Stendhal Festival to welcome back music-lovers

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The first music festival to be held in Northern Ireland since the Covid-19 pandemic began kicks off later.

Stendhal Festival, which is based in Limavady, County Londonderry, welcomes back fewer numbers than previous years.

The festival attracted a 10,000-strong crowd in 2019, but this year about 2,500 visitors are expected.

It follows Stormont’s announcement that live music in Northern Ireland could resume from 5 July, as part of further relaxations to Covid-19 rules.

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While music performed indoors is restricted to an “ambient sound level” with screens placed in front of musicians, no volume restrictions apply to live music at outdoor events.

Stendhal Festival was established in 2011 and has grown into one of the biggest music and arts events in Northern Ireland.

‘The first step on the ladder back to normality’ – festival director Ross Parkhill

image captionRoss Parkhill says that although it may not be the biggest festival they have ever run it is certainly one of the most important.

Director Ross Parkhill said the festival going ahead is a “first step on the ladder back to normality”.

“There are a number of new protocols around social distancing that we have to implement and manage, and we want to ensure that we get that spot on.

“Social distancing will be required, masks outdoors are optional but recommended, while masks in any indoor spaces will remain mandatory.

“We must ensure that campers remain in their bubbles in the campsites at all times and that people do not enter other bubble’s tents.”

Mr Parkhill said that although it may not be the biggest festival they have ever run, it is certainly one of the most important.

Originally published by bbc.co.uk on 9th July 2021. SOURCE

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