Féile an Phobail was established in 1988 as a direct response to the conflict in the north of Ireland.

Its purpose was to celebrate the positive side of the community, its creativity, its energy, its passion for the arts, and for sport. It furthermore aimed to provide events and entertainment at a price that the majority of the community could afford.

Féile an Phobail 30

Féile an Phobail, Ireland's biggest festival and summer school, is marking 30 extraordinary years of spreading joy, creativity, and common ground in Northern Ireland! http://bit.ly/2o1jJC9

Posted by IrishCentral.com on Thursday, February 15, 2018

The mission of Féile an Phobail’s 30th-anniversary program of events is to deliver ‘A Community Celebration of Global Culture’.  It is in this context that a delegation from Fáilte Feirste Thiar and Féile an Phobail brought Féile on the road to the heart of Irish America for a range of high powered engagements with key stakeholders including a stateside launch.

Kevin Gamble presenting an award at the IrishCentral Creativity & Arts Awards

Kevin Gamble presenting an award at the IrishCentral Creativity & Arts Awards

Whilst Féile is rooted in the local community the international nature of the program of events continues to attract interest from visitors from across the world with a growing interest from the USA, a key tourism target market.

From a tourism perspective the 30th anniversary of Féile an Phobail provides the single biggest opportunity to date to raise the profile of West Belfast as a place to visit and in so doing contributing to the continued social and economic development of West Belfast.

Their strategic aims for the US sales and trade mission was to:

  • Raise the profile of Féile an Phobail as Ireland’s largest community arts festival in its 30th anniversary year.
  • Promote West Belfast as the home of Féile an Phobail and as a year-round tourist attraction.
  • Engage with media and stakeholders.
  • Work alongside tourism organizations to maximize the impact of activity.
  • Consolidate and further develop relationships already established with friends of Féile and the West Belfast tourism industry.
  • Where possible, identify opportunities to secure investment in Féile an Phobail.

Lorraine Turner, head of NI Bureau New York office welcoming West Belfast delegation to New York

Lorraine Turner, head of NI Bureau New York office welcoming West Belfast delegation to New York

Reflecting on the recent trip Paul Maskey West Belfast MP and chairperson of Fáilte Feirste Thiar said:

“I want to thank Lorraine at NI Bureau and her team along with Alison at Tourism Ireland and her team for hosting, advising and provide opportunities to engage with key tourism, culture and arts stakeholders. We look forward to following up with existing and new friends and are delighted to continue to work in partnership to grow our share of tourism from the USA onto the island of Ireland and Belfast. We were thrilled that our festival was so warmly received.

#WeAreFéile30 is now out there in the international marketplace and we look forward to the amazing year ahead.”

Paul Maskey chairperson of Fáilte Feirste Thiar, Kevin Gamble, Director of Féile An Phobail & Sam Baker chairperson of Féile An Phobail meeting with Tourism Ireland North America staff led by Alison Metcalfe.