The array of world-class events unveiled yesterday drew praise from many quarters.
Sharon O’Connor, Chief Executive of Derry City Council, was delighted at how the day’s events panned out and how the first draft of the programme was received locally.
“I’m really delighted about today, it’s been fantastic,” Ms O’Connor told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.
“There’s such a great mood around the place but it’s really important for people to know that this isn’t the entirety of the Christmas stocking, there’s lots more to come.”
Speaking of the hundreds of events already announced, she went on: “The programme itself really is like a selection box, there are so many good things in there, you almost don’t know what to tackle first! It’s really nice to see the community participation here too, all the young musicians and dancers, it really does whet the appetite for what’s to come. We’re going to all be exhausted by the end of it, but it will be worth it!”
Ms O’Connor also spoke of the significance of the Lonely Planet guide earlier this week - where Derry was named 4th best place to visit next year.
“Someone actually emailed me to say they had watched me talking about Derry in Jordan!
“So the news story went out all over the world - this is the international exposure we had always hoped for and now we are beginning to get it.
“It’s just fantastic publicity for the city.”
Also delighted with how the initial programme of events was received was Maoliosa Boyle of Void Gallery.
“It’s just brilliant, there’s a real electric atmosphere in Ebrington Square and a great excitement about next year and the programme is just evidence of that,” she said.
“I can’t wait already and I haven’t even made my way through half of the programme - there’s just so much in it.”
Graeme Farrow, Executive Programmer with the City of Culture team, is also relieved and happy with the day’s events.
“I’ve been tucked away all day but the reaction seems to be very positive, everybody seems to be happy with the programme.
“It really felt like an occasion here today, like something really important is unfolding in the city here.
“There’s so much already confirmed for next year, and so much more still to come,” he said yesterday.