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Derry-Londonderry’s reign as City of Culture 2013 to start with ‘biggest-ever’ fireworks display

Spectacular firework display in Derry~Londonderry at 20:13 marks start of Northern Ireland city’s year-long reign as UK's City of Culture.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Tonight’s spectacular firework display in Derry-Londonderry at 20:13 marks the start of the Northern Ireland city’s year-long reign as the UK’s City of Culture. It will be the largest firework display the city has ever staged and take place against the backdrop of St Columb’s Park and the iconic Peace Bridge.

Speaking ahead of the first official event, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:

“2013 is shaping up to be a massively exciting year for Derry-Londonderry and for the UK as a whole. Their program of events promises to be hugely entertaining and contains something for everyone. It will build on the phenomenal success of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and show once again the depth and range of cultural excellence in this country.”

Earlier this year, Derry-Londonderry announced a world-class programme which includes the Turner Prize presented outside England for the first time; a new commission by the London Symphony Orchestra; award-winning choreographer Hofesh Shechter; the return of Field Day; a new play by American playwright Sam Shepard; local Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney; and the first visit to Northern Ireland of the Royal Ballet for over a decade.

Other highlights include:

  • Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann:  The biggest festival of Irish culture anywhere in the world. It includes traditional music, pageants, marching bands, competitions, ceili bands, concerts and singing as well as drama and exhibitions. The Fleadh will take place across the city for the first time, transforming Derry into one enormous performance space over the course of seven days and playing host to over 300,000 visitors.

  • National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain: The Orchestra will take up residence in the city presenting performances and workshops including the 200th anniversary performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Members of the National Youth Orchestra will pair up with local young musicians to give 100 mini-concerts in peoples homes, on the streets, and in the community.

  • Lumiere: The historic walls city of Derry-Londonderry will provide a spectacular canvas for this critically acclaimed festival of light, first staged in Durham, produced by Artichoke with principal event partner NIE.

Derry-Londonderry Mayor Kevin Campbell commented:

“This New Year’s Eve promises to be a great opportunity for families to come along to the riverfront and celebrate the start of 2013 and to be part of the huge opportunities that it presents. It will mark the start of a fantastic year of culture for our city as we tell our new story to the world and prepare to host an exciting range of cultural experiences throughout the year.”

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Published 31 December 2012