FRESH from the massive success of Féile 35 in August last year, the dynamic team at Féile an Phobail have put together a fantastic programme of events for their annual spring festival which will take place from 1-17 March this year.

Féile an Earraigh 2024 was launched today at Raidio Fáilte, the Irish language radio station on Divis Street in West Belfast.

Speakers included Belfast Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy, Arts Council Chairperson Liam Hannaway and Seachtain na Gaeilge Coordinator Bronagh Fusco from Conradh na Gaeilge.

Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble spoke at the launch event and gave a taste of what Féile an Earraigh 2024 has to offer.

“Each year our spring Festival, Féile an Earraigh, continues to grow, with over 300 events taking place this March," he said. “This year's Féile an Earraigh is running in partnership with Seachtain na Gaeilge, providing audiences with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Irish music, culture and language.

“We are delighted that the Mayor of Belfast, Ryan Murphy, and Arts Council Chairperson Liam Hannaway has joined us today to speak at the launch. 

"Féile an Earraigh is programmed to coincide with the celebration of our patron saint St Patrick. This year’s Féile an Earraigh delivers a wonderful mix of traditional music, Irish language events, and St Patrick’s Day related arts and cultural events. 

“At Féile an Earraigh, it’s not just about the tunes, it’s also about the warm and welcoming atmosphere that awaits locals and visitors alike."

Kevin said that some of the highlights of this month's festival include the Féile Trad Trail with over 150 free live Irish traditional music sessions at venues across Belfast and in the city centre from March 1 through to St Patrick’s Day. As well as the very best of Irish trad musicians from Belfast, musicians from across Ireland will be taking part, including from Tyrone, Cork, Galway and Donegal.

“We are very excited that on Saturday 2 March, Blath na hÓige will be live in concert at the fantastic St Comgalls, supported by Lonesome George, with tickets priced at only £15 and available now from Ticketmaster. 

“Don’t wait about, and get your tickets quickly. The setting and the sound in St Comgalls will make it an evening to remember.

“On Saturday 9 March Spraoi Cois Lao will take place at Custom House Square. This is a family friendly celebration of Irish culture, music and language, with Irish language group Seo Linn playing live, and also bouncy castles, characters, climbing walls, ceili dancing, and fun for all the family.

“On St Patrick’s Day the Craic 10k will take place from Belfast City Hall. Up to five thousand people will take part in this huge event which is celebrating its 10th year, and you should get registered now and get yourself ready for this great event.

"And to cap it all off the St Patrick's Day carnival parade will take place in Belfast city centre with enormous crowds expected as Belfast celebrates our Patron Saint.

“The full event listings are now available to view on Féile is a powerful advertisement for the incredible, talented and creative community that is West Belfast and this year’s Féile an Earraigh is going to be the biggest yet. Our partnership with Conradh na Gaeilge has added an extra dimension to our programming again this year, and we can’t wait to get up and running.

"See you all across the city from 1-17 March!"