About Féile an Phobail
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. In August 1988 the first Féile opened with a relatively humble parade of floats, bands and GAA clubs walking in their club regalia to an open-air party in Dunville Park. Street parties were organised throughout the West. Door-to-door collections were made to fund day trips to the seaside for pensioners and outings for young people.
Soon the street confrontations associated with the week around August 9th were displaced by a positive display of the community and its creativity. The August Féile has proved a resounding success, growing from strength to strength and inspiring other troubled areas to organise similar festivals. Our carnival parade routinely brings thousands of participants for a colourful, musical procession with specially-designed floats representing a chosen theme, dancers and children in costume and face masks. Féile an Phobail has grown from a one-week festival to being the largest community arts festival in Ireland with a year round programme of events.
About our organisation
Féile an Phobail is based in West Belfast and is a registered charity/company limited by guarantee. It provides a programme of arts, cultural and community-based activities throughout the year with its flagship festival, the August Féile being the highlight of Ireland’s festival calendar. Féile an Phobail is renowned for its strong programming style with festivals that most certainly have something for everyone. Féile an Phobail also offer an increasing number of specialist festivals throughout the year; Draíocht, an arts festival for children and young people takes over the Halloween festivities and Féile an Earraigh that celebrates Irish and Celtic art and culture, music and language which takes place in Spring.
What are Féile an Phobail’s aims?
- to continue to demonstrate, promote and celebrate the experiences, culture, creativity, skills and potential of West Belfast and its people
- to continue to promote social inclusion and the celebration of diversity by providing opportunities for the expression of Irish Culture in all its forms, encouraging interchange with other cultures and communities through traditional and modern forms of artistic expression
- to actively participate in the economic regeneration of West Belfast
- to provide a diverse range of opportunities for community participation and the expression of self-esteem and identity through arts, culture, Irish language, sporting, environmental, educational discussion and other activities
- to maximise the income generated by Féile and secure a funding base that will enable sustainable development
- to ensure that the resources, skills, infrastructure and planning processes needed to fulfil the aims and objectives are put in place