G Spots! 7 Reasons to Attend Féile an Phobail

G Spots! 7 Reasons to Attend Féile an Phobail

Féile an Phobail kicks off this Tuesday 1st August and runs until Sunday 13th August. This smorgasbord of cultural, political and social events in the heart of modern Belfast is Ireland’s largest community festival and well worth a visit. 

The first time I went to the Féile was about 15 years ago and I definitely remember having a blast in a big marquee but not much more! but the breadth of artists, ideas, events is now very different, and I guess just like me, the Féile has evolved and matured.

Thanks to increased funding, as well as industry support, this year’s Féile will play host to hundreds of events across literature, drama, visual art, family fun, sports, tours and walks, discussions and debates and Irish language events in 50+ venues across North & West Belfast and the City Centre. Wow that’s impressive! But I f you really need more convincing, here are 5 reasons why you should go.

1. It’s time to get your dancing shoes on and get bopping! BoyzLife, The Wolfe Tones and Feile Unplugged will no doubt be musical highlights, as will UB40 who are back by popular demand. This year The Devenish Complex will be used as a new venue, but if you want a bit more space to shake your booty then head to Falls Park with its 5,000 capacity.

2. Speaking of venues, Clonard Monastery (one of my favourites) is back. This year it’s back hosting musical events, including Irish traditional band, Altan. There is something quite magical about this location so try to make it along – you won’t be disappointed.

3. Many events featured in the Féile programme are free. There are a host of free events including family fun days, walks, debates, discussions, musical interludes and comedy acts. In fact there are probably more free events than paid for ones – so check out the programme and take your pick.

4. You won’t just see other passengers when you’re on the bus! Rather you’ll see traditional musicians from Andersonstown Contemporary and Traditional School of Music on board various Metro routes to and from West Belfast entertaining passengers. 

5. If you like political debates then this year’s programme is perfect for you. A host of political commentators, journalists, correspondents will no doubt provide lively debate over the two weeks of the Festival. Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman and Methodist Minister and multiple Peace Process protagonist Rev Harold Good will all be sharing their views.

6. You’ll get to share a night with George Clooney‘There’s not a woman in Ballymurphy who wouldn’t do six months for you George’! Claims Bridie Murphy, as she takes George Clooney (not the real one unfortunately!) on the ride of his life! Brought back for their 10th anniversary by West Belfast’s own Brassneck Theatre Company, ‘A Night With George’ is an hilarious night of theatre that you’ll never forget.

7. Did someone say gin? I do enjoy a cheeky gin, so this gin tasting event at the Balmoral Hotel is right up my street. This exclusive night includes samples of premium local gin, Jawbox accompanied with delicious seafood canapés by Mourne Seafood. Yummy!

Phew! Looks like I have a busy few weeks ahead of me. Hopefully see you there! More information on the Féile can be found here

Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch @GSpotsBlog or grainne@gspots.biz

About The Author

Grainne McGarvey

I’m Grainne and thanks for visiting my G Spots! blog. I love spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about new or interesting events, products and launches from our neck of the woods and beyond. If you know one – get in touch!

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