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10 Aug 2022

'Derry's loss is Malin Head's gain' - major festival to rock Inishowen

Two day dance event Jika Jika! takes place later this month

"Derry's loss is Malin Head's gain" - major festival to rock Inishowen

The Jika Jika! festival had been staged in Derry's Ebrington Square.

A popular dance music festival is set to swap Derry for Malin Head, it has been announced.

The hugely successful Jika Jika! event, which attracts up to 15,000 revellers, has ditched hosting the annual event in Derry due to being “treated fairly” by the North's Executive Office.

Orangisers of the festival said that an application had been rejected to perform in Derry's Ebrington Square.

Ebrington is a 29 acre former military heritage site located on the Foyle riverfront, connecting the city's Waterside to the city centre through the Peace Bridge.

The site was gifted to the Northern Executive in 2003 by the British Ministry of Defence, which has been regenerated.

Previous Jika Jika! events have been held at the former military parade ground.

Jika Jika! resident DJ Stephen Porter took to social media to say the decision to refuse to give the event the go-ahead in Derry was bizarre.

He said: “It's almost time to drop the 2022 edition of our festival. Shame we've had to leave Derry, we applied for Ebrington but bizarrely got turned down and other sites were too risky or simply weren't good enough.

“Sadly it feels like we aren't really fairly treated in our own city but I could be here all day explaining why. We never really post about things like this but I think our followers deserve to know.

“One thing for sure is losing a festival that brings 10,000 to 15,000 people to the city affects everyone. Think of the knock-on effect that many people attending has on business in Derry. No one in power seems to care which is a great shame.”

He continued: “Thankfully people elsewhere see the value in the events we do. Malin Head can be added to Vancouver and Manchester to places where we are welcomed with open arms to stage events.

“We are privileged to be invited to Malin Head to host Jika Jika! Festival 2022 with camping and buses available from Derry and across the North. The line-up is a beauty and one for people who know. We'd be very grateful if people can support us on the next part of our journey.”

Event co-organiser Ronan Doherty said the decision to move the Jika Jika! festival to the Seaview Tavern is a case of “Derry's loss is Malin Head's gain”.

“We have been talking about doing like this since 2019 and now thankfully we have everything in place. We're looking forward to a brilliant event,” Ronan added.

The Jika Jika! Festival will take place in the field behind Malin Head's Seaview Tavern on August 27-28.

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