City of Culture Begins on New Year's Eve

Derry~Londonderry's year in the spotlight kicks off with a spectacular fireworks display and selection of gigs

Derry~Londonderry is set to welcome the arrival of 2013 in style with a fantastic fireworks and pyrotechnic show on New Year's Eve. The celebrations will mark the start of the city's year as the first UK City of Culture.

Derry City Council’s Brendan McMenamin, Lead Programmer of the New Year’s Eve evening event said: 'From 6:30pm church bells across the city will ring out calling people to join in the celebrations. and from 6.50pm the show will commence. It will be accompanied by a musical arrangement that captures the journey of the city towards 2013, including some of the signature moments as part of the bid.

'There will be reference to the fantastic words from Seamus Heaney that were so central to the bid from the Cure of Troy, that conveys our hope for a great sea-change and the city’s belief that a further shore is reachable from here.

'The show will place the Peace Bridge and the River centre stage, and conclude with the sounds of the Shirt Factory horns to welcome the New Year and our ambitions for a brighter future for the city.'

For timings of the event and best viewing areas visit the Festive Time website, with recommendations for Queen's Quay area as the prime viewing location. The event zone will be open from 7pm with the opening sequence at 7:50pm performed by the Lords of Lightning ahead of the fireworks and pyrotechnics finale by Walk the Plank at 8.13pm.

And as you get ready to come to the celebrations why not be part of the Voices of Derry~Londonderry from 4pm in Guildhall Square. This is a chance for everyone to share their hopes and wishes for 2013. Using the City Walls in Guildhall Square as the backdrop, you will be able to post your own message card to personally mark the beginning of City of Culture 2013.

To take part can visit the City of Culture website and finish the statement ‘My hope for Derry~Londonderry 2013 is...’, or alternatively come down on the day and write, draw, paint, or submit a photo as part of the initiative. All messages will be translated into a new virtual wall that will be announced later in January 2013.

A selection of online statements will be printed with a total of 400 of these highlighted to welcome not only City of Culture 2013, but also to mark the beginning of the 400th anniversary of the city’s iconic walls.
And after the fireworks and pyrotechnic show, Culture Company’s Sound of the City will provide musical entertainment across a number of venues in Derry~Londonderry to mark the transition to 2013.

The Icon Winebar, Dungiven Road, will be welcoming in the City of Culture year with a spectacular night featuring live entertainment from INDIGO playing a mix of music, ranging from modern through to Irish folk. Entrance is free and there will be a free finger buffet and a glass of bubbly to help ring in 2013.

Ireland's leading electronic music festival, Celtronic will host an event at the historic St Columbs Hall, Orchard Street. In addition to showcases from three of Derry's finest club nights, the event will be headlined by one of the world's leading DJs and producers, Ewan Pearson. Tickets are on sale today at Masons Bar and online at

The Nerve Centre, Magazine Street, will host a celebration of Derry’s thriving music scene when some of the city’s leading bands will ring in the New Year. Among the bands lined up to play are Triggerman, Our Krypton Son, John Deery & the Heads, Little Bear, Best Boy Grip, Intermission, Wyldling and Making Monsters.

And if you have still got energy on New Year’s Day, why not pop along to the Nerve Centre where the city’s leading under 18s music event, Practice Makes Perfect, will ensure the city starts off the year as it means to go on, with music performance opportunities for young musicians and DJs. Tickets for both events on sale now at The Nerve Centre Box Office at 028 7126 0562.