Maiden City Festival brings Derry to life

Last year's Maiden City festival.
Last year's Maiden City festival.

It’s a festival that brings hundreds of performers to the Derry’s streets and historic Walls.

Running from 1 – 8 August, the Maiden City Festival, organised by the Apprentice Boys of Derry, will offer an action-packed programme of theatre, live music, dance, visual arts, talks, tours and exhibitions.

Up to 40,000 people are expected to attend.

The latest addition to the programme is The Mountjoy Challenge, an unmissable boat race on the River Foyle, emulating the path taken by the Mountjoy when breaking the Siege of the city in 1689.

Held in association with the Lough Foyle Yacht Club, the boats will race from Ross Bay to the Council jetty on Thursday, August 6 at 6pm.

Other highlights include festival favourites, the Maiden City Highland Dance & Ulster Highland Dance Championships where 150 dancers will compete for the prestigious title of Ulster Champion.

Music fans will enjoy a weekend of traditional and modern Bluegrass & Folk in the Memorial Hall, Craft Village and day-time performances on the Walls.

As part of Culture Bite, more than 40 of Northern Ireland’s most talented young musicians will take to the stage in a number of the city’s cafes to play covers and originals from the worlds of jazz, blues, soul, rock and pop.

The city’s illustrious and colourful history will be brought to life throughout the week with The Siege Story, a re-enactment of stories and tales performed by local actors.

From Wednesday, August 5 to Friday, August 7, local historian William Temple will host a series of afternoon lectures in the Thiepval Gallery, George’s Street, highlighting organisations, such as the Salvation Army, that alleviated hardship and distress within the greater Fountain community prior to the Welfare State. An additional lecture on Wednesday, August 5 in the Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall at 7:30pm will look at the role of the 10th Irish Division during WW1 at the Battle of Gallipoli - “The Forgotten Irish Heroes of 1915”.

For more information on these fantastic events and to download the programme visit
Box office for Festival events at Home Sweet Home, Bond Street, Waterside, Tel 028 7134 6677 and The Siege Museum, 028 7126 1219.