City of Culture draft programme of events

Nadine Coyle. Picture Martin McKeown. 23.8.06
Nadine Coyle. Picture Martin McKeown. 23.8.06

The Sentinel today can exclusively reveal the draft line-up for next year’s UK City of Culture line-up.

The impressive document previously unseen anywhere has been obtained by the Sentinel and already includes a staggering array of events and personalities that span the fields of drama, dance, film, art, music and sport and will heavily feature the cultures of both traditions in the city and far beyond.

The programme contains a wealth of firsts for the city’s Culture Company and a long list of huge star names. The document is a provisional list of acts that are anticipated to come to the city next year.

the entire City of Culture Draft Programme of Events for 2013 is as follows.

November 2012

Danny Boy You Tube Competition

Van Morrison.

Van Morrison.

A competition launched on YouTube to find the ‘best’ rendition of Danny Boy. People are encouraged to upload their own version of the song and the winner gets the opportunity to be one of the artists featured on a specially commissioned version of Danny Boy. This version will be similar to Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ released as a BBC charity single in 1997. This will also feature an exhibition showcasing the impact of the song throughout the world.

December 2012

The City as a Gallery

The city will become an open air gallery throughout 2013 transforming the landscape with iconic images of the city’s history captured by international photo journalists from the magnum Photography Agency. Artists and photographers who have been involved in conflict transformation throughout the world will come to the city for a series of residencies exploring how local communities can reclaim the image and the story of the city and be empowered to tell a new story.

Shirt factories project (Exhibition)

The Patrick Street Shirt Factory will be brought back to life by artists and by ex-shirt factory workers. New shirts will be hung on clothes lines across the streets in the area.

The Music Promise (Ongoing Performance)

Aims to provide free access to musical instruments, tuition and creative music-making opportunities to all young people in the city with access being offered across all genres of music delivering the project within the school curriculum. The project would be extended during the summer months in the form of a Music Academy allowing students to undertake intensive week-long sessions in different music genres culminating in a public performance by students. Students will be showcasing their work at venues across the city throughout 2013.

Portrait of a City (Exhibition)

City of Culture 2013 will offer unique opportunities to explore the history and shared heritage of Derry~Londonderry and tell a new story to the world. This city-wide project will provide the digital skills and infrastructural support at a neighbourhood level that will allow young and old to capture the life stories of their community, through digital photography, archive film and video/audio recording. The stories will be shared online with the diaspora and a series of digital exhibitions will be created by each community and toured around the different neighbourhoods in the city.

January 2013

January 1: The birth of each new child in the city will be celebrated digitally-on our giant Live Screen-and each child will receive a card with Seamus Heaney’s poetry written on it.

January 1: New Year’s Day tea dances

Starting with a city-wide event involving thousands on New Year’s Day 2013 followed by monthly gatherings recreating the glamorous heyday of ballroom dance and sounds of the roaring 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Nostalgic costumes, live bands and images highlighting US Naval Operating Base at Lisahally, otherwise known at Derry’s ‘Coney Island’, will provide a backdrop to these social get-together’s for all ages.

New Year’s Day Dip

January 1: Connecting with New Year’s Day dips throughout the world, hundreds will brave the North West temperatures and take a dip in the River Foyle and Lough Swilly to herald the beginning of 2013 and the City of Culture in Derry~Londonderry.

21st Century Book of Kells

As a celebration of the city’s connection with the Book of Kells, the young people of the city will be encouraged to produce their own digital version.

Songs of Praise from Derry

Keynote BBC religious television programme from St Columb’s Cathedral, the first city cathedral built on these islands after these islands after the reformation (1633).

Garageband (Ongoing Performance)

Part of the Music Promise, free recording space will be made available to young musicians throughout the year a a new digital music chart for Derry will be created.

MeCCSA Conference

January 9: Hosted at Magee, the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association Conference will attract considerable cultural and artistic interest.

Sons and Daughters: January 12

The first major concert of 2013-it will feature a roll call of the famous sons and daughters of the city, including The Undertones, Phil Coulter, Paul Brady, The Priests and many more.

Worldwide Flash Mobs of Derry Diaspora

To coincide with the Sons and Daughters concert.

A call will be issued to the Derry Diaspora via social networking sites encouraging them to attend one of the various flash mob events on January 1, 2013. Several locations will be selected (e.g. New York, Melbourne, Glasgow) where people should converge at a given time. Once in position, footage of these flash mobs will be screened on the large screen in Waterloo Place singing ‘I Wish I Was Back Home in Derry’.

January 23: Juno and the Paycock-National Theatre and Abbey Theatre Production

Practice Makes Perfect Music Series

January 25: This is a year round feature: Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) is the North West’s leading music event for under 18s. PMP will present a monthly concert at a range of venues across the city showcasing the best young bands, musicians and DJ’s alongside more established acts.

January 25: Burns Night with the Ulster Orchestra

Bloody Sunday Conference

January 26: International contributors will take part in a weekend of lectures, discussions, exhibitions and concerts to commemorate Bloody Sunday and its legacy.

Celtic/Glasgow connections (Festival)

January 31: Musical link with the Glasgow festival, the biggest folk festival event in the UK.


Singer-Songwriter Festival

February 3: Residential event at the City Hotel

The Magnum Derry exhibition (Ongoing Exhibition)

February 4: Iconic images relocated to the city, in gallery, and public realm from one of the world’s top agencies.

100 Years of Danny Boy (Festival)

The lyrics of Danny Boy were written to the tune of the Derry~Londonderry Air in 1913 by Frederick Wetherby and it is now one of the best loved songs of the last 100 years. A festival/exhibition/celebration concert will be held in February 2013 celebrating the impact of the song worldwide.

The Return of Field Day (Drama, lectures, exhibition)

February 9: three new plays by Field day from Sam Shepard, Claire Dwyer-Hogg and Owen McCafferty, produced by Stephen Rea accompanied by a field Day exhibition at the Verbal Arts Centre and an international lecture series.

Chinese New Year

February 12: Carnival-like street parade with floats, fire-eaters, dancers, launching of Chinese lanterns from the community, plus showcase of traditional and contemporary Chinese arts in dance, film, music, with visual installations by renowned Chinese artists from all over the world.

History of Derry in 100 objects

February 14-Tower Museum

Women of the World Festival

February 14-A celebration of the achievements of women in partnership with the Southbank Centre in London.

Tea Derry

February 16: Free tea and conversation on this day all over the city

Brian Friel’s Translation

18 February: Performed by new actors’ company in Derry, directed by Catriona MacLaughlin.

All Ireland Scouts Weekend

22 February with Bear Grylls

Launch of Colmcille Spiral (Exhibition & Lectures)

February 25: Incorporating, fresh dialogues, new artworks by King’s College and Difference Exchange, London, this project aims to stimulate creative dialogue between Derry~Londonderry and other destinations along the Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh pilgrimages made by our patron saint, Colmcille. With the likely return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the north of England, a unique historic cultural window is opening in which the legacy of Colmcille-St Columba across the UK, Republic of Ireland and the wider world can be explored and celebrated.


Artists’ Gardens on the Walls (Exhibition)

March 2013: Four gardens will be created by contemporary artists for the city walls. These artists will work alongside local community conservationists and gardening enthusiasts who will be entrusted with upkeep of the gardens.

Nelson Drive 50th Anniversary Celebrations (Events & Exhibitions)

March 2013: Nelson Drive is one of the largest estates on the east bank of the city. In 2013, the community will host a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the estate.

Hofesh Shechter-Political Mother-the City of Culture Cut

March 2013: Hofesh Shechter will première a new dance for Derry’s walls. One of the world’s top choreographers will bring his celebrated dance work to the city. The performance will involve a local young rock band and 800 dancers from local communities.

New Frank Mc Guinness play

March 4: The première of the new version of The Breadman at the Millennium Forum, directed by Adrian Dunbar.

Children’s Literature Festival

March 7: The Children’s Literature Festival invites children and adults alike to enjoy poetry, picture books and novels. A selection of guests will make special appearance at the children’s literature fest, treating audiences to live readings and exclusive sessions.

Guildhall Plantation Exhibition

March 11: 2013 will mark the 400th anniversary of the Plantation and the building of Derry’s walls. A Plantation exhibition with particular emphasis on the building of the city will open in Derry in 2013 and will be located at the Guildhall.

GAA World Congress

March 11: Annual global GAA event

St Patrick’s Day Celebrations

March 17: A range of family friendly colourful events including carnival parades and outdoor concert will be organised for everyone to enjoy the feast day of Ireland’s national saint, St Patrick.

London Symphony Orchestra Presents Spielberg

March 18:London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) plays music to accompany the films of Steven Spielberg in the Millennium Forum. This is the first time that Spielberg’s films have been screened to live John William’s scores-followed the next day by an LSO concert of popular classical repertoire.

Gary Mitchell Première

March 23: A new Gary Mitchell play about members of the local punk scene at the Playhouse.

March 25: Children’s Festival at the Waterside Theatre and Young at Arts

Royal ballet

March 28: Stars of the Royal Ballet with the Ulster Orchestra at the Millennium Forum. First visit of the legendary ballet company to Derry.

Walls 400

March 31: Children’s carnival and more-year round activity including DiverseCity and an open-air catwalk.


Garden of Ireland with Diarmuid Gavin

April 2: RTE/BBC begin work on a new ‘Garden of Ireland’ in grounds of St Columb’s Park House.

April 5: Christy Moore and special guests at Ebrington

Feis Doire Colmcille-Where Are They Now?

April 8: Feargal ShSharkey, Nadine Coyle, Roma Downey are some of those who competed at the feis over the years. This opening night concert will feature these and other stars of the Derry stage in a celebratory opening events for the Feis in 2013.

Junk Kouture Final

April 10: Junk Kouture is an All-Ireland competition for second level students, where they are challenged to create high fashion Couture outfits from old everyday junk.

Disobey Gravity

April 10: A series of literary interventions in classrooms and in public spaces led by the verbal Arts Centre. Celebrating the potential of the written word to redress the challenges of life and promoting participation using NI writers to stimulate reaction.

Patrick Street shirt factory re-opening (Exhibition)

April 13: One of the last remaining shirt factories in the city re-opens as a functioning factory space. The ground and basement floors will be refurbished to their former condition and an installation of old machinery will turn the space into a factory once again. Bespoke shirts will be produced by former shirt factory women. The Patrick Street space will also house a shirt factory photography exhibition and memorabilia of this phase of the city’s industrial history.

Factory Girls by Frank Guinness at City Factory

April 14: A performance of Mc Guinness’ celebrated play at the City Factory.

James Glass-land war Photographs (Exhibition)

April 16: From the Land war circa 1880

Show Bands Exhibition

April 16: Part of Portrait of a City- A document of the history of major musical heritage within the city.

A History of Derry~Londonderry in 100 Objects

April 19: The Tower Museum’s major exhibition of 2013 takes place both inside the gallery and in the public realm.

Boat Races on the Foyle

April 20: The annual Boat race between the City of Derry Boating Club and the Bann Rowing Club sees the two teams compete for the coveted Carlingford Cup, a trophy dating back to the 1860’s, which had been raced for annually on the Foyle up to the late 1880’s. Encouraged by a revival in the sport and the increase of marine leisure activities on the River Foyle, the two clubs decided to revive this annual event in recent years.

The Pride of the Orange and Blue Flute Band

April 21: Production and outreach programme.

Mark Rylance performs Shakespeare at An Grianan Stone Circle

April 27: The greatest stage actor of his generation brings Shakespeare to the seat of the High Kings of Ireland.


Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

May 2: The city’s major music festival (four-five day event). Features the world’s top names-Jools Holland, Courtney Pine and Van Morrison

Derry All-Star Showbands Reunion

May 2013: Gerry Anderson brings together the stars of the Derry showband scene.

Grand Vintage Ball

May 4: The Grand Vintage Ball will present a sumptuous throwback to vintage enthusiasts providing the perfect opportunity to don their best vintage and retro threads and enter the Vintage Attire Pageant.

The Walls as a Playground

May 6 2013: Derry’s walls will be transformed into a massive playground. Fun for all the family with large play areas, installations, BMX and skateboarding displays etc;

Dominoes-Station House Opera

May 7: Community participation arts installation featuring a 10km line of breeze blocks lined up like dominoes in a trail around the city. An idea by station house opera.

Sea Lavender by Andy Hinds starring David Tennant

May 9: The former Dr Who explores his ancestral roots in a one-man play about the Siege of Derry by local writer Andy Hinds.

Foyle Marathon

May 10: The Foyle Marathon returns to the city for 2013. The 26.2 mile route will cover both sides of the river and passing by all the major city landmarks including Derry walls, Free Derry Corner etc. before the sprint finish over the Peace Bridge.

Battle of the Atlantic Commemoration (Exhibition)

May 13: Derry played a crucial role in the battle of the Atlantic and was the headquarters for Allied navies during WWII. In 2013 the Royal Navy and representatives of the allied forces will commemorate the Battle in Derry on the Foyle.

May 13: Voluntary Arts Week

Earhart Festival/Sky Orchestra

May 17: This is a family friendly festival taking place at Ballyarnett Country Park, the site where Amelia Earhart completed her transatlantic crossing in 1932.

Sky Orchestra-Created by artist Luke Jerram Sky Orchestra is an artwork designed to deliver music to sleeping people from out of the sky. The Sky Orchestra is made up of seven hot air balloons, each with speakers attached which take off at dawn or dusk and fly across the city. Each balloon plays a different element of a musical score, creating a massive audio landscape.

Titus Andronicus

May 21: Large-scale playhouse production in St Columb’s Park

Major Music Event

May 2013: One of the biggest weekend music festivals in Europe will be hosted at St Columb’s Park/Ebrington Square.

Liam Ball Triathlon

May 25: The annual triathlon in memory of one of the city’s best known and loved Olympians.

72 Hour Urban Action

May 29: 10 teams of architects and community volunteers transform 10 city locations in a 72 hour competition.

2D Comic Festival

May 31: 2D is Northern Ireland’s foremost comic festival.


June 2013: Derry’s Celtic Park will play host to several of the finals of the Ulster Championships including hurling and camogie. In addition the GAA will bring the Feile Peile na n-og, GAA scor and an All Stars game to the city.

Carnivale of Colours

June 2: The Carnivale of colours is an international children’s festival organised by Derry~Londonderry based performance company In Your Space. It is a family friendly, circus orientated event with entertainers, live acts and music, held at St Columb’s Park in this new an innovative approach to the traditional travelling circus concept.

Secret Cinema

June: Secret film events in strange locations throughout the summer.

Voices Now

June 9: Voices Now-a celebration of all things singing and choirs.

Colmcille Pageant

June 9: Written and directed by international artists, this massive river based pageant will star the communities of Derry~Londonderry and Iona.

St Columb’s Cathedral Oratorio

June 9: St Columb’s Cathedral has commissioned a choral work using Sam Burnside’s award winning poem, The Cathedral to be performed on the saint’s day. The oratorio will then be performed in London.

NI Book Festival

June 10: A new book festival based both in Derry and Belfast.

Phil Coulter and Special Guests at Ebrington

June 15: Open air concert featuring the Ulster Orchestra, Damien McGinty, Moya Brennan, Cliff Richard and more.

Boxing championships

June 17: The local amateur boxing clubs will invite clubs from throughout Ireland and further afield for exhibitions/competitions throughout 2013.

Hidden Treasures Children’s Theatre Festival

June 17: A high quality programme of children’s theatre productions aimed at children between the ages of 3-11 and their families.

Brian Irvine-Music Commission with flute bands

June 21:New community piece written by composer Brian Irvine for young local flute bands.

Music City

June 21: Music City is based on Fete De La Musique, a one-day music festival that originated in France in the 1980’s. A call to all amateur and professional musicians to perform on the streets on the longest day of the year. The day will commence with dawn choruses at key locations across the city. All concerts will be free to the public. All performers will donate their time for free. Royalties passed for the day. No sound restrictions (within reason)

Golf tournaments

June: Derry’s two golf courses, City of Derry and Foyle will play host to invitationals and pro-ams in 2013.


June 27: Ireland’s leading electronic music festival. Featuring the biggest international names in the genre alongside the best local/national acts.


July 1: Bowling Tournament

The Walls Commission-International Broadcast

A music commission to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the building of the city walls. A major classical music event, composed by Mark Anthony Turnage with words by poet Paul Muldoon.

Visit by English Premiership and La Liga football teams

July: Derry’s two soccer teams, Derry City and Institute FC will play host to teams from the English Premiership and Spain’s La Liga in exhibition matches at Brandywell Stadium and the Riverside Stadium.

All Ireland Pipe Band Championships

July: A major celebration of the Ulster Scots traditional

Connecting to Derry’s and Londonderry’s across the world (Magee University)

July: The conference aims to use the places which share the name ‘Derry’ or ‘Londonderry’ as a way of increasing our understanding of the international links down through history and to rekindle the relationships between these places in 2013.


July 8: Belfast’s Music Festival-Belsonic comes to Derry~Londonderry for a two night festival

International Chess Tournament

July 12: Hosted at Ebrington

Foyle Cup Soccer

July 15

National Youth Orchestra

July 18: A three-week residency in which 165 musicians aged 13-18 create music in the city. To include 15 free concerts and a performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy with a local youth choir. Thus concert will transfer to the Albert Hall in London as part of the Proms.

The Power of Public Apology

July 21: An international symposium on public apologies including a live simultaneous link-up between the Guildhall’s in Derry and London.

Ulster Hurling Final

July 21

Snow Patrol

July: One of Ireland’s top bands will play two-open air concerts for a total audience of 40,000 people.


July 27: Run by musicians for musicians, the award winning ‘small but massive’ festival presents the best new music acts of the country in a one-day outdoor family festival in the heart of the Sperrin mountains.

InterAct Youth Arts Festival

July 30: InterAct Youth Arts Festival & Youth forum, spearheaded by the Millennium Forum: Encouraging 12 to 21-year-olds to take part in a week of multi-disciplinary mediums.

Gasyard Wall Feile 20th Anniversary

August 2: Derry’s largest community arts and cultural festival

Walled City Children’s Festival

August 3

Teenage Kicks Music Festival

August 2013: Major music festival exclusively for Under 18’s-free of charge.

Maiden City Festival

August 3: The flagship celebration of diversity in Northern Ireland culminating in the annual Relief of Derry celebrations headed up by the Apprentice Boys.

The Siege Musical

August: A major musical pageant written by Jonathan Burgess commemorating the siege of Derry and to be staged at Ebrington.

Walled City Musical Festival

August 7: As well as the festival this will include a residency by the Brodsky Quartet including the Brian Friel NI Premiere.

Apprentice Boys Conference

August 10

Inishowen 100 Cycle Race

August 11: 100 mile race around Inishowen involving, local, provincial and cross-border cycle clubs.

Ulster Rugby match

August 11: Ulster to play one competitive match in the city

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann

Aug 2013: A ten day festival of the best in traditional Irish music and culture.

Ebrington Tattoo

August 26: Celebration of Ulster Scots and traditional Irish dance.

Foyle Pride/Sole Purpose

August: Annual gay pride festival.

Culture Tech Festival

August 29: Ireland’s first festival of digital culture incorporating film, TV, animation, games, music technology web and mobile content and digital arts.

Seafood Festival

August 30


Banquet on the Bridge

September 1: A magical banquet on the Peace Bridge connecting cityside and Waterside.

New Movement and Dance Festival

September 2: New Movement festival curated and managed by Echo Echo Dance Company.

Adopt an Author with the Booker Prize

September 2: A literary project linking in with the Booker Prize:

Big Tickle Comedy Festival

September 6: Now annual event at the Playhouse

50th anniversary of ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

September 9: On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech local people will speak the words on stages in the city and 50 dreams will be commissioned from young people-artists, thinkers, writers and others.

The Proms:

September 13

Waterside Half Marathon

September 14: One of the city’s major sporting events

Open Up The Shutters Exhibition September 14: An artistic collaboration between cultural organisations that have been zones of war, conflict and division in recent times-Berlin, Dubrovnic and Derry.

Paul Brady and Friends

September 14: Concert that will include Bonnie Raitt and Mark Knopfler

Boy Blue Street Dance

September 16: Boy Blue Entertainment-the most successful and accomplished Hip Hop dance company in the UK

Teaching Divided Histories Conference

September 17

Opening of Judo Centre of Excellence

September 20: Centre of Excellence opens at St Columb’s Park.

Catwalk on The Walls

September 20

Farquhar Festival

September 23: Including the world première of ‘Love in a Bottle’ by Frank Mc Guinness-three new pieces centred around the life and work of the city’s restoration dramatist George Farquhar-produced by Blue Eagle Productions.

Willie Doherty Exhibition

September 23: The largest ever exhibition of the work of the twice Turner Prize nominated Derry artist.

Terminal Convention

September 28: An artistic intervention at airport-VOID Gallery with Static, Liverpool

Athletics competition

September 28: The championships standard track at Templemore Sports Complex will play host to an athletics competition as part of the City of Culture Celebrations.


Poetry Month

October 1: A series of events, talks and readings, including a visit by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Turner Prize (Three Month Exhibition)

October: One of the world’s great art prizes leaves England for the first time.

Happiness (Exhibition)

looks at concepts of happiness with young people in Derry and Sarajevo.

RIBA Stirling Prize

October: The prestigious annual architecture awards come to Northern Ireland for the first time.

Basil Blackshaw Exhibition

October: Exhibition of the Northern Irish artists work in the city.

Foyle Media Festival

October 11: BBC Northern Ireland in partnership with the BBC Academy, C4, UTV, Skillset, DCAL, DELNI, NI Screen and BAFTA plans to host the Belfast Media Festival in Derry~Londonderry.

Camerata Ireland Festival

October: Ireland’s top orchestral musicians come to perform, teach and have fun.

Jennifer Johnston Drama Première

October: New Derry company perform first play by award-winning city-based writer

Hear My Song-A tribute to Josef Locke

October: A celebration of Ireland’s fist superstar featuring the Ulster Orchestra and guest vocalists.

NI Opera-Première of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ by Gerald Barry

October: New Opera by Gerald Barry, one of Ireland’s foremost composers.

6 Music John Peel Lecture

October: Will deliver its 2013 broadcast from Derry, home of John Peel’s favourite band, the Undertones.

Anne Robinson Presents: Reporting from the Past

October: As part of a purposeful inquiry piece, Anne Robinson will chair a convention of foreign journalists who reported from the city in the 70s and 80s.

Halloween Carnival

October: Annually the island’s biggest Halloween festival.


‘Bringing It All Back Home’

November: Concert produced by Philip King celebrating music from Co Derry and Donegal

Teenage Kicks

November: A stage musical about teen lust and love in the late 70’s featuring the hits of The Undertones:

New Choral Festival

November: Visiting professional and local community choirs in the two cathedrals and other venues.

Field Day

November: World première of Oedipus by Sam Shepard

Undertones Tribute Concert:


Foyle Film Festival

November: The 26th annual international film festival


November: A huge festival of light across four days featuring installations from 65 artists and including the wrapping of Derry’s two cathedrals in high resolution images from the Book of Kells. By far the biggest festival of light on the island.

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra

November 30


Krakow Cribs

December:Poland’s beautiful and ornate Christmas creations.

Other Voices Festival

December: Dingle’s digital music festival, broadcast by RTE all over the world comes to the city.

Shaun Davey-The relief of Derry Symphony

December: Performed by the Ulster Orchestra in the Millennium Forum.