Northern Ireland

Music lovers enjoy Londonderry peace concert

Thousands of music lovers enjoyed a night to remember in Londonderry's Ebrington Square for the Peace One Day concert.

Jude Law hosted the concert which marked the start of the London 2012 Festival .

Pixie Lott, Newton Faulkner and Imelda May headlined a bill that also featured Derry band, The Wondervillians.

Tickets for the event were free after film producer Michael Hamlyn offered to pay for them.

He said it was a "fabulous city" and he was "delighted to make the gesture".

However, Mr Hamlyn - who has many connections with the city - played down his role calling it a "little contribution".

Ruth Mackenzie, director of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, said it was a beautiful square in which to celebrate.

"We wanted to create a real buzz about the fantastic programme in 2013.

Image caption Jude Law said it was apt for Peace One Day and the Cultural Olympiad to work together

"Our festival is celebrating the Olympic Games that is a once-in-a-lifetime event - we wanted a once-in- a-lifetime cultural event to match the sport," she said.

"Peace One Day is an incredible organisation where artists have managed to get a world peace day from the United Nations.

"Jude Law, the ambassador, and founder Jeremy Gillie have been around the world and managed to get four million children innoculated, thanks to the global truce which has allowed aid workers to go in and work with young people around the world. That is a fantastic cause."

Host Jude Law said: "Any opportunity for people to get together and have fun is a good thing.

"If you go back to the origins of the Olympics, it was always about truce as well and that's why it seems so apt that Peace One Day, as an organisation, is working alongside the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Image caption Playing to the crowds at the Derry event

"For the two to combine and for there to be a heart and a good reason for people to celebrate is only a good thing, I'm all for that."

The former Army barracks is expected to host more than 40 major events throughout 2013 when Derry will be the UK's City of Culture.

Mr Hamlyn said 2013 would put "Derry back on the map again for the right reasons".

"I was so happy when you got the bid that I thought I might help," he told BBC Radio Foyle.

The concert is part of a wider series of events promoting the Global Truce campaign, which is backed by the London 2012 chairman, Lord Coe and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon.

The culmination of the Global Truce campaign will be a Peace One Day concert in London, at which Elton John will perform, on 21 September.

Follow @teresamcraig on Twitter for updates on the Peace One Day concert.

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