BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THE organisers of the 25th Earagail Arts festival have hailed it as a major success. Following the closure of this year’s festival on a real high, the festival’s director has said it was the volunteers that made it such a successful event in this special ‘Gathering’ year.
Paul Brown said it was down to volunteers who welcomed visitors from all over the world to festival highlight events such as the Abhaile – The Homecoming concert in Carrickfinn that the festival scored so high in an independent survey.
“I think it was a very successful 25th years, not just in terms of the big shows that sold out, like Clannad and Altan, but also in terms of the quality of performances to which the reaction and feedback has been fantastic.
“We had a great group of volunteers across the events this year who really helped create a great experience for the audiences.”
Overall, the festival director, said they were delighted with figures, especially for the main events, which made up for some smaller events suffering in attendance figures, due to the great weather the county was enjoying.
“But that’s what the festival is all about, welcoming new people to the county or to parts of Donegal they don’t normally visit to enjoy its beautiful landscape and people. So we may have lost a few numbers on the way, but the county won and that’s the main thing.”
Paul said the organisers are also going to continue to work on the new format Earagail Arts introduced this year, creating festival hubs in Inishowen, West Donegal and Letterkenny.
“I think it gave us a chance of creating more of a sense of awareness of the festival in each area and it’s definitely a concept we will continue to develop.
“Bringing the festival to a close in Letterkenny on such a high was fantastic and it was great to have so many events on every day, from large-scale shows at the Regional Cultural Centre and An Grianán to fringe events in places like The Cottage.
“We’d like to thank all our sponsors, partners, staff and supporters of the festival without whom this annual event would no be possible,” said Paul.
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