Limavady’s multi-award winning music and arts extravaganza, Stendhal festival, has since its inception in 2011 had a long and successful policy of jam-packing its many stages with the very best musical talent the city has to offer.
This year is no different and with no fewer than 20 acts hailing from either the City or the County, Stendhal has grown into one of the very biggest annual showcases for musicians from the area.
Organiser Ross Parkhill says it is no surprise that there are so many North West acts on the bill this year again, saying that he believes that Derry is currently producing a more interesting batch of musicians than Belfast, or anywhere else in Northern Ireland.
“Derry has been pumping out a lot of quality over the past few years,” he said. “It is a city where music seems to play a big part in everyone’s everyday life so it is no surprise that there are so many acts that are ready to break out who originate from this area.
“Soak is obviously the big one in recent years but there are so many who are ready to go, ROE and Susie Blue for example who made their Glastonbury debuts this year.
“There are so many good acts that we could genuinely run a Derry only stage and it would have everything and be a big hit at the festival and for me, the current scene in Derry is the most exciting in the country.”
What will please the event organisers is that the admiration for the local musicians shown by the festival is reciprocated all round, with a host of the acts playing this year taking time out to talk about the event in glowing terms.
Paddy Nash - We are the Dead
Paddy Nash is a Stendhal veteran and always draws big crowds to his performances at the event be it as a solo artist as is the case this year, or with his merry band of Happy Enchiladas.
With his latest album still fresh off the presses, Paddy said: “I can't wait to play some songs from my new solo album there this year. “Stendhal to me is like a wonderful open armed, open air gallery piping super music and oozing kindness and craic from all corners.”
WAKE AMERICA - 'Silly Boy' (Official Video)
Eoin O'Callaghan aka Best Boy Grip, aka Wake America, played at the event in 2012 and returns this year under his Wake America moniker.
“I'm so excited to get back to Stendhal this year, he said. “I can't wait to blast the new Wake America set all over the fields. I've been spending a lot of time in the studio of late, working on new Best Boy Grip as well as a brand new project called Elma... all while enjoying the continued support from the likes of BBC 6Music and closer to home, Radio Ulster.”
Susie Blue-People Like Us ||OFFICIAL VIDEO||
Sus McCaul, front woman of Susie Blue who experience playing at Glastonbury for the first time this year, says that for her, the best part of Stendhal is seeing it grow each year.
"I've been to Stendhal regularly since it started up and watched it get bigger and bigger each year, so from an artist’s perspective being asked to be a part of an event that is clearly moving in the right direction year on year is an honour,” She said.
Sus added: "I still can't believe played Glastonbury though, we were sort of just sitting around the site before our gig and we were all just sort of in a daze of disbelief that we were about to be playing. It was amazing and we will we be bringing that experience with us to Stendhal for a set we are really looking forward to.
Making Monsters - Better (Official Video)
Alt rock act Making Monsters who are currently finishing up with the writing of their debut album, which is scheduled for release in 2018, have been cited on many occasions as one of the Festival’s favourite bands and guitarist Paul Monk says the feeling is mutual.
“We're delighted to be returning to Stendhal this year,” said Paul. “It is by far one of our favourite festivals. The best in local artists mixed with big touring acts, a beautiful location and super family friendly. Their standard and attention to detail is unrivalled and it’s awesome that it exists just down the road in Limavady.
Ryan Vail - Wounds (Official Video)
Electronica mastermind Ryan Vail has been all around the world this year and says that he can’t wait to get back home for Stendhal.
“This year I've already played in Germany, England, USA and all over Ireland,” he said. I was touring a completely sold out AV Show that I'm bringing to Stendhal and it’s going to be amazing.
“Stendhal for me is one of the festivals I look forward to the most in summer. I bring my family, perform and get to soak up all the arts and little touches and nuances that make it so special and make it really stand out from other festivals.”
ROE - Cheek, Boy
Another rising Derry star, Roe, also made her Glastonbury debut last month, a rapid progression since she made her first ever festival appearance at Stendhal last year.
“I'm so excited to play Stendhal this year,” she said. “Last year it was my first ever festival experience and I was so happy to be asked to play, just me and guitar, having only had a few songs out.
“The Stendhal guys have been super supportive with everything I've done since then and I'm delighted to be asked back to play with my whole new live setup.
“I'm just back from playing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury, and walking around there I can totally see where and why John and Ross got the inspiration for starting Stendhal, which has me all the more excited to play again.”
Catch the very best in local music alongside acts the like of Ash, The Magic Numbers, Sharon Shannon and David O ‘Doherty at Stendhal Festival on August 11 and 12 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady. Log on to https://www.stendhalfestival.com/ for all your ticketing needs.