Derry City of Festivals 2022: Hotel bookings confirmed

Illuminate, a mix of large-scale free outdoor light shows and screenings at historic downtown sites and intimate indoor music events, drew thousands to downtown last night as the festival was coming back for a second weekend.

Illuminate continues outdoors tonight and tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is indeed a statement of intent for the city of culture emerging from the pandemic.

Dates for other major Derry festivals and upcoming events in Derry and Strabane have also been confirmed.

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Clockwise from top left: Festivals in Derry in 2022 include the Maritime Festival, Jazz Festival, About Us, Halloween, Our Place in Space and Illuminate.

MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations and parades return for the first time since 2019 in just over a fortnight on March 17.

Another new festival for Derry begins two days before this one on March 15 and will run until March 21. and storytelling featuring local choirs, schools, poetry groups and a photography exhibit to celebrate the planet’s 13.8 billion years. See more at Ahead of these events, Enterprise Week from March 7-11 will see a series of business-focused events to promote entrepreneurship, business support and innovation.

APRIL: One of Derry’s most renowned festivals, the City of Derry Jazz festival, is back for 2022 and will take place across the city from 30 April to 2 May. Earlier in the month, the North West Angling Fair returns to Strabane from April 2-3. , while Our Place In Space month kicks off on April 22. Led by Nerve Center with the support of the Council, this major solar system art installation which will include a pathway featuring planets which will be 450m at a scale and located from the Bay Route to the border at Letterkenny Road – expected to be a major event drawing people from all over NI and beyond – the expo will travel to other NI locations later in the year. Operates in Derry until May 22.

MAY: Sunday May 15 will see the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon as Our Place In Space continues in Derry.

JUNE: The Strabane Summer Jamm takes place June 11-12.

JULY: All roads will lead to the quay along the River Foyle from July 20-24 as the Foyle Maritime Festival returns and prepares to welcome the Clipper Round the World Race yachts back to Foyle Quayside for a family-friendly festival of events and a showcase event on the final night.

SEPTEMBER: The Waterside Half Marathon returns on September 4.

OCTOBER: Derry Halloween returns from October 27 to November 1.

Derry & Strabane council said local businesses were looking forward to another outstanding weekend, following the successful first days of the all-new Illuminate festival experience.

Despite extremely harsh weather conditions which led to the cancellation of Sunday and Thursday evening events, the festival attracted thousands of visitors who explored the history of the walled city told through spectacular digital snapshots that transformed six sites , including the Guildhall, the city walls and St Columb’s. Cathedral.

Derry City and Strabane District Mayor Alderman Graham Warke said the festival had been hugely positive for the local economy and was a good indicator that the appetite for public events was definitely returning.

“If there’s one thing we do well, it’s festivals and events, and that’s something that’s been a huge loss for the city over the past two years. We take great pride in our ability to bring people together for first-class cultural experiences, whether at the Jazz Festival, Foyle Maritime Festival or Halloween.

“Illuminate has shown us that people are just waiting for the opportunity to come back there, and with a packed schedule of events planned for the city this year, it’s a really positive indicator that we have an exceptional year ahead. We. The feedback from our businesses last weekend was excellent, despite the challenges posed by the weather. Bars, restaurants and hotels were still buzzing and we expect to see that repeated this weekend, and all the benefits it brings to the local economy.

On the busiest nights of the festival, which lasted six nights over two weekends from February 17-19 and February 25-27, hotel occupancy rates ranged between 87.7% and 94.7%, which is significantly higher than usual for this time of year.

The chairman of the council’s business and culture committee, Councilor Conor Heaney, said it was encouraging to see people back on the streets. “It has been a real lift for the city as we see the end of restrictions and a gradual return to some normalcy. I want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved in producing this brand new festival experience, as well as the innovation and creativity that has allowed us to successfully adapt and deliver events like Halloween and Illuminate.

“We understand the vital role of events in rebuilding the local economy and will continue to work with our businesses to create opportunities that will boost commerce and inspire people to enjoy all that our beautiful city has to offer.”

Odhran Dunne, managing director of Visit Derry, said events such as Illuminate can act as a real catalyst for the recovery of the local tourism sector.

“We are delighted to see the positive impacts Illuminate has brought to support the recovery of our tourism and hospitality sector. We have seen a great start to the festival with our restaurants and bars reporting a busy weekend. Our hotel partners are seeing the same positive benefits with a significant increase in hotel occupancy throughout the festival, demonstrating the significant impact of major events on territory growth while supporting the lengthening of the season touristic.

“Events of this scale provide a wonderful platform to showcase the full range of what we have to offer in the Walled City. With events returning for 2022, exciting times lie ahead as the city and neighborhood continue to develop as a vibrant and must-see destination.

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