NI2012 does not think small. Exhibit A being the curtain rising on the Titanic Belfast visitor centre, with a city-wide Titanic Festival and extraordinary light show to mark the occasion. Seems they’ve only just begun too.
The summer sees another three whopper events being wheeled out in typical overachieving style. From Jude Law, to ocean races to gigantic arts events, we have got a summer blockbuster for you.
Peace One Day 21 June
Celebrate a good cause (it doesn’t get much better than world peace, does it?) and get your socks rocked at the . A dream of filmmaker Jeremy Gilley and supported by actor Jude Law, the event is exactly three months before International Peace Day (September 21st).
Movers and shakers performing for peace include rockabilly starlet Imelda May, the dreadlocked rocker Newton Faulkner, indie rockers Guillemots, pop princess Pixie Lott and local act Wonder Villains. They will enthrall the crowds at for the opening concert for the London 2012 Festival – a 12-week UK-wide celebration. Gilley hopes that his events will encourage the largest reduction of global violence ever recorded on one day.
“I’ve seen how Peace Day saves lives,” says Jude Law. “Peace One Day is inviting all sectors of society to observe a Global Truce on Peace Day 21 September 2012. It’s up to all of us to get involved. The Derry-Londonderry show is a key marker on that journey.”
Land of Giants 30 June
Back to Titanic town , for the largest outdoor arts ever held in Northern Ireland on the historic Titanic slipway. A cast and crew of over 500 will present astounding acrobatics, aerial dance, carnivals, circus, music, multimedia shows and mind-blowing pyrotechnics (get a taste of it in their video). Northern Ireland’s own giants, cranes, inspire this larger than life festival and of course the ever-intriguing natural attraction that is the . Writer and director Mark Murphy describes it as “a show that is spectacular in every sense of the word. A thrilling celebration of the giants – mythical, industrial, cultural, literary and social – which Northern Ireland has given to the world”.
But its focus is not just the extraordinary things this place has produced, such as two-thirds of the world’s linen or the most famous ship in the world, but more specifically the men and women who are the foundation for everything built here. The show is ambitious and contains a narrative that will capture everyone’s imaginations and hearts as it magically unfolds during the 45 minute performance.
Clipper Race Maritime Festival 5 – 8 July
The Derry〜Londonderry Clipper Race crew must be really looking forward to getting their feet on home soil when the race arrives in port. As amateur seamen, taking part in a 40,000 mile race is no mean feat and these chaps deserve a celebration. By the time they arrive, they’ll have almost completed the final leg, which finishes in Southampton.
The arrival of the in will kick off a nicely nautical four-day Clipper Maritime Homecoming Festival. The festival will be of the fun-and-frolics kind, with the chance to rub shoulders with these incredible sailing folk a sure bet for some great sea-faring stories.
Skipper Mark Light says:
I think Northern Ireland’s a fantastic place and it’s great that our stopover is one of the last of the race so we have it as a great motivator all the way around.
The city’s own yacht, Derry〜Londonderry, has also been promoting Londonderry’s well-earned title as UK City of Culture 2013 on its adventures, which is a nice and unusual way to spread the word.
And if you can’t make it to Northern Ireland for these sizzling summer events then never fear, the party hasn’t stopped yet: a designed by theatre/opera director Deborah Warner and actress Fiona Shaw; the unveiling of the shiny new at the Giant’s Causeway is happening in September and the celebrates its 50th birthday by filling the city’s streets in October.