CultureTECH attracts 10,000 to city

Group pictured at the screening of James May's, "Things you need to know" at Sandinos. INcluded, are, Catherine Ross series producer, Andrew Reid , Northern Ireland screen, John Farren creative director 360 productions, and Sharon O'Connor, Derry City Council. (0109Sl08)
Group pictured at the screening of James May's, "Things you need to know" at Sandinos. INcluded, are, Catherine Ross series producer, Andrew Reid , Northern Ireland screen, John Farren creative director 360 productions, and Sharon O'Connor, Derry City Council. (0109Sl08)

Derry’s city centre became a vibrant hub of creativity, media and musical talent as the first ever CultureTECH Festival pulled in crowds of up to 10,000 over the weekend.

Scores of curious local people, music fans and visitors to the city were treated to some of the finest musicians that the North West has to offer, with festivities in the Guildhall Square forming a focal point on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the intermittent rain, dreadlocked headliner Duke Special certainly drew crowds to the Square on Saturday afternoon, with local acts like Our Krypton Son, Soak and Best Boy Grip all playing superb sets to warm up their assembled audience.

The Craft Village was also awash with visitors throughout Friday and Saturday, with an array of family-friendly events taking place, as well as a pop-up shop and live performances courtesy of local record label Smalltown America also pulling big crowds throughout the weekend

Derry’s finest musical exports, The Japanese Popstars, also wowed fans at the Nerve Centre on Friday night, supported by many local DJS, while Figure of 8’s live show at An Culturlann also attracted a huge crowd on Saturday night.

Some classic movies were also screened in secret locations over the weekend too.

The list goes on, but all in all, the first ever CultureTECH has been hailed a huge success.

Mark Nagurski, organiser of CultureTECH, is delighted that the festival was so well-received and well-attended.

“We’re thrilled that everything went so well and we have had very positive feedback so far,” Mr Nagurski told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.

“Saturday was probably the best of the days and it was really exciting for the kids and families on Saturday with so much going on in the city centre - that was great for us as it was exactly what we’d hoped for.

“This is the first such festival, and it would be great to do another in the future, provided all the bits and pieces come together!

“The festival exceeded our expectations. Initially we had hoped for 500 people at the conferences, and we actually had around 1,100 in attendance.

“Likewise, we had hoped for 8,000 to 10,000 people for the city centre events and our initial estimates reach that and so I’d think that there were well over 10,000 people involved in CultureTECH in total,” he said.

With so much planning and preparation going into CultureTECH, Mr Nagurski is confident that the effort will pay dividends.

“I’m relieved that it all came off, and I’m tired as it has been quite a long week. An awful lot of people were involved in making this festival a success and a lot of effort was put into it. We’re just keen now to see how we could possibly take this forward in the future,” Mr Nagurski added.

The festival also saw the announcement of a bold new partnership between Digital Derry and the London-based Tech City organisation, a partnership which will hopefully forge new links and create much new business here.

Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the announcement of the link-up with Tech City, describing it as “extremely significant.”

“The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce is enormously proud of the Digital Derry project. The link with Tech City is a major coup for the city, its businesses and, in particular, its new digital entrepreneurs,” she said.

See: www.culturetech.co for more.