WOW Derry-Londonderry

About the festival

The inaugural WOW Derry-Londonderry took place in November 2013 as part of the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations. From the initial WOW Think In planning stages, the women of the city recognised the empowering capacity of the festival as a platform on which to discuss and debate issues that aren’t always easy to talk about but which need to be talked about, nonetheless. In a post-conflict society, the potential impact of this is significant.

Within weeks of the WOW Think Ins and months before the first festival took place in November, a group of these local women had formally constituted a group, North West Women’s Collective (NWWC), with the express intention of running WOW in the city as an annual event in partnership with WOW - Women of the World Festival.

Made up of Arts facilitators, retired health visitors, civil servants, young mums, accountants and entrepreneurs, the NWWC pooled their talents to work collectively and proudly to produce WOW Derry-Londonderry.

WOW Derry-Londonderry took place annually at The Playhouse from 2013-2016.

  • WOW Derry-Londonderry 2013 8-10 November

  • WOW Derry-Londonderry 2014 7-9 November

  • WOW Derry-Londonderry 2015 13-15 November

  • WOW Derry-Londonderry 2016 1 October

The festivals discussed everything from the heritage of the factory girls in the city and the role women played in keeping communities cohesive throughout the Troubles, to issues around ageing, breastfeeding, domestic abuse, access to education and living in a society where we are judged by how we look.

Notable keynote speakers included Dr. Urvashi Sahni on how she is encouraging young women in India to carry the torch of empowerment into their communities using drama and film and Shami Chakrabarti CBE on women in politics.

There were also very powerful schools days where schools across Derry-Londonderry got together for a day of youth-led programming.

About the organisers

WOW Derry-Londonderry was presented by the NWWC North West Women’s Collective – Derry/Donegal from 2014 - 2016, , and by Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013 in 2013.

NWWC is a constituted women’s group to assist the development of local women in the Derry & Donegal region of Ireland & facilitate the WOW Festival.

Discover more WOWs from around the World

WOW Festivals and events have taken place in more than 30 locations, reaching five million people on six continents since WOW was founded in 2010.