Community marquee launch for Gasyard jazz festival

The community marquee in the Gasyard. (2504MM27)
The community marquee in the Gasyard. (2504MM27)

Community groups in Creggan are looking forward to the launch of a community marquee which will be used for a weekend of events during the jazz festival.

The marquee, which was funded by Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilín as part of the legacy of the City of Culture celebration, will be launched in the Gasyard next Friday at 3.30pm.

The 30 metre by 15 metre structure is designed to take cultural events into communities across the north west and arrived in the city last week.

Creggan Community worker Sean McMonagle explained “In consultation discussions with DCAL representatives following the City of Culture year, one of the issues which we identified at a neighbourhood level was the lack of infrastructure to hold major indoor events and from those discussions the idea of purchasing a marquee type structure developed and was realised,” he said.

Mr McMonagle said the marquee can hold 500 standing or 300-400 seated. “We have trained 30 Volunteers from across the city on the erecting and dismantling of the marquee. We intend to ensure, where practical, the marquee will be used in neighbourhoods across the city for major events within communities to ensure maximum participation in cultural, musical, and social events,” he added.

The first events to be hosted in the new marquee will coincide with the city’s popular jazz festival.

Organisers have said they intend to facilitate families, young people, older residents and the large continent of ska music fans in the city.

“On the Saturday morning from 11am to 1.00pm we are holding a ‘Families Love Jazz event’ and we encourage parents to come with the children and enjoy a day of activities and Music.

“On Saturday evening we have a ska concert for young people, organised from 7.30 to 10.30pm with a live band and DJ.

“We feel that in many ways, young people have not had the opportunity to engage and enjoy the Jazz festival to date so we are hoping to provide a safe and enjoyable evening to them.

On the Sunday afternoon will be Jazz tea dance for older people and on the Sunday night will see the biggest ska gig of the weekend with Belfast band Doghouse performing the best of ska music. Sunday night is strictly over 18,” Mr McMonagle said.