A world famous travelling venue will be coming to Derry next month for the Pan Celtic Festival, which will be held in the city during Easter week.
The Spiegeltent (tent of mirrors) is an elaborate temporary performance space dating from the 1920s and will be built in Guildhall Square to host concerts, competitions and sessions during the festival from April 22-27.
First designed in Belgium in the 1920s, the Spiegeltent is a regular focal point of festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The Pan Celtic Festival will mark the Spiegeltent’s first visit to Derry .
Typically associated with vaudeville, circus and cabaret style acts, Spiegeltents have played host to some of the world’s most famous performers, including Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s.
Constructed from wood, canvas, stained glass and ornate furnishings, the Spiegeltent will be shipped to Derry in more than 3,000 pieces and will be painstakingly assembled before being decorated with velvet and brocade.
There are around a dozen Spiegeltents in existence around the world, each with their own name, travelling to international festivals.
The one coming to Derry is known as the ‘Salon Perdu’ and holds more than 500 people.
Pan Celtic Festival chairperson, Gearóid Ó hEára, said the Spiegeltent will offer festival-goers the opportunity to enjoy live music in unique surroundings.
“This historic wooden tent is a genuinely special, exciting venue, which generates an unique and vibrant atmosphere by its very nature,” he said.
This year’s Pan Celtic Festival, the 43rd in its history, will be the first time that it has been held in the North of Ireland.
It will celebrate the cultural links between the celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man.
Mr Ó hEára said; “The appetite for folk and Celtic music in the city was palpable during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann last summer and the Pan Celtic festival will be another opportunity for those who enjoyed the Fleadh to revel in the spirit of Celtic celebration.
“Music fans can look forward to an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary music and dance when the programme launches in the coming days.
“The much-anticipated festival will include some familiar names and a few surprises.”
One of the highlights of the festival will be the return of the An Ré Nua talent search which offers up and coming folk and acoustic musicians the chance to compete for the opportunity to record an EP, perform in front of large audiences and play with some of the biggest names in traditional music.
Arts director at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, said: ‘Through An Ré Nua, we are pioneering a new entry point for musicians into music as a career, offering exceptionally talented musicians and singers an insight into the industry.’
Closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 11th April. Full details and entry forms are available online at www.facebook.com/anrenua or by contacting Odhrán Ó Maoláin at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin on +44 (0)28 7126 4132.