Over 20,000 attend first Derry Street Food Festival

Alexandra and Gareth Hamilton enjoyed the Legenderry Street Food Festival in Guildhall Street on Saturday evening. DER3019-105KM
Alexandra and Gareth Hamilton enjoyed the Legenderry Street Food Festival in Guildhall Street on Saturday evening. DER3019-105KM

Derry’s first ever street food festival has proved to be a massive success with over 20,000 people enjoying the event.

The three-day festival at Guildhall Street showcased local and international street food from vendors and cooking teams that are all based in the region.

The festival was planned to coincide with the Open Golf Championships at Portrush, showcasing the City as a leading food destination and providing a niche food option for the large numbers of golf enthusiasts staying and visiting the city as well as local people.

Jennifer O’Donnell is Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council and she is delighted with the success of the event.

She said: “We are over the moon at the numbers of people that came along to enjoy the festival. It was a huge success for everyone involved and the traders have reported a very busy weekend.

“There was a real international feel about the city as a result of the 95 per cent accommodation occupancy across the city as a result of the golf, with the majority of them having travelled from the United States, Australia, Canada and Great Britain.”

Jennifer added that other key highlights of the festival that proved popular with the public was the pop up bars, double decker bus with festive seating and the live music entertainment.

“What was really unique about the LegenDerry Street Food Festival is that it attracted a new audience for us. It had a more hipster, quirky feel to it and really appealed to people coming out for the evening to enjoy a bite to eat, a cocktail and listen to some beats on the street. We have been working as part of the Food Network to develop the City as a food destination and part of this was reviewing and developing our food events. The LegenDerry Street Food Festival is a new concept aimed more at the evening time economy and feedback we have been receiving has been predominantly positive.

“As this was the first year we restricted the area and space to Guildhall Street so that we used so that we could create a very intimate and hip setting and atmosphere. We think this really worked in terms of retaining customers and allowing the public to engage intimately with the street food and drink producers.”

Mekong were one of the street food outlets who took part and who had a hugely successful weekend trading.

“The festival really brought the city to life over the weekend, there was a real feel-good feeling around the place and the atmosphere was electric. We traded really well over the weekend. Saturday was particularly busy for us with our curry and selection of flatbreads going down a real treat. Despite the rain on Sunday we had another busy day and were really impressed with the number of international visitors coming along to sample our produce.”

Concluding Jennifer O’Donnell says she is really hopeful that the Food Network in collaboration with council can continue to build on this event and that they collectively remain committed to achieving the status of number one food destination on the Island of Ireland by 2025.

Among the food and drink outlets who participated in the LegenDerry Street Food Festival were: Café Guild, Warehouse, Nonnas Wood Fired Pizza, Burrito Bar, Lo & Slo, 2 North Street Food, Silverbean, Doherty’s Meats, La Tia Juana’s, Mekong, Walled City Brewery, Northbound Brewery, Muff Gin, Dopey Dick/Guildhall Taphouse and Baronscourt Brewery.