YES Festival – Ireland’s first cross-border, all women, multi-arts festival – looks set to become an annual event.

The festival welcomed around 20,000 festival goers across Donegal and Derry between 13-16th June.

On the final day of YES (16 June), festival goers were treated to an epic 18-hour event, as ‘Bloomsday’, the annual celebration of Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses, became ‘Molly Bloomsday’ for the first time ever. The famed Dublin locations of Ulysses were reimagined in venues and locations across Derry~Donegal.

Molly Bloomsday kicked off with an unforgettable, early start as Donegal’s The Henry Girls sang and played at the centre of Iron-Age sun-fort An Grianán of Aileach with a birdsong backing and the backdrop of spectacular views across the estuary of Lough Swilly sweeping northwards into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Henry Girls beginning Molly Bloomsday at the An Grianán of Aileach at Inishowen, Donegal, for YES festival.

In total, YES saw 117 performances featuring 684 homegrown and International artists, including musicians, actors, writers, dancers and politicians, all celebrating female creativity in the name of Molly Bloom.

Among the many highlights of the festival was a historic launch event to open the No Ordinary Women conversation series featuring First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill MLA and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly.

Yes, also saw the world premiere of five short films –The Molly Films, a fresh presentation of a literary masterpiece, directed by young London based Ukrainian filmmaker, Sophie Muzychenko and featuring Dame Harriet Walter, Fiona Shaw, Adjoa Andoh, Siobhán McSweeney and Eve Hewson. The Molly Films are available now to stream online at until midnight on Tuesday 25th June.

Seán Doran, Artistic Director of Ireland’s Arts Over Borders (producer of YES and Lead Artistic Partner of the overall ULYSSES European Odyssey project), said: “We all owe a big thanks to Creative Europe, the Department for Foreign Affairs, the NI Executive and Urban Villages, Derry & Strabane District Council, Shared Island and Creative Ireland for helping this new future vision to be born.”