Categories: Press Release

Derry City and Strabane District Council have announced that the Foyle Maritime Festival will return to Derry’s riverfront from Thursday 27th until Sunday June 30th 2024.
The confirmation came in a report to Members of Council’s Business and Culture Committee who were updated this week about the planning and programme development of the award winning biennial festival.
For the first time since 2012, the event will not feature the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race fleet, however Members were told that Council officers are confident that the event’s programming can attract over 100,000 visitors during its four days.
The Festival will feature all the other elements of previous years including entertainment, interactive activities, festival bars, markets and a festival showcase on Saturday June 29th featuring a bespoke lighting extravaganza on and alongside the river with guest ships and boats, lighting installations, lasers and interactive crowd experiences.
A range of ships and boats are being procured to attend the festival with the pontoon that previously berthed the Clipper Yachts instead hosting a fleet of tall ships.
Head of Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Aeidin McCarter, explained that the dates have been selected to maximise the benefits of the summer season for the local economy.
“The 2024 Foyle Maritime Festival will take place over four days and we are confident it can attract over 100,000 visitors from a wide geographical remit,” she said. “The dates will not clash with any other major events in the city thereby enabling the local tourism and hospitality sectors to full avail of additional footfall into the city and region.
“The theme for the festival is Beyond Blue and will inspire a range of street animation, themed workshops, screenings and events with an important environmental focus.
“A climactic festival showcase event will take place late on the Saturday night and will celebrate the festival theme with a spectacular display of activity and light on and along the river.”
Earlier this year Members of the Business and Culture Committee approved terms for Council to enter into negotiations with Clipper Ventures to return to the City effectively on a no fee basis as part of the 2024 Foyle Maritime Festival.
In August Clipper Ventures announced they had negotiated a more financially viable stopover for the race at Oban, Scotland and the race would therefore not stop in Derry City.
The Beyond Blue theme of the 2024 Festival aims to look beyond the beautiful aesthetics of our oceans and seas to explore the power and possibilities that these natural resources offer today’s society within the context of sustainability and the environment.
Members were also told that a range of revenue streams will feature at the event such as a Fun Fair, Big Wheel, Festival Bars and both the Maritime and Merchant Markets.
Council Officers will work alongside the key stakeholder the Loughs Agency to deliver a programme of events on the water with taster sessions, displays and races.
For updates and the latest information on Council’s Festival and Events programming visit