WallsFest 400 : 9000 tickets for free gigs as Derry makes music history

Jazzie B from Soul II Soul fame is Derry bound. (Pic Loz Pycock via Wikipedia)
Jazzie B from Soul II Soul fame is Derry bound. (Pic Loz Pycock via Wikipedia)

A weekend-long festival featuring all-day music and cultural celebrations will be held on and within Derry’s historic City Walls for the first time next month, it has been revealed.

Three nightly concerts will be staged in the Bishop Street Car Park, starting with a R’N’B Fest on Friday, May 24, featuring DJ Jazzie B from Soul II Soul, Shortee Blitz, MC Pranksta and others.

And this will be followed on Saturday, May 25, by a Tribute Act night and on Sunday with a Trad Fest.

There will be 3,000 tickets for each of the events and bar and food facilities will be available at each of the concerts.

Tickets for the 18 plus events will be released this Saturday, April 27, at Cool Discs, Foyle Street and The Mall at Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre from 10am. The tickets are free, but will have a £5 administration fee per ticket, with a maximum of six tickets per person.

LINE UP FOR BISHOP STREET CAR PARK GIGS:

Sollus Highland Dancers

Sollus Highland Dancers

FRIDAY MAY 24

RNB FEST

DJ JAZZIE B (Soul II Soul)

Shortee Blitz

Connla will be performing at Walls Fest 400

Connla will be performing at Walls Fest 400

MC Pranksta (London)

Locky

Simone

Type One

Strabane Brass Band will be performing over the weekend on the City Walls

Strabane Brass Band will be performing over the weekend on the City Walls

Daz.

SATURDAY May 25

TRIBUTE FEST

ABBAESQUE

Beatles for Sale

George Michael Tribute

Robbie Williams Tribute

Plus Gerard C’s Famous 80s/ 90s Party

SUNDAY May 26

TRAD & BIG BAND FEST

The Logues

The Wailin’ Banshees

Stevie & The Gs (plus brass section)

The Rare Aul Stuff

The Soul Seekers

The Mindbenders

*Free tickets available with £5 booking fee from Cool Discs & Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre from 10am this Saturday.

EVENTS ON CITY WALLS

There will also be free events across the City Walls over the three days.

A stage will be erected on the Walled Bastion with a succession of talented musical acts performing over the weekend.

These will include the All-Ireland Champions the Blackwater Ceili Band, from Tyrone and other top ceili acts, Voices of the Foyle Choir, Sollus Highland Dancers, Strabane Brass Band and a variety of pipe bands showcasing the cream of local talent.

Sollus Highland Dancers are based in Bready and specialise in competitive, choreographed and community Highland Dance.

Voices of the Foyle meanwhile is made up of an eclectic mix of local people with different musical tastes.

Set up in 2015, the ensemble have performed at some of the main festivals and events in the north west, bringing their mix of folk, jazz, modern and pop styles to the table under the direction of Ruth McPhillips.

Other acts performing include Derry-based jazz-pop ensemble True Clockwork, and highly acclaimed Donegal natives Michael Gillespie & Zarah Montogmery .

Access and all events on the Walls will be free although space on the Walls may be limited at peak periods.

Waterside multi-instrumentalists, John Trotter, will be bringing his cuban and Latin jazz performance along with Derry’s own jazz diva Fiona Trotter.

The Ringa Bells, meanwhile, are a 1940s Swing Trio that cover well-known classics including swing, jazz and rock and roll as well as the war-time favourites from the 1940s and they have been likened to Derry’s own Andrews Sisters.

The events on the Walls will take place on the City Walls on the Friday from 5pm to 9.30pm; Saturday 2pm to 9pm and Sunday 3pm to 9pm.

The festival has been organised by Estate Services and Legacy Promotions, with thanks to Derry City & Strabane District Council, Inner City Trust and Magners.

SHARED HISTORY

The organisers said: “This is a cross-community event on the City Walls to celebrate 400 years of shared history.

“This will bring the Walls to life like never before and will bring a lot of talented artists into the heart of the city centre for a superb festival in the city of music.”

NOOSE OR NECKLACE

There will also be 10 ‘Noose or Necklace’ dramatic re-enactments of the history of Derry at the time the City Walls were constructed.

The one hour walking tour production has been written by Jonathan Burgess will see those in attendance following the story of the Planters and the Gaels right around the Walls.

The production will look at the social, political and economic history of the city since the building of the Walls in 1613.

It will be animated by characters portrayed by professional actors in short two-hander or single monologue scenes.

GENEALOGY AND KEY HERITAGE OFFERS

During the festival from Friday May 24 to Sunday, May 26 local people and visitors can avail of the opportunity to get half price entry to three local museums.

The museums reducing their entry fees over the weekend are The Siege Museum, the Museum of Free Derry and the Tower Museum.

At the Verbal Arts Centre, meanwhile, there will be a genealogy room, where people can come in to check up on their family history.

This is being provided by the Foyle Family History Centre and is free.

On the City Walls there will be craft and food concessions throughout the three days of the festival, and anyone can come up on to the walls at any time.