60 homegrown acts set to play Stendhal in two weeks
Stendhal music and arts festival returns from June 30 - July 2 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady.
Headline acts include Bronagh Gallgher, Sister Sledge, Villagers, Simon and Oscar of Ocean Colour Scene and Hayseed Dixie.
The festival has paved the way for over 700 gigs played by indigenous Irish acts in the 12 years Stendhal has been running. Festival director Ross Parkhill says that showcasing indigenous acts is one of the primary values of the festival, adding that he believes the talent here to be as good as anything found anywhere else.
“There is no doubt about it,” said Ross.
“We have talent on this island that could walk onto any festival stage anywhere in the world and produce magic. We have loads of them taking to the stages at Stendhal this summer, and have had even more who have been here over the past 12 years.
“One of our main goals at Stendhal is to get our homegrown acts in front of new audiences, allow people to perhaps discover them for the first time, and then support them on their journey as an artist.”
The name of the festival is named after “Stendhal Syndrome’’ - coined by French writer Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal). The writer wrote about experiencing the phenomenon in a book about a trip he took to Italy in the 1800s.
Some of NI’s biggest acts such as Ash, The Undertones, Therapy? and The Divine Comedy have all headlined in previous lineups. Artists such as SOAK, JC Stewart, Ryan McMullan and Ciaran Lavery are just a few examples of homegrown talent who’ve surged through the music industry after performing at Stendhal.
“We still have quite an insular music scene in Northern Ireland,” said Ross.
“There are acts within the scene that people just know are top class, it’s just trying to transfer that to outside the scene and into the mainstream, that is for some reason still proving difficult.
“Some sort of dedicated effort by commercial radio stations to up the level of indigenous acts they play at key times like drive times, for example would be a big boost but ultimately for a lot of acts, Stendhal will be the biggest annual exposure they get to perform for audiences that fall outside the usual scene crowds.”
According to the Festival director some up and coming acts to look out for at this year’s Stendhal include; singer-songwriter Winnie Ama, FYA Fox, Third bar backed Florentinas, Travi The Native, Lemonade Shoelace, BECAH and Rock band Harley and the Wolf.
“We try our best to book the best in class every year when it comes to new and up and coming acts; we believe we have done that again this year.
“All the acts have quality and all of them deserve as many ears on them as possible. Being able to help acts achieve this over the years has given me a great sense of pride. The idea that someone made new fans or sold some records off the back of a Stendhal performance is what it is all about, and long may it continue.”
To support indigenous music visit www.stendhalfestival.com for tickets and more info.