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Thousands of people attended an outdoor gig in Belfast last night

The event at Falls Park was part of the annual ‘Féile an Phobail’ community arts festival.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE attended last night’s ‘Féile an Phobail’ music and arts festival in Belfast, believed to be the largest outdoor event on the island of Ireland since the pandemic began. 

The biggest community arts festival in Ireland returned this year for its 33rd year and runs until 15 August. 

Last night saw thousands of people gather just outside Belfast city to watch DJs Paul Van Dyk, Darren Styles and Judge Jules take to the stage. 

Those attending the event were required to show either proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 within the past six months or a negative lateral flow test result. 

Last week people queued at a vaccination centre in Belfast for a chance to win tickets for the event at Falls Park.

The first 500 who received the Pfizer jab at Falls Park on Tuesday walked away with free tickets to ‘Féile an Phobail’ music night. 

The initiative comes as the youngest age groups have proven the slowest in Northern Ireland to take up the vaccine.

The festival’s director Kevin Gamble said they had been working very closely with the Department of Health to plan events in the safest way possible this year.

“Feile an Phobail over the last 34 years has always shown leadership, particularly in west Belfast and north Belfast, and if we can help support the health trusts in driving up the vaccinations, this is us playing a very small part in that process,” he said.

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“Feile’s diversionary night is one of the most popular nights in the city every year, thinking outside the box, we thought how we can we drive up the vaccination programme in west Belfast and particularly get young people vaccinated, and we came up with the idea of encouraging young people to come along, get their first dose of the vaccination and in return they would get a ticket for the diversionary night.”

Gamble said they were delighted to bring back live events this year after last year’s lockdown, adding that the demand for tickets has been enormous.

“If you think back to when the pandemic started, the arts were one of the first sectors to close down and one of the last to reopen, so we’ve been working very hard to show that we can get back to live events and get back to doing what we do best which is entertaining the public,” he said.

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