A FREE afternoon celebrating the best in Irish music, art and sport forms the centrepiece of a wealth of Irish talent at this month’s City of London Festival.
Irish Roots Day, which takes place on Hampstead Heath in London on Sunday, June 30, is a family-friendly afternoon starting at midday on Parliament Hill.
Music on the day comes from alt-folk band Tir Eolas; flute and tin-whistle player Brian Finnegan; Australian bluesman Hat Fitz and his wife Cara Robinson, from County Down; while Beoga, a five-piece Irish trad band from County Antrim, headline.
Family-friendly activities include a storytelling session, led by Kate Corkery, face-painting, a scavenger hunt and themed arts and crafts. Representatives from The Maguire O’Shea Academy of Irish Dance and London GAA will be present.
The 2013 City of London arts festival, which takes place from June 23 until July 26, makes use of churches, guild halls and open spaces for venues across the Square Mile in London and further afield.
Free highlights of the five-week festival include a contemporary Irish jazz quartet, with bassist Dermot McNeill and guitarist Mark McKnight. The band play in Paternoster Square on Friday, July 5.
Other notable acts include Tumble Circus, an Irish circus group; Mobile Orchard, a pop-up art instillation; and a lecture, London-Derry Connections: The early years, 1613-1640, which takes place at Guildhall Old Library on Wednesday, June 26.
The strong Irish focus of the programme aims to reflect the 400-year links between the City of London and Derry – the 2013 UK City of Culture.
Pre-booking is required for some of the free shows. For full information, visit the website here.