Editorial - Hitting the right notes together

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The announcement that Derry is to host another major music festival is concrete proof of the much-talked about legacy of the City of Culture Celebrations.

The Pan Celtic Festival will be held in Easter week 2014 and will also return the following year.

Securing such an event - which brings together the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany - is a further recognition of Derry’s new-found place on the international events stage.

More than that, it will allow further opportunities to build bridges between communities here through music, as well as opening up our city and culture to a wider audience.

Derry won widespread acclaim for its successful hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in August, particularly for the way in which all of our traditions and cultures were involved.

Amid the hundreds of thousands of visitors who packed the city, the sight of loyalist bands playing their tunes alongside Irish traditional musicians and receiving warm applause did not go unnoticed.

The Pan Celtic festival will offer new opportunities to share traditions and identities, as well as celebrating cultural differences.

It is becoming increasingly clear that these and other musical events provide a space that is not found in other circumstances to break down cultural barriers.

Of course such an outcome is only a welcome side benefit of such festivals, with the real objective being a celebration of culture, but it is one which can leave a real positive and lasting legacy.

Events like this have helped Derry turn a corner to the point where our divided past, which was for so long a weakness, can now be used in a constructive way as a valuable and important tool to create a united future.