Music and Arts Festival, Stendhal Festival of Art was the big winner at this year’s annual Irish Festival awards.
The event which takes place every August at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, won three gongs on February 6 for their 2014 event including Family Festival Award, Best Line-up and for the second year in a row, Best Small Festival.
The results saw a clean sweep for the festival, as they won in every category they were nominated in. Other winners included Electric Picnic, Longitude and Guinness Amplify.
The organisers of the event were understandably delighted with the results saying that the awards were a great nod to the hard work that goes into all aspects of the festival.
Event Director Ross Parkhill said: “We had hoped to get our name on the winners at least once,” he said, “but to win every category we were nominated in is unbelievable and testament to all the volunteers, committee members, local businesses, production teams and the hundreds of people who ensure Stendhal is safe and successful every summer.
“To be named Best Small Festival in Ireland for the second year in a row, is a fantastic feather in our cap and is a fantastic boost as we embark on the process of putting this year’s event together. We always try and outdo ourselves every year so this is another wee reminder that we are getting a reputation that must be maintained.”
Organiser Colm O’Donnell added: “The Family Award is something I personally am delighted we have won. We set out from the very start to make our event accessible and enjoyable for everyone, from 8 months to 80 years, we want to promote things that resonate throughout generations. We also strive to ensure that families are well catered for and most importantly we want to provide a safe environment for families to relax and discover the arts.”
Organiser John Cartwright said that the third award was proof that Northern Irish music can hold its own against any bands on the festival circuit.
“That was the one we honestly weren’t expecting,” said John. “We work incredibly hard on booking a line-up each year that works on several different levels. We want name acts which we had with The Undertones, Frightened Rabbit, Paddy Casey, Duke Special and the like. We want a multitude of different genres of not only music but poetry and comedy too and we always try to programme stage times to best maximise the potential of an artist.
“Overall though, we rely a lot on Northern Irish talent and we are blessed here to have an incredible array of talented artists, spanning many genres to put on stage, and for people to vote for a line-up that is mainly home grown, grass roots acts, shows not only the massive potential of the Northern Irish Music scene but the fact that many of the artists from here are ready to do big things now.”