Ireland’s Best Small Festival Stendhal attracts international attention

Stendhal Festival
Stendhal Festival

Ireland’s Best Small Festival has steadily established itself throughout Ireland and beyond, attracting international attention, according to John Cartwright, organiser of Stendhal Festival.

John, whose family’s farm is the setting for the weekend festival, on August 12/13 this year, says the awards over the past few years have made all the hard work and perseverance worthwhile.

Paddy Casey said in an interview recently that the biggest feeling he gets from Stendhal is how everyone is really pulling for it and wanting it to be a success. That sort of sums it up well I think.

John Cartwright, Stendhal Festival

When asked if the festival is helping boost the Roe Valley in terms of visitor numbers, he says: “There is now no question that it does.”

Affirmation of that would appear to come from recent support from Invest NI.

“We were notified just last week that the Northern Irish Tourist Board have decided to provide us with sponsorship and as far as I know we are one of a very select number of events, if not the only event in Limavady that has ever availed of this. So in terms of being an economic driver in the region we are still moving in the right direction,” sayd John.

Since the festival started six years ago, it has attracted music and festival fans from all over Ireland and beyond.

“Last year for the first time more people from outside the former Limavady Borough attended the event than from inside,” sayd John. “This year we have sent tickets to Denmark, Qatar, America, France and all over the UK and Ireland, so we are continuing to bring people into the local area.

“I’m always going to say the festival is special, but all you have to do is look at the awards we have won to see that a lot of other people think we have something special here too. I think the best thing about it is the wide range of people and ages of people we get at the festival. There is a really chilled out, welcoming atmosphere that allows people to really just relax and have a great time,” says John.

“Paddy Casey said in an interview recently that the biggest feeling he gets from Stendhal is how everyone is really pulling for it and wanting it to be a success. That sort of sums it up well I think.”

Stendhal Festival of Art is the winner of Ireland’s Best Small Festival 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It takes place at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, this August 12 and 13.

There are five headline acts for revellers to enjoy, along with more than 40 other musical offerings, art, craft, comedy, poetry and a bounty of all things creative.

Northern Irish Alternative rock legends Therapy? International DJ Sensation DJ Yoda, the hottest new act in folk, Lynched, Bluegrass festival juggernaut Hayseed Dixie and Mercury Prize winning Badly Drawn Boy are all scheduled to light up the stage at Stendhal this year. For tickets see www.stendhalfestival.com