Féile an Phobail – or Festival of the People if you’re one of themmuns has been on the go since 1988. It was set up as an alternative to emptying your house of all the shite of the day and burning it at the end of your street to celebrate the end of Internment. The festival covers a whole range of activities from music, literature, drama and sports.
It starts earlier every year because as well as being a cushy money making scheme, it attracts bigger acts and arty farty types with packed diaries.
The festival takes place in venues all over West Belfast with the main 5,000 capacity marquee smack bang in the middle of the Falls Park.
What to wear
- If you’re a woman going to the marquee, you must head to Primark and stock up on the flowery things the wee girls are wearing on their heads, get a pair of plastic wellie boots that have never seen a bit of muck and probably won’t if the weather stays good.
- Men usually wear Che Guevara t-shirts or an item of clothing that calls for the release of some obscure prisoner exiled in a faraway land.
- If going to a play, you must wear your biggest most pretentious hat, sit in front of a stumpy person and pretend to be a critic. Stumpy won’t mind, they’ll just be glad you ventured into the West.
What to say
- Well mutchatchoe what’s a craic wi yeeee?
- I see ‘em ‘er anti peace types are still mischief making
- Stick at wee baddle a Kulov down your kecks so we don’t have to buy a drink at the bar
What not to say
- Har much? Are you havin’ a laff, d’you hink iss is the Grand Apera House?
- Bet ye all the Shinners gat free tickets
- Aye it wudda tuk me to go tilla Northern Bank to afford dis
Where to park
- Somewhere with CCTV
- Beside a cop jeep
West Belfast has the finest array of chippies and fast food restaurants. If you’re on a diet, you may as well pack your own lunch because you’ll never find something healthy along the Falls Road.
Féile has a reputation for being a political festival. If you’ve ever wanted to see a politician going nuts to the Rebs, then the Wolfe Tones Concert is your best bet. It’s also the only event that will cause offence, so get your transport booked if you want a whinge.