The award winning Stendhal Festival of Art is back for a fifth year in Limavady this Summer and once again, the music and arts extravaganza has looked to the city to fill a host of slots at the event on August 8 and 9.
In 2014 the event was headlined by The Undertones, a performance which helped Stendhal scoop Best Line-up at the 2014 Irish Festival Awards, so it is no real surprise that the organisers have once again looked to their North West neighbours for talent.
This year acts hailing from Derry include Rosborough, Lady J, Making Monsters, Paddy Nash, Tecknopeasant and Ryan Vail.
It is a diverse group of artists for a festival which embraces all genres of music and each say that they are very much looking forward to bringing a bit of their second city stylings to Limavady in the summer.
“I’ve been a regular at Stendhal for a few years now,” said Paddy Nash, whose band of Happy Enchiladas just seem to get better with each new album.
Their latest, ‘Laughter and Love’ has garnered great reviews and has been hailed for its intelligent social commentary, along with its ability to get listeners on their feet.
“It just gets better each year in terms of set-up and line-up and I would say to anyone in Derry that likes music and a bit of craic and that hasn’t been down to Limavady for Stendhal yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.”
Glenn Rosborough has appeared at Stendhal in some capacity every year since it began in 2011.
Be it solo acoustic shows or rocking out with bands Intermission or Wyldling, Glenn, now going simply as Rosborough, is firmly cemented as a festival favourite and it appears the feeling is mutual.
“Stendhal, for me, is the highlight of the year,” he said.
“I have never played another festival with such a fun and friendly atmosphere. It’s a great champion of the arts, friend of the community and it holds a very special place in my heart.”
Making Monsters also have some smashing Stendhal experience, literally.
Last year during their headline set at The Karma Valley Stage, they rocked so hard that they stomped through the stage.
“That was quite a set,” reminisced guitarist Paul Monk, the demolition man previously mentioned.
“Our first year at Stendhal was really enjoyable, not only for how well our own set was received, but for the overall experience.
“There was the best of home grown talent and acts from overseas to mix things up. In my opinion, in terms of Northern Irish festivals, Stendhal is in a league of its own and is by far our favourite festival.”
Derry’s shining light in the world of electronic music is unquestionably Ryan Vail who will be making his Stendhal Debut this summer when he will join Ciaran Lavery on stage to perform their stunning collaboration album, ‘Sea Legs.”
As a first time visitor to the event, Ryan says that he is looking forward to it, particularly as he doesn’t get the chance to play live with Ciaran Lavery very often.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at this years Stendhal festival with Ciaran Lavery performing our ‘Sea Legs’ project, we don’t do a large amount of gigs together so they are always special,” Said Ryan.
“The project has a close connection to the North West so it will be great to play in the area for the first time in an outdoor setting. We played last month at the Body and Soul festival in Meath and I’ve been told the forest there has a similar feel to the forest area at Stendhal, so it should be a great gig.”
Colm O’Donnnell is one of the organisers of the festival and hails from Derry himself so he says he is always thrilled to be showcasing acts from his hometown at Stendhal.
“I spend nearly as much time in Limavady as I do at home these days,” said Colm, “but I always keep an eye on what is happening around the Derry music scene as we have always had so many fantastic artists in the city.
“At Stendhal we try to showcase as many local talents as we can and we always have a problem picking Derry acts because there are so many that would be at home on the bill at Stendhal.”