Derry-Londonderry Clipper Homecoming Festival 2012

The 2012 Derry-Londonderry Clipper was the first major international event of its kind staged in the city.  Over 200,000 visitors attended the 10-day festival.

During the festival visitors had the opportunity to visit the Clipper Round the World Race yachts and meet the crews, as well as take part in a programme of activities and attractions including a seafood festival, continental market, a marine environment zone, a marine heritage zone and free back-to-back concerts at Ebrington Square.

Milestone Inventive’s role involved programming the 10 day festival including event production of  large scale public spectacle events:

•       Race Arrival Celebrations

•       Departures Ceremony and Parade

•       Fireworks display

•       Water sports displays

•       Street Performance and Animation

•       The Creativity Zone

The creativity zone in particular was designed as a platform from which to promote the UK City of Culture 2013. In order to achieve this cultural showcase, we worked with various stakeholders and Derry based agencies and organisations including: The Millennium Forum, Culturlann, The Void Art Gallery, The Verbal Arts Centre, The Waterside Theatre, The Playhouse, The Nerve Centre and Stage Beyond.

We also worked with Derry City Council in relation to generating commercial revenue for the event; we put in place an outdoor bar and a corresponding pouring rights agreement with Diageo, as well as generating revenue through traders and amusements both at Ebrington Sq. and on the Quayside. In addition, we worked with the in-house festival team to identify where cost saving measures could be implemented within the existing budget.

We also worked with Derry City Council to develop and project manage a business engagement programme.  The main objective of this project was to overcome the risk that the City’s investment in the Clipper Homecoming Festival might cause displacement within local city centre business due to the concentration of visitors accessing the new quayside event side on the edge of the city. Milestone’s remit was to devise a programme of events which would seamlessly connect existing business, particularly hospitality providers with the event, event site and visiting audiences.

Initiatives developed included:

1.     A programme enabling hospitality business to host visiting teams,

2.     A set of specialised city trails – heritage, retail, gourmet, art and music – with associated trail maps directing visitors towards local retailers and hospitality services.

3.     A programme of street entertainment integrated with the Quayside programme ensuring that audiences were evenly distributed throughout the city.