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Derry shines bright as Illuminate transforms local landmarks

18 February 2022
Derry's City Centre was aglow this evening as the spotlight shone on Illuminate, the first in a series of exciting festivals set to dazzle throughout 2022.
This innovative new event – a first for Derry and Strabane – harnesses digital technology to bring some of the City's most dramatic historic moments to life, from the Siege of Derry to the arrival of Amelia Earhart, with two weekends of live installations, performance and music set to light up the Walled City 17th -20th and 24th – 27th February.
Funded by Tourism Northern Ireland as part of its Embrace A Giant Spirit campaign, Illuminate will bring Derry's city centre to life with a series of enthralling outdoor experiences complemented by a series of intimate live music gigs. As Derry approaches the tenth anniversary of its UK City of Culture year, it's also a time to celebrate the wealth of talent that makes the city a proud cultural hub with a programme of intimate live performances led by Music Capital.
Among the exciting music acts confirmed to perform as part of the festival are Kila, the Henry Girls and Aoife Scott. They will be joined by some of our finest local performers including Glenn Rossborough, Roe and John Deery and the The Heads, Comrade Hat, Clodagh May Music, Kate O'Callaghan, and Basork for what promises to be a fabulous musical showcase. The artists will perform in intimate settings such as the Guildhall, St Augustine's Church, Echo Echo studio and the Contemporary Centre of Arts.
Launching the event at the Guildhall, which has been brought dramatically to life through the magic of digital mapping, Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, said he was delighted to see people's confidence returning. "Illuminate is a completely new experience which is unique to the City, and has transformed the City Centre through the wonders of digital technology. I am delighted that we have been able to kick off our year of festivals in such a magical way, and to see so many people here this evening.
"We have been through such a challenging time, it's fantastic to see people's confidence in events return and that we are able to come together once again to enjoy the things we love most. It's fitting that the festival focuses on the theme of light, as we emerge from what has been a period of real darkness for so many people. This is a historic City, steeped in culture and heritage, and Illuminate shines a light on all these elements. I think it really effectively captures our sense of place and what makes the story of this city so special."
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: "The Illuminate Festival will bring much needed footfall into Derry City Centre and give a much needed boost to local retailers.  I am delighted that my Department has been able to make a contribution through the COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation project which aims to support town and city centres as they recover from the impact of the pandemic."
Tourism NI's Head of Regions, Ciaran Doherty said: "Events like this are crucial to our local economy and help boost the profile of tourism in Northern Ireland.  Tourism NI is delighted to support this exciting new addition to Council's innovative and exciting portfolio of events through our Market Led Product Development Programme. I am confident that 'Illuminate' will build on the success of the City's Halloween experience and will create new and exciting reasons to visit the area."
 More information on the full programme, including traffic and travel information, is available at www.illuminatederry.com 
Tickets for the intimate music experiences are currently on sale and are expected to sell out fast as numbers are restricted – for more details on the gigs and how to book tickets visit –www.musiccapital.org