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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
City hosts music fest
Van Morrison
Van Morrison is one of the main attractions
About 10,000 people were expected in Londonderry on Saturday for what was predicted to have been the largest ever outdoor music festival in the city.

A total of 15 acts took to the stage in Prehen Playing Fields, on the banks of the River Foyle, for the Earth Music Festival.

The event was headlined by Irish singer Van Morrison and other acts include The Waterboys, Deacon Blue, The Four of Us and The Undertones.

Before the event, festival promoter Alan Cummings said: "We want to create the festival vibe on the site, with good food, good drink, good music and good weather.

Michael Taggart: Event will boost local economy
Michael Taggart: Event will boost local economy

"We believe the festival will attract people from all over Northern Ireland and Donegal making a change from having to travel to either Belfast or Dublin to see good live music".

The event was run by Earth Promotions in association with Derry City Council.

Earth promotions is a new company set up by Mr Cummings and fellow businessmen Michael and John Taggart.

The company hopes to encourage international artists to consider Derry as a top schedule destination.

Mr Cummings added: "We feel a city the size of Derry and the surrounding areas should be in a position to attract the biggest names in the business."

Michael Taggart said the financial commitment behind the gig was enormous.

"Without the help of Derry City Council, helping us along here, it may never have happened," he said.

"It's like a public-private partnership we're doing here and it will be the first of many," he said.

Work is under way to set up the stage
Work got under way earlier in the week to set up the stage

"It will boost the local economy quite a bit. All the hotels locally are booked out, and you can imagine the effect it will have on bars and restaurants."

Saturday's festival was welcomed by Derry mayor Kathleen McCloskey.

She said: "The city continues to have a strong reputation for arts, culture and music, and a concert of this scale is the perfect platform for an all-star line-up of local and international talent.

"It will certainly prove to be a substantial boost to the local economy during the summer season and to the city's image as a successful location for music festivals."

See also:

28 Jun 02 | Entertainment
03 Jul 01 | N Ireland
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