Categories: Press Release

The YES Festival is inspired by the character Molly Bloom, who features in James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses. The final episode of Joyce's novel is entirely made up of Molly Bloom's extraordinary monologue, which begins and ends with the word 'yes' and has inspired many artists, including the likes of Kate Bush, with her single The Sensual World.

The festival is the culmination of ULYSSES European Odyssey, an unprecedented international project supported through Creative Europe, which since 2022 has seen partners in 18 cities in 16 countries across Europe take Joyce's novel as the starting point to explore contemporary issues.

YES Festival highlights include:

  • Molly Bloomsday, an 18-hour cultural journey across Derry~Donegal, re-interpreting Leopold Bloom's journey across Dublin and that of ULYSSES European Odyssey across Europe.
  • The Molly Bed, a large-scale interactive public installation, with a digital screen as headboard conveying messages by women from around the world
  • SIRENSCIRCUS inspired by John Cage's Musicircus, which brings together the public, musicians and nonmusicians to create a powerfully joyous sonic experience.
  • An unprecedented event on Derry’s historic 17th century walls, bringing together marching bands from both traditions.
  • Dance In! – a participatory event inspired by the women that worked in Derry's shirt factories, and a dance performance responding to the famous Derry Girls mural and the hit television show.
  • The Return of Ulysses Trail – each of the 18 ULYSSES European Odyssey city partners will send exhibits from their projects for presentation at venues on a trail from Derry City Football Club in the west of the city to Ebrington Square in the Waterside east.

Sunday 16 June, which has been dubbed Bloomsday by Joyce fans after the book's central character Leopold Bloom, will be renamed Molly Bloomsday in celebration of his wife and to mark the end of ULYSSES European Odyssey.

The same day, there will be the world premiere screening of The Molly Film, a new film featuring Fiona Shaw, Harriet Walter, Cush Jumbo, Miriam Margolyes and four other internationally renowned stage and screen actresses, each reading one of eight long sentences that form Molly Bloom's stream of consciousness monologue.

The YES Festival is produced and curated by highly respected producing team ARTS OVER BORDERS Ireland, who have received co-funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland and have developed ULYSSES European Odyssey with partners in the following cities: Athens, Trieste, Vilnius, Budapest, Marseille, Paris, Berlin, Lugo, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Cluj, Zurich, Leeuwarden, Eleusis, Oulu, Lisbon, Dublin and, finally, Derry~Donegal.

Artists travelling to Derry~Donegal from mainland Europe for the YES Festival include:

  • Actor and playwright, Hanin Georgis, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Artist and filmmaker, Lilli Kuschel, Berlin, Germany
  • Choreographer Gizem Aksu plus dancers, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Circus artist Hanna Moisala from Oulu, Finland
  • Dancers Jolanda Bazzi and Laila el Bazi, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • DJ and music producer Miss Trouli from STEGI.RADIO, Athens, Greece
  • Electronic music DJs and producers VRGN and Fo, Eleusis, Greece
  • Photojournalist, reporter, and documentary filmmaker Monika Bulaj, Trieste, Italy
  • Queer visual activists Ioana Ofelia and Daniela Groza, Cluj, Romania
  • Singer Zoe de Souza, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Tapestry artist, Catherine O'Connor, Dublin
  • Textile artist Morta Joynait, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Visual artist Gethan Dick, Marseille, France
  • Writer Noémi Kiss, Budapest, Hungary

For more information visit: