Local professional dance company Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre is launching the first ever Inside Outside Youth Festival, from November 27-29, showcasing fantastic creative work by young people aged 15-21 from across Fermanagh.

Building on the highly-successful Inside Outside Festival established in May, the Youth Festival will take place over the final weekend of November and will bring together an eclectic programme of performances, presentations and discussions from and with young people across Fermanagh, via www.insideoutsidefestival.com.

Platforming dance, drama, music, visual arts and a unique conversation event, the inaugural youth festival will provide a dedicated platform for talented young local artists.

Invitations have been issued to schools across the county, and any young person aged 15-21 interested in sharing their artistic work is welcome to contact the festival to explore opportunities for participation.

In addition, the Youth Festival has established a committee of local young people to support the development of the programme and welcomes new members.

One such committee member, Ryan Higgins, is encouraging as many people to take part as possible. He said: “It’s great to have an event where young people are at the heart of it. It’s a great communal feel to see so many young people volunteer for such an important cause.

“With the current [Covid] situation, a festival like this helps unite us as a community through the arts.”

The inaugural festival in May programmed original work from established Fermanagh artists, Kat Woods, and Festival Director, Dylan Quinn. It also shared poetry readings from and by John Kelly, along with an appearance from Adrian Dunbar.

The youth festival is delighted to be working with the local music duo Niamh Carney and Philana Nolan, known as Laytha, to host its second Open Mic event on November 28 as part of the festival programme.

Youth committee member Raphaelle McCanny said: “I think this festival is a great opportunity to collaborate and meet with like-minded people. In these times, the arts are essential – imagine the lockdown without books, music or TV. The lockdown has shown us what’s really important.”

Taking into account the current health emergency, all activities will be online, and many will relate to the shared experiences of 2020.

Young people from across Fermanagh are invited to present a range of performances including one-minute monologues on personal experiences of the lockdown, photographs of ‘The world as I see it’, alongside short films of creative approaches to supporting positive mental health.

The diverse programme will include a unique dance event, ‘Dance at your Desk’, led by a number of young local dancers and will engage as many primary school children to perform a dance in their classrooms as possible, all at the same time on Friday, November 27.

Following the format of the original festival, which not only presented performances, presentations and events but also provided a platform for informed and engaged discussions, the Inside Outside Youth Festival will do the same.

On Saturday, November 28, in conjunction with Conversation NI, the festival will host a conference event that is open to people of all ages. Festival Director Dylan Quinn is encouraging as many people to participate as possible.

‘Talking about our Future: What is important to you and how do we talk about it?’ is a unique ‘open space’ online conversation led by the participants. The event will encourage all those involved to share their thoughts, considerations, worries and aspirations for the future.

All participants will need to take part is a computer, no specific knowledge or experience, as they will be guided through the process.

Dylan Quinn said: “At these challenging times we need to be creative in our thinking and our actions and we hope to inspire that.

“There is a lot of content being made available online for people to watch and download; however, we are missing out on the collective experience of attending a venue together.

“Whilst we can’t do that in the current situation, we wanted to try and recreate that feeling by curating an online youth festival, where you can connect not just with the performances, but also with each other – all from the comfort of your own home.

“We will all arrive at the virtual theatre to experience the performances collectively, and details will be available upon booking tickets. The festival aspires to create the sense of attending an event, despite being at home, yet still experiencing the creativity.”


In order to support the ongoing development and delivery of local professional and participatory arts programmes, the festival will be selling tickets. The full festival programme will also soon be available to view online at www.insideoutsidefestival.com.

You can follow the festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.The festival has been supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.