New REWIRE Youth Festival kicks off today

Summer’s here and an action-packed celebration of youth featuring hundreds of events across Derry and Strabane kicks off today (Wednesday).

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 9:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 10:07 am
Celtronic will be among those contributing to the festival.

REWIRE is the first ever youth arts festival that includes performances, exhibitions and discussion forums over 12 days from Wednesday, June 26 to Sunday, July 7.

The festival is the flagship event of Youth 19, Council’s year long programme of events and activities focussed and dedicated to young people aged 12 to 24, including a Radio 1 DJ, a London hip hop act, Celtronic, In Your Space and a Big Top tent in Guildhall Square.

The celebration includes music gigs, a spoken word/hip-hop festival, film screenings, discussions, fashion masterclasses, street art and digital.

The Rewire festival is under way acros Derry & Strabane. (Lorcan Doherty photography)

The focal point of the festival will be The Big Top events tent in Guildhall Square, while venues across the city and district will also play host to a wide range of youth culture events.

Mayor Michaela Boyle described REWIRE as innovative and forward thinking.

She said at a time when young people face a lot of negative publicity it is important to celebrate the excellent work they are doing.

“What I love about REWIRE is the fact that it’s a youth festival that has been created and programmed by young people. It really has something for everyone and is full to the brim of talent and opportunity. REWIRE is a fantastic opportunity for the youth of our city and district to get involved and get creative in a wide range of cultural experiences,” she said.

In Your Space members picvtured previously with local people at the Gasyard feile carnival. 180815CG

Aeidin McCarter is Head of Culture and Business at Derry City & Strabane District Council. She says: “The festival is one of the highlights of the Youth 19 programme and has been developed by young people for young people so I would encourage anyone aged 12-24 to take ownership of the festival by accessing the programme and getting involved. There are hundreds of events to choose from and lots of great opportunities to learn new skills in a variety of disciplines and genres.”

In Your Space Circus will host a ‘Take Back The Streets’ summer academy that will celebrate the genre of street art, while the wide ranging music programme will feature a diverse range of genres including a tour of local schools and colleges by Derry’s 2018 NI Music Prize Winner, Roe.

Radio 1 DJ, Phil Taggart will headline the Young Blood Summer edition and host a day of talks and advice on what it means to be a self-sufficient music artist in 2019.

In its 19th year, as one of Youth 19’s Golden Events, Celtronic will round up the music programme at Rewire for Youth 19.

Award-winning and London-based Hip Hop dance company, Boy Blue, will host workshops where they will work with local young people and dance teachers, sharing skills and inspiring the next generation of dancers from the region.

Rewire will host a programme of film screenings including the Greatest Showman in The Big Top in Guildhall Square, where themed fancy dress is encouraged. Several other classics will play each day in the Nerve Centre cinema, partnering with Foyle Film Festival.

Young people are also being encouraged to contribute to the Art element of the programme which includes a dedicated youth gallery in the Garden of Reflection in Bishops Street and the This Must Be The Place exhibition in the Void Gallery in Patrick Street.

Chloe Harkin, is a member of the Youth 19 Young People’s Marketing & Events steering group and she is really looking forward to the festival. “We are delighted to have been able to develop a huge and diverse programme for Rewire Festival. You can get involved by signing up for a workshop, contributing your own content or performance or simply by coming along to watch one of the wide variety of performances that will be taking place over the 12 days.”

The full Rewire Festival programme and tickets will be accessible at, while you can keep up to date with news by following the Youth 19 social media channels on Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.