Celtic cousins invited to Derry for Pan Celtic Fest

Dancers taking part in last year's Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow. (0703MM17)
Dancers taking part in last year's Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow. (0703MM17)

Celtic cousins from six nations across Europe will be coming to Derry next month for the International Pan Celtic Festival.

The festival, which celebrates the music, song, dance and language of the celtic nations, will be held in Derry from April 22nd - 27th.

It brings together the celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany for five days of competitions and more than 100 concerts, sessions and exhibitions.

It will be the first time that Derry has ever hosted the festival and the first occasion it will be held north of the border in its 43 year-history.

Derry will also host the festival in 2015.

Organisers of the festival have encouraged visitors from all the celtic nations to come to Derry to join in the celebrations.

Donncha Mac Niallais, a member of the local organising Committee said: “The Pan Celtic Festival will bring together people from the six Celtic nations.

“It will provide a unique opportunity for the people of Derry to get a taste of the diversity of Celtic culture.

“We know that the people of the city will extend a warm welcome to our Celtic cousins and enjoy the events, music and pageantry associated with the festival.”

The festival will bring together all aspects of Irish music, from traditional to marching bands from the loyalist tradition, highlighting the inclusive nature of the event. Representatives from the Londonderry Bands Forum sit on the organising committee for the festival.

One of the most hotly contested competitions of the festival is the traditional song event where competitors from each of the celtic nations sing in their home languages.

The festival will be launched at the Guildhall on Tuesday, April 22 and each of the six nations will give a short presentation on their culture.

The competitions get underway the following day with the start of the traditional singing contest. There will be open air music and dancing in Guildhall Square each day throughout the festival.

On each evening during the festival, each of the nations will take turns hosting the festival club, sharing their songs, music and language with other festival goers.

Last year’s Pan Celtic Festival was held in Carlow and attracted thousands of visitors over the course of the week.