20,000 attend amazing Féile

Jamie McLaughlin, zorbing at the Gasyard Feile. (1808SL17) Photo: Stephen Latimer
Jamie McLaughlin, zorbing at the Gasyard Feile. (1808SL17) Photo: Stephen Latimer

Derry’s largest community arts and cultural festival came to a close on Monday with a spectacular fireworks display at the Gasyard Park.

The Féíle finale also featured live performances from The Rubber Bandits, Cashier No.9, Mirenda Rosenberg, Inishowen Gospel Choir and Balkan Alien Sound.

Speaking to the ‘Derry Journal’, Gareth Stewart, Féile Co-Ordinator, summed up the successes of Derry’s biggest community festival.

“This year Féile celebrated its eighteenth anniversary. The festival has come a long way since it was established in 1993.

“In 2011, it cemented it’s place as Derry’s best festival. For the last ten days, more than 20,000 people participated in over 100 events ranging from music, literature, sport, education, visual arts, carnival, fun days, health, discussions, lectures, conferences, community consultation and tours.

“It is important to highlight that Féile would not be possible without the hardwork and commitment of a multitude of groups, initiatives, volunteers and residents from throughout this entire city who came together to shape and manage this fantastic programme of events.”

Highlights of Féile 2011 included the Féile Carnival Parades. The Sound of Free Derry Music Concert, Teenage Kicks Music Festival, lectures from Fintan O’Toole and Tim Pat Coogan, Fun Days, Outdoor Zumbathon, local drama performances and loads more.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Bogside and Brandywell Patricia Logue also praised all those involved in organising the Féile and said she was “very heartened” to see the amount of young people actively helping at many of the festival events.