Belfast Telegraph

Feile festival in Belfast is expected to be 'the biggest ever'

Next month’s Feile festival in west Belfast will be “the biggest ever”, organisers have predicted.

An estimated 80,000 people will descend upon the west of Northern Ireland’s capital in August for ten days of music, sports, debate and more.

Following on from a successful and peaceful Woodvale festival over the Twelfth, organisers have high hopes for the 2018 Feile an Phobail - what will be the festival’s 30th birthday.

Feile director Kevin Gamble said the outdoor festival is expected to break record numbers and he wanted to commend those who started it three decades ago.

“They were a group of very determined people with a vision for the future. Feile an Phobail is a genuine festival of the people,” he said.

“These were the words of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, at the launch of Feile an Phobail’s 30th anniversary events programme in St Mary’s University College on the Falls Road in west Belfast.”

Mr Gamble said the festival is about “showcasing the positives” of the community and the “incredible talent and creativity” that exists there.

“The new Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, also spoke at the Feile 30 launch, and in the course of her speech praised Feile for working hard over many years to ensure that unionist and loyalist communities and representatives have their voice heard,” he added.

On Monday evening, Sinn Fein’s City Hall group leader Ciaran Beattie said next month festivities will “show what our community is all about".

He was speaking after a turbulent week in Belfast that saw senior party figures Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey’s homes targeted with explosives.

Cllr Beattie said those who carried out the attacks “only want to drag us back” and the Feile will demonstrate “the true spirit of the community”.

“We’ve had a successful Woodvale festival last week, and next month will be another great programme of events for Belfast -  the biggest Feile ever by all accounts,” he added.

Feile an Phobail will run from August 2-12, with chart topper Olly Murs headlining a concert on Saturday, August 11.

Organisers said almost all the activities will be free and for the first time they will be holding three open air concerts in the new Falls Park event space, with a capacity of 10,000 people for each concert.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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