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Mayor launches new Guildhall Beats Festival

04 February 2019

Derry’s stunning Guildhall will be the atmospheric setting for a music event with a difference this month as it hosts the first Guildhall Beats Festival, showcasing the talents of some of Ireland’s hottest musical talents.

The three day event will feature a wide variety of music genres and will be headed up by local stars Ryan Vail, Elma Orkestra (Eoin O’Callaghan) and young up and coming music sensation ROE, fresh from her recent arena tour supporting N. Ireland band Snow Patrol.

As well as some sensational live performances, the programme also includes a series of interactive workshops, organ recitals and music therapy sessions exploring music culture from around the world, and the power of music on the mind.

Speaking ahead of the event Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said he was delighted to see the Guildhall host its own dedicated festival. “I have had the pleasure of attending numerous events in the Guildhall throughout my time in office and the atmosphere is always unbelievable,” he declared. “It’s such a unique and historic venue and adds something special to any event.

“Derry as we all know is the City of Song and we are coming down with fantastic talent so it’s great to be able to provide a platform for some of the best emerging and established artists who hail from the city to bring their music to a local audience. I hope this is the first of many Guildhall Beats events and I really look forward to seeing the programme come together.”

The programme runs for three days from February 22 to February 24th leading off with a series of music therapy session on the Friday, followed by the chance to hear some of your favourite movie sound tracks performed on the impressive Guildhall Organ later that evening.

Local choral maestros Allegri will be taking over on Saturday offering the chance to hone performance and musicianship skills as well as building self-esteem through a Creative Cultural Celebration. The event, which is supported by Council’s Good Relations Grant Aid Fund, will explore music, dance and drama in the Irish, Ulster Scots, Polish and African traditions, culminating in a special performance display.

The Main Hall will later play host to a thrilling line up of talent kicking off with local artists Aul Boy and Conor Mason. They will be followed by up and coming 19-year-old musician ROE who has been captivating audiences at arenas across the UK in recent months on tour with Snow Patrol and who scooped the title of Best Emerging Artist’ at the 2018 Northern Ireland Music Awards.

Roe will be followed by top local performers Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra who promise to bring the evening to an electrifying close with their unique live show ‘Borders'. Performed by producers and multi-instrumentalists, Elma Orkestra and Ryan Vail the audience will be treated to an incredible audio and visual experience including a full light show, lasers and projections, accompanied by a hugely textured soundtrack incorporating contemporary classical and electronic music.

The Guildhall Beats programme wraps up on Sunday with a performance with a difference, showcasing one of the building’s most famous features – the historic Guildhall Organ. Enjoy an eclectic and impressive repertoire of pieces in a relaxed and scenic setting.

Manager of the Guildhall, Alison Morris, said the festival was a great opportunity to enjoy a variety of live music experiences in an intimate and unique venue. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host such a fantastic line up of performers,” she said.

“We’ve had a number of live concerts here in the Guildhall featuring artists such as Glen Hansard and Lisa Hannigan which have attracted great audiences and worked so well against the backdrop of the Guildhall.

“We wanted to do something a bit alternative this year and offer a variety of music experiences on the same programme featuring a range of genres and appealing to all ages. So we’ve opened it up to include contemporary artists, choirs and organists, offering the opportunity to sample different styles and the chance to interact with some of our local talents.”

You can find out more about the full Guildhall Beats programme and purchase tickets priced £15 + £1.58 booking fee at www.derrystrabane.com/guildhall