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Online Content for Derry Halloween 2020

  1. Terms of Reference

In order to assist Derry City and Strabane District Council in creating a full and vibrant online  programme content as part of Derry Halloween, a small dedicated funding opportunity has been made available to support organisations to deliver events programming that will be used in both their online assets and the Derry Halloween website.

  1. Background

Derry Halloween Festival programme 2020 will run from 28th October – 1st November 2020. This home-grown festival created by the people of the city 34 years ago offers visitors a unique and authentic experience, drawing on the City and districts rich artistic, historical, cultural and architectural offering creating a bespoke, fun and quirky event with wide appeal.  The festival enjoys mass support from local people, arts, cultural, business and tourism initiatives from across the Region and continues to support the development of new, innovative and imaginative festivals and participative events year on year.

Derry Halloween has established itself as a unique visitor experience in Northern Ireland annually attracting international visitors from across the world.  Whilst many destinations celebrate Halloween, any visitor to the City during our annual Halloween celebrations will tell you that no one does it quite like Derry!

In 2019 the festival attracted over 140,000 visitors to a wide programme of events and plans were afoot to yet again deliver a spectacle for 2020.  However, with the current Worldwide Pandemic COVID19, there has been a significant impact on festival and events globally and it has become apparent that the delivery of Derry Halloween in its current format is unrealistic, therefore Derry Halloween 2020 will be very different. This year’s programme will run from with a significantly reduced programme of events and a move to more online content.

Following recent discussions with the marketing and media colleagues, a significant amount of this online content will now be needed.


Derry Halloween 2020 Festival Theme

The theme for the Derry Halloween 2020 is ‘The Awakening’ which acknowledges a festival rooted in Celtic traditions, a world awakening from a time of uncertainty and City with a giant spirit that is full of bespoke, fun and quirky stories still to be shared.  This creative vision is to help inform the artistic process.


The Seanchaí cried out after he drank from the well

I must summon the ancestors and make a new spell

“Come one come all, spirit and mortal

to Derry we go to pass through the portal”

First to appear saw Morrigan the shape shifting crow

Unleash a multitude of Banshees with eyes all aglow

Then came the Cailleach with her potions and charms

Followed by Walter stepping from his cold coat of arms

And then the armies of Ulster on the cities walls

Again the Seanchaí cried we must illuminate the night

Burn beacons bright for after darkness comes the light

As the veil between this world and the other grows thin

It’s time for the Awakening and release Samhain spirits within.


The theme and accompanying poem have been devised to act as a creative tool that engages and provides for connections to be made within local, national and international geographies and cultures.  This creative vision will help inform the artistic process in the development various characters within the poem, who include the Seanchaí (storyteller) and Walter De Burgh reputedly the skeleton who featured on the City’s coat of arms.  Also featured are Witches, Banshees, Red Branch Knights and the Morrigan that draw from our collective rich mythology and legend which can feed into the context of the theme.


  1. Specification

We are now seeking applications from Arts & Cultural organisations for online programming that deliver an interpretation this theme.

Event:              Derry Halloween – The Awakening

Dates:              To be pre – recorded and allocated a scheduled slot on Derryhalloween.com between Oct 28th – 1stNovember 2020.


Location:          Proposals to include unique city locations that best sells Derry Halloween Online

Theme:             The Awakening

Audience:         Not for children (10 years plus)

Brief                 The purpose of this application is for proposal from interested organizations to form part of this year’s Derry Halloween Digital content.  Any content developed to be premiered first via the Derry Halloween platforms.

Projects/events taking place will be supported between £500 – £750 subvention. Amounts will be Subject to Award Criteria and the number of organisations that apply.

Artists/ Organisations are responsible for the production, filming and delivery of the 5-30 minute performance for digital broadcast.  This is an estimated timeframe, videos maybe shorter but will be assessed based on content.

Final Videos must be received by:  21st October 2020


  1. Information to be provided

It is Council’s objective to ensure that innovative, bespoke and exciting arts and cultural programming will improve the appeal for local, national and international visitors. Proposals that appeal to a wider cultural audience are encouraged.

Proposals should clearly:

  • Outline proposal Description
  • Venue and Location Proposal
  • Theme & Artistic Excellence
  • Experience
  • Budget
  • Marketing

Closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on Thursday 17th September 2020 by emailing Jacqueline.whoriskey@derrystrabane.com

Council now seeks proposals from organisations for inclusion in the festival website.

Applicants should provide a creative proposal outlining a description of the proposed animation/activities/entertainment/ performances and an indication of any proposed fee for the activities, hours available.

All successful applicants are required to provide full marketing information on the event to enable Council to promote through their marketing channels.  All promotional material on the event must include the council logo and the Derry Halloween logo.  Council reserves the right to withhold funding from any event, which does not provide marketing information details and does not include the appropriate logos.

Any queries on the quotation or eligibility of your involvement during the festival should be directed to;

Jacqueline Whoriskey Festival and Events Officer, Derry City & Strabane

District Council, 98 Strand Road, Derry, BT48 7NN,


Online Content Subvention Application