09 Dec 2021

Ulster Uni students bring new lease of life to Derry Halloween  

Ulster Uni students bring new lease of life to Derry Halloween  

Ulster Uni students bring new lease of life to Derry Halloween  

Ulster University is one of the partners working with the Derry and Strabane Council to bring innovative events to this year’s celebrations. 

A cross-departmental group of students are merging their creative and technical talents to bring fresh ideas to the programme.

The university responded to a call out for creative content for this year's programme and the students rose to the challenge. 

Four original projects are to be unveiled during the Awakening the Walled City Trail, beginning this Friday. 

The first brings together Music, Performing Arts and Computing and Engineering students who have come up with an atmospheric installation to help transform Derry's Riverside into the ethereal world of the Whispering Wharf. 

A specially designed graphics installation will light up the Foyle Arts Building and animated scores will light up the interior of the building illuminating the pieces being played by the university's experimental music students. 

Computer Animation students breathe life into popular robotics creation NAO. The cute robot is already no stranger to YouTube thanks to Dr. Emmett Kerr. 

A clever animation featuring NAO in his new guise as a robot ghost out for some Halloween mischief will be created. Look out for his giant inflatable robot alter ego at the Strand Road Campus. 

There will be interactive zombie-led activity on campus as the Foyle Arts Centre is besieged by the living dead.

Drama students will lead groups on a sinister scavenger hunt through the building, using technology to outwit their zombie hunters. 

A student from the School of Computing, Jake Buchanan has developed a bespoke website for the event, full of tips as to how to spot a Zombie and how to prepare an emergency kit, available at 

Professor Victoria McCollum is currently working with the Nerve Centre to come up with the ultimate cinematic showcase of Northern Irish horror to be screened at the university over the course of the festival.  

Each night horror fans can view the very best productions hand-picked by the Cinematic team at Ulster University. 

Professor Tom Maguire, Head of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said it had been a brilliant experience for the students and a great opportunity to bring different departments together, "We are just delighted to respond to Derry Council's call out for a creative collaboration to help to expand the foot-print of the iconic Derry Halloween Festival this year. 

“Students and staff alike have gotten on board to offer an exciting programme featuring everything from a Zombie Apocalypse Scavenger Hunt involving students from Drama and Music, to a NI Short Horror Film Showcase curated by Cinematic Arts in partnership with the Nerve Centre and Dark Hedges Film Festival. 

"Our Magee campus is a vibrant, innovative and creative place to be. It is a space for the whole community to enjoy. We look forward to opening our zombie arms to welcome one and all [over the weekend]." 

Council Festival and Events Manager Jacqueline Whoriskey said she couldn't wait to see the new elements being brought to this year's programme by the Ulster University students. 

"We love a bit of collaboration and we are delighted to be partnering once again with Ulster University who bring a rich pool of new talent and ideas to our celebration.  

“It's fantastic to see younger people inspired by the event that has made such a name for Derry, and to see them put their own stamp on the programme." 
All of the events taking place at Magee are free but many are ticketed due to numbers.  

To book tickets for all the events visit Event Brite.  

More details are available at 

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