City of Derry Guitar Festival

International guitarists descend on the North West for the 14th annual series of concerts and workshops for all ability levels and playing styles

Festival Details


Friday, 26 August 2016 to Sunday, 28 August 2016



Derry~Londonderry will come alive with the sound of guitar from August 26 - 28 when the City of Derry Guitar Festival will hold its 14th edition in the state of the art facilities of the North West Regional College.

The festival is an offering to all guitars lovers and caters for players of all background and abilities by offering a warm and friendly atmosphere that encourages learning from some of the leading international guitarists of our time.

Alongside the courses, the festival promotes the appreciation of guitar music to the general public through a series of quality concerts, which will take place on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 in the Foyle Theatre of the College.

This year, classical guitarists are in for a treat as Matthew McAllister and Amanda Cook make a welcome return to the city for a weekend of workshops, individual masterclasses and ensemble playing on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August. Having established themselves as guitarists of outstanding and refined abilities on the concert platforms of Europe, both Matthew and Amanda are also regarded as outstanding tutors and have been praised for their teaching skills at numerous festivals all over the world.

At the full weekend course students will have the opportunity to sign up for individual masterclasses and to perform live at the Student Gala on Sunday 28 August. Alongside this, the festival will also offer two-hour workshops covering the genres of Flamenco and Jazz Guitar.

Amir-John Haddad 'El Amir' will bring the fire and passion of flamenco all the way from Spain for an unmissable performance and a workshop on Saturday August 27, while on Sunday 28 jazz guitarists will have the unique opportunity to attend a workshop with Esmond Selwyn, one of the leading lights of jazz guitar in the UK.

For the rock souls out there, local blues and rock guitarist Ted Lynch will hold an electric guitar course entirely dedicated to the legendary Gary Moore 26-28 August. Beginners Ukulele is also back by popular demand, with Ronan Kearney ready to take absolute beginners through the basic of ukulele playing during two days of fun and catchy tunes.

The festival has indeed become a regular appointment for most classical guitarists in our area and has built a solid reputation for excellence, approachability of its tutors and accessibility.

Over the years it has attracted visitors from the UK, Ireland and as far afield as Japan and South America, while covering a wide range of genres spanning from Flamenco, to Acoustic, to Slide Blues and the new trend of percussive guitar playing.

For the last five years, thanks to a partnership with the North West Regional College, the Festival has taken place in the beautiful facilities of the College’s Music Department in Strand Road.

Applications from guitarists of all standards are welcome. For a full programme of courses and concerts, or email For bookings please call 028 71311288 or send an email.