All systems go!

Organisers of the Award-Winning Stendhal Festival say they are ‘beyond thrilled’ that the Executive have confirmed that they can run the 1st Northern Irish Music Festival in almost two years next weekend, July 9th and 10th.

With the Executive confirming the relaxation of covid regulations in relation to outdoor gatherings, The Limavady based event says that it is ready, able and excited to welcome 2500 music lovers to Ballymully Cottage Farm this July and a further 5000 on August 12,13 and 14.

“We are buzzing to finally, finally be able to say we are 100% on for July,” said event Director Ross Parkhill, “and I know that it’s not just us that feels the same way. At long last our indigenous musicians, technical staff, crew and everyone else who works in the industry can start climbing the ladder back to normality. There is a way to go but knowing that the process has now started in earnest is an incredible relief.”

Stendhal’s July Event will celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary with performances from And So I Watch You From Afar, Lyra, Kila, Ciaran Lavery and over 60 musicians, comedians and family performers in total and while it does represent a step back towards normality, Ross was keen to point out that there will still be a few differences at this years’ events.

“Obviously the biggest difference is capacity,” he said. In 2019 we had 10,000 visitors on site and for July it will only be a quarter of that. We could run for more people in July, but we want to ease ourselves back into things because there are a number of new protocols around social distancing that we have to implement and manage, and we want to ensure that we get that spot on.

“Social distancing will be required, masks outdoors are optional but recommended, while masks in any indoor spaces will remain mandatory. We must ensure that campers remain in their bubbles in the campsites at all times and that people do not enter other bubble’s tents. There is quite a list of things we must put in place and that our visitors must adhere to in order to make sure everyone follows all the protocols, which we will be publishing on our website and across social media very soon, so yeah it will be different but happily it will be.”

Ross concluded: “We cannot wait to celebrate the return of live music with everyone.”

Tickets to Northern Ireland’s First Festival in almost two years are incredibly limited with under 500 remaining online at www.stendhalfestival.com. No tickets will be sold at the gates during the event.

This event was enabled by funding from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.