Derry’s Féile to celebrate 30 years

Féile, the north west’s biggest arts festival, is returning for its 30th year later this month.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 1st August 2022, 2:10 pm
Bronagh Gallagher and her band.
Bronagh Gallagher and her band.

It features a packed programme of music, literature, film, sport, history, comedy, art, carnival, fun days, health, discussions, tours and events and programmes for children, young people and older people.

The 100+ events will take place across the Bogside, Brandywell, Creggan, Bishop Street, Fountain neighbourhoods and Derry City centre from Saturday, August 13 to Saturday, August 20.

A spokesperson for Féile said: ‘It’s hard to believe that it is now 30 years since a group of community activists had the vision of holding a one-day festival on the then vacant Gasyard site on Lecky Road. The festival was primarily a positive celebration of the Bogside & Brandywell neighbourhoods and those first few Féiles acted as a catalyst to transform these areas. The main objective of Féile remains the same 30 years after the first Gasyard Wall Féile in 1993 – to celebrate everything that is great about these neighbourhoods where we live, learn, play, work, and visit.’

Ulster Orchestra musicians.

Féile 2022 will have loads of events for children and young people with family fun days, bus trips, and ‘The Greatest Show’ bringing some of the country’s finest magicians, acrobats and comedy acts to parks and green spaces across the neighbourhood.

Large scale gatherings for families include the Big Bog BBQ, at Free Derry Corner on Saturday, August 13, and Wan Big Street Party on Central Drive and The Ultimate Fun Day at The Gasyard Park on Saturday, August 15. Older people’s organisations across the area have come together to produce a packed programme including days out, bingo, and social events.

Musical highlights include musicians from Ulster Orchestra heading to the Bogside to perform for residents at the House In The Wells and Alexander House while one of the world’s most in-demand DJs, Gerd Janson, will perform at a special Celtronic event at The Nerve Centre on Saturday, August 13.

Féile has always been a big supporter of up and coming bands and this year’s festival features a huge celebration of Derry’s best emerging musical talent including Selador, Porphyry and Inorganic Matter, at Sandinos on Friday, August 19. Derry born actress and singer Bronagh Gallagher and her band will bring Féile 2022 to a spectacular close at The Gasyard Park on Saturday, August 20, alongside Cherym and Touts. Top Irish comedians Paddy McDonnell and Dave Elliot are guaranteed to bring plenty of laughs to this year’s festival.


Each year, Féile delivers a strong programme of political debates, talks and difficult conversations and 2022 is no exception. Contributors this year include Professor Colin Harvey and former chief electoral officer, Pat Bradley, with talks covering a wide range of subjects including the cost of living crisis, Irish unity and human rights.

This year’s Féile has its biggest ever sporting programme. The annual Colm Quigley Jog in the Bog, a highlight in the road race calendar, returns for the first time in three years on Thursday, August 18. Creggan Country Park hosts Damp Dash Aquathlon in association with North West Triathlon on Sunday, August 14. Féile will once again feature A Day for Ryan McBride and is offering a number of free bursary places for young people to attend the Ryan McBride Foundation Summer Scheme. Youth soccer teams from across the city will battle for The Ryan McBride Cup and The Padraig Barton Cup while hundreds of children and young people from across Ireland are expected at Celtic Park for the annual Martin McGuinness Chieftain Games on Saturday, August 20.

The festival includes an extensive programme of films and documentaries with screenings at The Nerve Centre and The Museum of Free Derry. Féile 2022 will include a tribute to the late film-maker and Derry man Tom Collins with screenings of ‘Bog Woman’ and ‘Hush A Bye Baby’. Féile’s own productions, ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘The Making of A Green Hill Far Away’, will also receive their big screen premieres at The Nerve Centre cinema.

The Nerve Centre will host one of the first ever screenings of acclaimed film, ‘How To Tell A Secret’, which explores the act of disclosure of being HIV positive and the stigma that drives people to withhold their status. The Museum of Free Derry will host screenings from The Pat Finucane Centre (‘Lifting A Dark Cloud - The Kathleen Thompson Case’ and ‘Unquiet Graves’) while Free Derry on Film will see the four acclaimed films (Battle of The Bogside, No:Go, Exodus and Operation Motorman), from Vinny Cunningham and John Peto, which covering the tumultuous 1969-72 period of Derry’s history, screened at the Glenfada Park museum.

Paddy McDonnell.

There will be several exhibitions at Féile 2022 including a retrospective photographic exhibition looking at 30 years of Féile, and ‘Queering The North’, the first ever museum exhibition dedicated to an expansive reading of the history of the LGBT+ community in the north of Ireland from 1967 to the present day.

Check out the full Féile programme at or visit, or

Professor Colin Harvey.