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Derry to welcome Pan Celtic festival

By Donna Deeney

Following a year of ‘firsts’, Londonderry will once again be the first city outside of the Republic to host the Pan Celtic festival from tomorrow.

The city is set for six days of celebrating the cream of Celtic culture which is expected to draw thousands of visitors although it is not expected to reach the unprecedented figure of 450,000 that attended the All-Ireland fleadh last August.

One of the biggest attractions will be world-famous travelling venue the Spiegeltent which has already been erected in the Guildhall Square. This legendary ‘mirrored tent’ will play host to a line-up of exceptional musical acts called The Spiegel Sessions.

The Pan Celtic Festival will draw 10,000 participants from all over Ireland as well as the Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.

The festival will begin with a parade followed by harp, fiddle, piping, choral and traditional singing competitions and on-street sessions highlighting the cultural of a different nation each night.

Gearoid O hEara, chairman of the International Pan Celtic Festival, said: “We have shown that Derry is a centre of excellence for music and culture and that this city is made to host events of this nature. That we will now host the Pan Celtic Festival north of the border for the first time is a tangible legacy of the fleadh.

“This festival brings together people from these islands and Brittany in a quite unique celebration of Celtic culture. It is an honour for Derry to host this event and we are sure that the people of Derry will extend a fáilte mhór to all our visitors.”

Over the next six days the venue will see performances from Declan O’Rourke, Alana Henderson, Breton folk group Barzaz and the Mairtin O’Connor Band, among others.

For information visit www.panceltic.ie or call 028 7126 4132.

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