No Maiden City festival this year

It seems that Feile an Phobail aren’t the only ones with difficulty over funding. The Maiden City festival has had to be cancelled, organisers say this is because of “endless layers” of bureaucracy delaying the funding.

  • Miss Fitz

    I find this one of the most upsetting pieces of news for a long time.

    You know, the ABOD have made such enormous and brave strides to present an inclusive, fun festival and it sucks that they arent being encouraged.

    Having been a Festival Treasurer, I have nothing but the height of sympathy for them. It takes months every year to organise finance for these things, and you tend to get little other than heartache in return.

    Something as big as this should have been a double act with the Council, with a professional in the DCC responsible for procuring funding in conjunction with the ABOD organisers

  • Ciaran Irvine

    Agreed Miss Fitz, the ABOD had really made huge progress towards turning the Siege commemorations into what the OO try to pretend the Twelfth is – a genuinely historical/cultural colourful event with bucketloads of drama and human-interest in the story itself – and it was very nearly at the point where even local Catholics were starting to join in and help (a bit).

    The Council can waste millions on white elephants but can’t find a few grand to help one of, if not the, most important examples of what is actually possible for this society to achieve…together.

    Maybe this news will shake some people into action though.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Groan…. If truth be told I know little about the festival. On face value and the testimony of those above it seems worthwhile.

    Why does it seem that the 6 counties is so fucked up that blatantly sectarian hate-fests like the bonfire/12 disgrace gets funded. Yet something that has the serious potential to build bridges has to be scrapped due to lack of funds.

    IMO this is the kind of community festival that Unionists should be promoting, something that over time is interesting historically, yet not percievably offensive to the other tradition. The apprentice boys said;

    “The festival was created to extend an understanding of the Protestant culture among all communities within the city.”

    What the hell is wrong with this? it is pro-prod, being respectfull of the wider community at large, excellent.

    This forces me to ask a serious question. Is there not enough hate in this festival for Unionists?

  • harpo

    ‘This forces me to ask a serious question. Is there not enough hate in this festival for Unionists?’


    Blaming unionists again?

    Did you not see Ciaran’s post about the council. It’s controlled by nationalists, so isn’t the issue a council not helping fund something that is perceived as being about/for the other side?

  • Chris Donnelly

    This is disappointing news, not least because the Apprentice Boys Maiden City Festival should have been viewed as the proto-type by the Orange Order.

    On the matter of funding, it would be interesting to know if a funding application was actually made to the City Council in Derry, and what the outcome of that was.

    My reservations about the government funding of the Orange Order were based on the fact that they were based more on the Order’s potential to transform their big day, rather than anything the Order had actually already done to broaden the appeal of the 12th July- Feile an Phobail received no funding when the 9th August was simply about lighting bonfires and an anti-internment parade.

    This can’t be said of the Maiden City Festival, which really should have been given the funding instead of the Orange Order to incentivise the Order into taking a similar route.

  • Miss Fitz

    I think there is a danger of over funding here. In the first instance, any festival will have multiple funding sources of major and minor importance.

    There is no question of the money proposed for the OO organiser being the same money that could be used by ABOD for their festival.

    The point I was making earlier in the thread is that when we have identified something that works, is positive and could be a template for future success and transformation, then it needs to be nurtured.

    By and large Councils tend to make money available to festival organisers, but you have to work to get it. Supply number of attendees, where they are from, attempt an economic impact assessment, etc etc etc.

    Obviously the ABOD boys have said, enough! For an operation of that scale, there has to be a full time employee devoted to fund-raising and communication.

    Thats where I have been suggesting an innovative approach by the council, along the French model. In France, most of the Mairie provides some summer festival type event, and is heavily involved in the organisational side.

    I dont think firing 5o grand or whatever at the ABOD is going to be a long term solution. What is required is a strategic approach to this issue, having acknowledged it is too good to let go.

  • Yer Woman

    FAO: Post Four.

    The DC Council might be controlled by Nationalists, but its incompetence in running the ‘Stroke City’ extends to both sides of the community, as its handling of the Brandywell football ground will testify. The org is choc-full of incompetent staff, most of whom are off on the sick. Indeed, the problem of sick leave is so wide spread in the Council that it was reported to have cost the local tax payer upwards of £100,000 on the last count – that’s nearly £1 for every inhabitant of Derry City itself! I know I’d rather give a pound of my earnings in support of the Maiden city festival than for some malingering admin officer off on the sick with short-sightedness!

  • Dec

    Did you not see Ciaran’s post about the council. It’s controlled by nationalists, so isn’t the issue a council not helping fund something that is perceived as being about/for the other side?


    Did you not read the original report? The organisers contended that it was the ‘layers of bureaucracy’ that caused the cancellation of this years event. No mention is made of any council, nationalist-controlled or otherwise, withholding funding. Another attempt at muck-raking bites the dust.

  • Miss Fitz

    Oh dear, my post was meant to say OVER SIMPLIFICATION on the understanding of the funding. Sorry for any confusion

  • hardworker

    Yer Woman,
    I have great smypathy for your post – indeed its not very nice to have a lot of lazy staff off on the sick. However, its up to the council to sort that situation out just as any business would have to were a lot of its staff malingering on the sick.

    Again, that would be up to the nationalist controlled Council to sort out. Just because they’re crap in a lot of areas isn’t an excuse you know.