The first ever ‘Swamp Festival’ in Belfast is expecting to attract hundreds of visitors to the Bog Meadows Nature Reserve on Saturday (May 14).
This free fusion festival of music, arts and crafts, storytelling, nature walks, cultural workshops and much more will celebrate the return of the African sedge warblers, willow warblers, house martins and swallows to Bog Meadows.
Belfast City Council and Ulster Wildlife have joined forces with leading cultural arts organisation ArtsEkta to put in place this special Swamp Festival for all the family as part of the £5.1 million EU PEACE IV-funded Forth Meadow Community Greenway project, which aims to promote the greenway as a shared, welcoming, connected and safe space for all.
With African music from Magwere, traditional Irish music and local folk band The Doone Brothers on stage throughout the afternoon, the day starts at 6am with a special dawn chorus and finishes with the Forth Meadow Greenway Duck Derby at 4pm.
Tickets are free but must be pre-booked via ArtsEkta’s website, which contains the full programme of activities for the festival.
Rose Crozier, Director of City and Neighbourhood Services, Belfast City Council, said: “We attracted a tremendous crowd for our first Greenway cultural event in March, with the Luminate Festival, so we’re hoping more and more families will join us on Saturday, 14th May, for this amazing Swamp Festival to enjoy this wonderful new space being created in the heart of the city to bring people from all communities together.”
Nisha Tandon, founder and CEO of ArtsEkta, said: “We are delighted to present the first ever Swamp Festival on this island on behalf of Belfast City Council, following our inaugural Greenway Luminate Festival in March.
“We look forward to putting on more events throughout the summer to bring the Forth Meadow Community Greenway to life this year.”
Deborah McLaughlin, Community Engagement Officer with Ulster Wildlife, said: “Every year hundreds of feathered visitors flock to Bog Meadows from Africa to rear their young.
“This amazing green space, right in the heart of west Belfast, is a fantastic asset, not only for wildlife but for local people to enjoy and we look forward to showcasing it at the Swamp Festival.”
n For full details of the Swamp Festival programme go to ArtsEkta’s website where tickets for this free festival must be booked in advance from www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/forth-meadow-community-greenway-40614725793
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