Countdown to Maiden City Festival

Jessica Cooke helps promote The Maiden City Festival, from August 6 to 13, with a bumper programme of theatre, live music, dance, visual arts, talks, tours and exhibitions in key venues across the city.  Photo: Martin McKeown.
Jessica Cooke helps promote The Maiden City Festival, from August 6 to 13, with a bumper programme of theatre, live music, dance, visual arts, talks, tours and exhibitions in key venues across the city. Photo: Martin McKeown.

With just over one week to the start of the Maiden City Festival, the organisers, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, are encouraging people to take advantage of the wide-range of events across the eight days.

Running from August 6 to 13, the annual festival attracts thousands of visitors to Londonderry each year with a cultural programme of events, many of which are free, celebrating the city’s illustrious past.

​From Monday, August 8 to Thursday, August 11, put on your dancing shoes and step back into an age of elegance. Dance the afternoon away in the beautiful surroundings of The Memorial Hall, with a special Tea Dance hosted daily by Danny Feeney. Between 2.30pm and 4.30pm, attendees will be treated to afternoon tea, a selection of tray bakes, dance and music with plenty of time to share stories from times gone-by with friends, old and new.

On Wednesday, August 10, at 7.15pm, author of “Three Cheers for the Derrys”, Gardiner S Mitchell, will host a moving First World War lecture in The Memorial Hall. The event will offer an account of the suffering, hardship, comradeship and bravery of the young men from the Derry Battalion (10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers), who made so many sacrifices at the Somme.

Writer and director Jonathan Burgees from Blue Eagle Productions will host a one-off workshop in Whitehall Chambers discussing the impact of the Troubles on former members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and their families. Using the script from his Inconspicuous Gallantry play, the workshop will explore anger, loss, bereavement, betrayal and post-traumatic stress disorder. It will take place on Tuesday 9 August from 1pm to 2.30pm.

Other festival highlights include; The Mountjoy Challenge, in association with the Lough Foyle Yacht Club on Saturday, August 6, live music throughout the city from local musicians. Then on Saturday evening a special reunion event for residents of the Fountain in the Memorial Hall. On Tuesday August 9, a spectacular family fireworks display will take place on the city walls following the festive fun of the Kids’ Night in the Memorial Hall.

The Maiden City Festival is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Tourism Northern Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ulster Scots Agency, and the Community Relations Council.

For more information and to download the programme, visit www.maidencityfestival.com.

Box offices for Festival events at Home Sweet Home, Bond Street, Waterside, telephone 02871 346677 and The Siege Museum, 02871 261219.