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Full Programme for Open House Festival Revealed

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

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The full programme for Bangor’s Open House Festival 2019, Ireland’s only month-long festival, has been revealed.

King of the chat show sofa, Sir Michael Parkinson, leading forensic psychologist, Kerry Daynes, and BBC Radio 6 Music’s poet-in-residence, Murray Lachlan Young are among the multitude of artists and performers joining The Specials, Villagers and The Staves at this year’s Open House Festival Bangor in Co. Down this August.
Local artists on this year’s lineup include three Bangor playwrights, such as Arts Council ‘Major Individual Artist 2019’ awardee Carol Moore; DJs including Boiler Room alumnus Bobby Analog, and Mark Blair; Ronnie Greer with his Blues Band; and author and former Newcastle United player, Paul Ferris.

Work by internationally acclaimed artist and video maker Charlie Whisker will also feature as part of the festival, while his former partner, Dublin author Julia Kelly, will be talking about her book, Matchstick Man, which details Charlie’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

This will be the seventh edition of the Open House Festival which has more than tripled in size since 2013. The event features headline national and international artists alongside local musicians, writers, chefs and other creatives, as well as bespoke events such as Folk on a Boat and the Bangor Rocks Musical Bus Tour – a specially curated music inspired bus tour of the town, visiting the birth places and stomping grounds of some of Bangor’s most famous musical offspring, including Snow Patrol, Foy Vance and Two Door Cinema Club.

The festival celebrates Bangor’s creative success stories and sea-side heritage – the main reason the festival was born. Over the past six years, the festival has established itself as a vibrant grassroots celebration where the seaside town itself is the true star of the show. Under three hours by car or train from Dublin, it’s the perfect place for a ‘stay-cation’ this summer. In just a night, visitors can take in four or five festival events.

Speaking at the launch of the event today (06.06.2019), festival Director, Kieran Gilmore commented: “As well as being our biggest, this year’s festival is probably our most eclectic yet. Now in its seventh year, the festival has firmly established itself as an annual summer highlight on the Irish festival scene attracting high-quality, world-class international acts. Aside from welcoming such household names as Sir Michael Parkinson and Alan Johnson, and ska legends The Specials, it is a true celebration of Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage and particularly embraces Bangor’s vibrant creative scene.

“Alongside all the music, literary and theatre events, the festival also showcases the incredible local produce from the area. We have Irish whiskey tastings, lots of quirky food events, a local brewery Taproom takeover and tasting events in Donaghadee’s brand new Copeland Distillery.”

Around 45,000 people are expected to visit the festival throughout August from across Ireland and the UK. Tickets start at just £5 and more than one third of the 163 events are free.

See here for full details of the 2019 programme.

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