A major new festival aimed at boosting Irish tourism and Ireland vacations will be taking place in the historic city of Boston starting in September.
The three-day event, entitled iFest, will take place at the Seaport World Trade Center starting on the 26th September. It is estimated that the event will cost in the region of $4 million to put together, with the aim of showcasing the culinary, arts and sporting stars of Ireland. The planned festival is the brainchild of the Irish hospitality industry supported warmly by politicians to help promote Irish tourism, as reported recently in the Boston Globe:
“It really will immerse visitors in the best of Irish culture in an experimental, engaging and fun way,” said Rachel Kelly, the Chief Executive and founder of iFest. “The goal is to give people a fabulous Irish experience to enjoy.”
During 2013, Ireland hosted thousands of events which formed part of “The Gathering”, a massive tourism scheme aimed at enticing the millions of Irish Diaspora from across the globe to make trips to Ireland. The scheme proved to be hugely successful with an estimated figure of 250,000 visitors making the trip to Ireland during the yearlong celebrations.
In an effort to build on the solid platform created by “The Gathering” celebrations, Ireland will be taking to the road in 2014. The inaugural festival will be taking place in Boston, a city notorious for it’s rich Irish heritage and a large proportion of the city’s popular of Irish descent.
iFest Chief Executive and founder Rachel Kelly is hopeful that the festival will become a success and has plans to expand it to more US cities and other locations across the globe. Kelly stated that they ultimately aim to attract more than 500,000 visitors by 2018.
Boston’s iFest will include documentaries, a genealogy class, cooking demonstrations from well-known Irish chefs, meet-and greets with Irish sports stars, and readings from Irish writers. Top events, resorts and luxury hotels in Ireland will be featured at the festival. Bands and artists such as Moloney of the Chieftains, the National Concert Hall, Heathers, Damien Mullane, and the Riptide Movement will also perform.