A major new Derry music festival resulting from the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013 will be launched in January.
The first Derry International Irish Music Festival will run from January 31st to February 7th and will feature a succession of world-renowned artists from home and abroad at venues across the city.
The festival has been several years in the planning and is the brainchild of those at the helm of Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, which is based at Great James Street.
Festival Director, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh and Festival Producer, Odhrán Mullan said they are delighted that the first festival, patroned by Dungiven singer Cara Dillon, is about to get under way.
As with the Jazz Festival, there will be a ‘Trad Trail’ across bars and venues throughout the city during the festival, sponsored by Guinness’ Hop House 13 Lager, and taking place across venues including: the City Hotel, Maldron Hotel, Ramada Da Vinci’s, Paedar O’Donnell’s, River Inn, Cafe Soul, The Quays, Everglades Hotel, Don Bar, Grand Central Bar, Rocking Chair, The Abercorn Bar, The Derby Bar, Legenderry Warehouse No 1, the Scullery, Park Bar and Cafe Nervosa.
There will be a host of other free events including a Big Trad Lunch and Come and Try Instrument Fair.
Other main highlights from the festival include an event exploring the Easter Rising Centenary entitled ‘1916 - Visionaries & Their Words’, at the Glassworks on February 2 (£8). There will also be a major Transatlantic Sessions concert at the Millennium Forum on Friday February 5 at 7.30pm (£33.50).
Among the artists taking part in this headline festival event are sisters Cara and Mary Dillion, Shetland fiddle maestro Aly Bain and dobro legend Jerry Douglas.
The premiere of the experimental musical theatre production Sasquatch will take place at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin on Sunday January 31 at 7.30pm (£5).
Many of those performing at the festival will gather for the Late Night Festival Club on Friday February 5 (with free entry for Transatlantic Session ticket holders and £5 entry for others).
The final concert of the festival meanwhile will celebrate the opening of Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin’s new Academy of Traditional Music and will see performances by youth groups from Ireland and Scotland, under the title 100 Fiddles at 55 Degrees North.
A series of showcases, residencies and workshops and courses are being offered in everything from step dancing to gaelic language and music.
Introducing the programme of events, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh and Odhrán Mullan said in a joint statement: “After the success of the Fleadh Cheoil in 2013, we hatched the idea for an annual citywide celebration of Irish music and put much time and thought into what our ideal event would look like. We can now say that after many months planning and hard work, the festival is just how we imagined it.”
For full listings and to book to go: www.diimf.com (028 71264132) or in person at An Cultúrlann or www.millenniumforum.com (telephone 028 71264455) for Transatlantic Sessions only.