HAPPY DAYS IS THE ENNISKILLEN INTERNATIONAL BECKETT FESTIVAL.
HAPPY DAYS is the world’s first annual festival to celebrate the work and influence of Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett.
HAPPY DAYS will take place each year in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, where Beckett spent his formative years attending Portora Royal School. Enniskillen is at the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands, amidst of the most beautiful landscape in Europe
The inaugural HAPPY DAYS takes place 23rd – 27th August 2012 with FREE visual arts events from 3rd July.
The Festival is collaborating with the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, and coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Enniskillen.
HAPPY DAYS is the first annual, international, multi-arts festival in Northern Ireland since the launch of the Belfast Festival in 1962. As with the Edinburgh Festival in 1947, HAPPY DAYS will be a major cultural event bringing diverse communities together, mixing local and international audiences and artists.
The Festival will present events of wide, popular appeal including:
the work of Beckett, with world and UK premieres of his major and lesser-known works
the influences on Beckett, including music and comedy
those Beckett has influenced, including Irish, UK and international writers, directors, actors, visual artists, musicians, comedians, circus artists and individuals prominent in their fields
Plus a range of events reflecting Beckett’s favourite sports.
HAPPY DAYS is funded by Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Fermanagh District Council and the London 2012 Festival.
HAPPY DAYS Founder & Artistic Director, Sean Doran said: “I am delighted to return to where my professional festival career began (Derry 1992) and where I had many rewarding artistic experiences as Artistic Director of the 1997 & 1998 Belfast Festivals”.
Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s Tourism Minister, said: “Enniskillen International Beckett Festival is a perfect complement to the wide range of events that already take place around the Fermanagh Lakelands. Culture is a key ingredient that sets Northern Ireland apart from competing destinations, and festivals such as this are crucial in attracting visitors. Innovative events help to raise the profile of a destination and I have no doubt this initiative has the capacity to grow to a level where it can attract overseas tourists. It will benefit the local economy by generating additional spend on accommodation, hospitality and travel”.
Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said: “We are very excited about the inaugural HAPPY DAYS which includes a wide variety of arts and sporting events. Fermanagh is proud of its association with Samuel Beckett and it is fitting that this innovative Festival is taking place in Enniskillen, the County Town”.
Ruth McKenzie, LOCOG Director of Culture (Cultural Olympiad), said: “I’m delighted that this festival, dedicated to one of the greatest world writers Samuel Beckett, will be collaborating with the London 2012 Festival. With world class writing, comedy, music, and amazing scenery, HAPPY DAYS is bidding to become one of the great world festivals and we’re pleased to be supporting it”.
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