait to see photos and hear of more favourite moments from your experience.”