Over 250 performers to bring the old city to life at the 15th Maiden City Festival

A scene from the Siege Pageant annually performed by the Crimson Players just before the beginning of the Apprenctice Boys Relief of Derry parade.

A scene from the Siege Pageant annually performed by the Crimson Players just before the beginning of the Apprenctice Boys Relief of Derry parade.

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Londonderry’s walls are to come to life for a week at the start of August as a wealth of talent including musicians, dancers and actors take to the streets for the 2014 Maiden City Festival. Since its inception in 1998, the Festival has developed steadily over the years and it is hoped that up to 15,000 people will enjoy some aspect of what is on offer during this year’s event.

Organised by the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Maiden City Festival aims to make a positive contribution to the current life of the city. The Festival runs from 2nd – 9th August at various venues and features over 20 different events including live music, dance, living history, tours and exhibitions.

Some of the 2014 Maiden City Festival highlights include:

Bluegrass and Folk Weekend – the very best mix of modern and Americana folk bluegrass with 12 acts performing over three days

Culture Bite – over 40 of Northern Ireland’s brightest new music stars take to the stage in a number of the city’s cafes to play covers and originals from the worlds of jazz, blues, soul, rock and pop

The Ulster Highland Dance Championships – The Maiden City Scottish Highland Dance Competition will this year run alongside the Ulster Highland Dance Championships which are being brought to Londonderry for the first time

First World War Exhibition “The Art of War” – An exhibition of trench art incorporating original artefacts that were crafted by soldiers during WWI complemented by a modern contemporary artist’s interpretation of the conflict.

Living History Theatre Siege Tales and Siege Story – the ever popular performances return to the Walls and St Columb’s Cathedral with insightful and entertaining characters sharing their real life experiences from the Siege.

Festival Director Jonathan Burgess commented:“This year promises another jam-packed Festival and we would encourage everyone to come into town and soak up the atmosphere. We’ll have something for everyone and have events running from mid-morning on Saturday August 2 right through until the traditional Pageant and celebrations the following Saturday. The city will truly come to life and we are hoping for the sun to shine on the town for the whole week! If the rain does make an appearance it won’t dampen our spirits though. Lots of the performances take place indoors: Culture Bite for example runs in eight of the city’s cafes throughout the week and features some of the hottest new live acts on the Northern Ireland music scene.”

Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry and Festival Co-Director Jim Brownlee added: “The Memorial Hall is usually the Festival hub but with the ongoing refurbishments we are moving lots of the events over to the Britannia Hall. All the old favourites still feature in this year’s Festival including our Tea Dance, Big Quiz and Kids Night. We would like to thank our funders for their continued support.”

The Maiden City Festival is funded by Derry City Council, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ulster Scots Agency and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.

For more information and to download the programme visit www.maidencityfestival.com . Box offices for Festival events at Home Sweet Home, Bond Street, Waterside Tel 028 7134 6677 AND The Siege Museum, 16 Bishop Street Tel 028 7126 1219.