On the evening of Saturday the 6th of June 2015, Derry-Londonderry became the first city in the UK and Ireland to host its very own Obon Festival.

The festival took place at The Playtrail, Racecourse Road. There was fun for all the family from 7pm to 10.00 pm. There was traditional Japanese games, arts and craft workshops running throughout the evening along with a host of stage entertainment and cultural activities.

We had lively performances from Ibuki Taiko drummers, innovative dance collaborations from Fireworks DDTA and Create Dance, we had a special performance from Yukari Norris and the Hannari Club dancers from Carrickfergus, Japanese folk and singing from the Inishowen Gospel Choir.

Each person had the opportunity to write a message or aspiration on one of our beautiful hand crafted lanterns and the evening’s celebrations  culminated in a display of lights within the beautiful grounds of The Playtrail woods and amphitheatre. It was a night to remember for the celebration of Japanese taiko, dance and music!

All photographs taken by the super talented Gav Connolly.

You can watch the wee film of the evening here.