Organisers of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention NAFCo 2012 say they expect Derry and Donegal to get a major economic boost from the event, which runs from June 27th to July 1st.
NAFCo programme assistant Maggie Maguire told the Journal that more than two thousand bed nights have been booked by the organisation alone in the North West in the past two weeks. Visitor totals are expected to hit 40,000 over the six days of NAFCo, which features a raft of concerts, workshops, music sessions and talks.
She said; “We hope the Convention will be a shot in the arm for the city in particular, and should also be a big benefit to Donegal with major events scheduled for Buncrana and Letterkenny. The budget for NAFCo itself is over the £400k mark and we’d hope that in all there will be a spend of more than £3m associated with the event.”
Dr Liz Doherty, NAFCo director, said Derry will be hosting a big group of musicians and music students, dancers and academics during NAFCO 2102.
“Already we have over 300 musicians and dancers contracted to perform as part of NAFCo and we have over 200 conference attendees registered,” she said. “Our Youth Fiddle Camp is already over subscribed, and is attracting participants from across Ireland and also from Canada, Scotland, Sweden and Denmark. We’re getting a great reaction to the decision to host the event here in the North West - NAFCo is held every two years and this is the first time it’s come to Ireland.
“Our aim is that a lot of people will visit and have a great time, and take word back home - whether that’s Cape Breton island off the coast of Canada, or the fiddle playing regions of Scandinavia - that Derry and the North West is a place to come to.
“Overall, the economic boost and the numbers involved are an impressive testament to the value of culture to a community and it’s not just an economic value we deliver either - there will be music, dance and fun available to all whether at the family day planned for the Guildhall Square or the session trail we will create in the city and in Buncrana.”
Maggie Maguire, who’s based at Magee campus of the University of Ulster, says enquiries about NAFCo have been coming in from across the globe.
In Derry, NAFCo will have events running in the Millennium Forum, the Waterside Theatre, Sandinos and The Craft Village in Shipquay Street. Lunchtime concerts and a late night festival club will be hosted by the Culturlann in Great James Street and the University of Ulster will be a central hub for the academic convention and workshops.
The Guildhall Square and the nearby waterfront will be the venue for the NAFCo family day on Saturday 30th June.
Inishowen and elsewhere in Donegal will host concerts, masterclasses, exhibitions and community and outreach workshops and educational programmes, with venues in Culdaff, Moville, Buncrana, Glenties, Ballybofey and Letterkenny.
The NAFCo website is at www.nafco2012.com