New Gate Fringe Festival ‘pleased’ with event

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The organisers of The New Gate Fringe Festival say they have been ‘pleasantly surprised’ by feedback from the 40+ events that have took place over the fortnight of programming.

The North West Cultural Partnership added that the “mix of cultures, music, dance and drama added to by serious talks and debates have far exceeded the year one programme and ambition is definitely high for next year’s festival.”

Chairman of the festival, Derek Moore (coordinator of the Londonderry Bands Forum) stated that the committee would now apply for the main streams of funding for next year to expand even further, given the quality and diversity of events in this year’s programme.

He said that the connections made with the North West Migrants Forum also gave a new community inclusion that had not been present before.

James Kee from Bready and District Ulster Scots Association added that the conversations and

debates created by the three main “Difficult Conversations” events propelled the Fringe into the media and opened up the idea of ordinary people questioning political negativity at source.

He added that the Traditions Meet event in Bready at the Sollus Centre showcased the coming

together of talent from across the cultural spectrum in a spectacular show featuring Highland and Irish dancing, new music composed by local musicians and international composer Sid Peacock and performances worthy of a bigger venue by local singers and songwriters. This event was commissioned by the Peace IV funded “CultureFuse” project between the New Gate Arts and

Culture Centre and An Gaeláras based in An Cultúrlann. One of the highlights of the evening was asolo performance by Louis Scott, a flute player from the Churchill FB performing Mozart’s “Rondaalla Turca” on a clarinet.

Events this year were spread over the city and rural areas in a deliberate attempt to expand the festival to different venues so that more people could see what was on offer and also to expand the profile of the Partnership’s work. Board treasurer Kyle Thompson, who played a very significant role in this year’s events, pointed out that the current facilities available at the New Gate Centre could not meet the demand of this year’s programme.

He said that the venues used like Sollus Centre Bready, Clooney Hall, Fountain Primary School,

Thiepval Gallery, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and First Derry Presbyterian Church Hall had all proved to be inspired and the Partnership would like to thank all the venues, management and staf for their help.