Féile an Phobail 25 Launches
The much-loved community arts festival celebrates a remarkable milestone from August 1 – 11
Ireland’s biggest and most vibrant community arts festival, Féile an Phobail, celebrates its 25th birthday this year, with a packed programme of events taking place in venues across west Belfast from August 1 – 11. View the full festival programme.
Patrick Kielty, Faithless, Ulster Orchestra and the Priests, and The Wolfe Tones are among the acts scheduled to perform. Playwright Donna O'Connor returns to the festival for Two Nights with George, while local author Tony Macaulay will read from his latest memoir, Breadboy, and those of all ages can appreciate the Carnival Parade and Party in the Park in Falls Park.
A series of thought-provoking talks and discussions includes the book launch of From Pogrom to Civil War by author Kieron Glennon, Amnesty International’s popular annual journalist panel event Human Rights and Investigative Journalism, and guest speaker Rabbi Arik Ascherman, known as the Rabbi who pricks Israel’s conscience.
Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble said: 'A quarter of a century of inclusive engagement with communities from within and outside west Belfast is a great achievement in anybody’s book. But I’m hugely proud to say that as Féile an Phobail has grown year in year out, it has also stayed resolutely true to its roots.
'In true Féile style, our 25th birthday is going to be a celebration of the very best of the west, and we’re delighted to have so many big names taking part alongside the very best local talent. As ever we endeavour to make our events accessible to all, whether they be free or affordably priced.'
Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, added: 'For a quarter of a century the festival has been at the centre of the community, providing fun, and quality cultural programming. Despite growing into a prestigious international event the organisers have managed to retain their connection and the link with the local community. This is something to be celebrated and take pride in.
'I am also delighted this year’s festival has been expanded to include extra events to complement the hosting of the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast. These additional events will ensure both locals and visitors will have an opportunity to join in the fun, and experience the friendly Belfast welcome.'
Féile an Phobail was established in 1988 as a direct response to the conflict in the north of Ireland. Its purpose was to celebrate the positive side of the community, its creativity, its energy, its passion for the arts, culture, language and sport.
Féile has changed much over its subsequent 25 year history, and has evolved – as the west of the city and the city at large has also grown – into an internationally acclaimed and essential destination for visitors, and local people of all backgrounds, ages and tastes from right across Ireland.
Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Roisín McDonough said: 'Arts and culture can be used as a positive force for change, they have the power to transform lives. Féile can proudly shine as an example. Through determination, hard work and goodwill, Féile has reached a significant milestone. We have been here, supporting them from the beginning and we look forward to a further 25 years.'
View the full programme of events at the Féile an Phobail website.