This week, Ryan Smith, looks ahead to a new four-day festival coming to the county in May…
BELFAST singer Duke Special is the headline act in a new four-day festival coming to the county this May.
The ‘Islander Festival’ is being organised by ‘Upper Lough Erne Tourism Development Association’ tourism, and features four days of music, artists, food and traditional crafts.
Set across unique venues in the upper Lough Erne area, the festival will run from May 2, until May 5.
Amid a buys schedule, Duke Special potentially offers the biggest draw. Real name Peter Wilson, Duke is described as ‘dynamic, musically ambitious and bracingly eccentric’.
The festival opening takes place in Lisnaskea at ‘The Moat Ring’, the inauguration place of Maguire cheiftains on May 2.
The festival launch will feature homegrown talent alongside stunning views across the county. This is a free event, open to all, with a small number of tickets available on a first come, first-served basis.
The following day, things will really kick off.
‘Folk ‘N’ Food’ at Belle-Isle estate, is family friendly event will have plenty to keep the kids entertained while the adults enjoy the delights of some of the best food produce Northern Ireland has to offer.
The Emerald Armada and friends will be providing their rousing, energetic musical mix to the days event.
The laid back ‘campfire session’ later that day at the Trannish Island Bothy with artists from across the festival.
Back to Belle-Isle on the third, sample some of the best of Ireland’s top musicians in one fell swoop in the beautiful setting of Belle Isle estate’s grand hall and drawing room.
Duke Special performs here with overnight accommodation will also be available within the castle for the evening and can be booked at a special discounted rate there.
At Crom estate, on May 4, there will be jazz and blues in the garden.
Music will be provided by the McPhillimy Jazz Quartet as well as local Jazz artists who will be playing the open air venue by the shores of Lough Erne.
At the Crom Castle west wing, featuring Fermanagh Choral Society and special guests, this Sunday evening event sees another of the county’s finest venues brought into play the sounds of the renowned choral group who have put together a unique programme especially for Islander Festival.
At the Share Centre, there’s a ‘Hooley in the Hall’ with Sons of Caliber on Sunday May 4, with plenty of foot stomping music to keep young and old alike entertained.
Also on the Sunday, Share’s luxury heated cruiser, The Inishcruiser, will host an up close and personal session with some of our favorite acts as well as exploring the lesser known and most beautiful parts of Upper Lough Erne.
And ‘May Day at the market’, takes place with ‘The Fair Ladies’ running a specialist craft fair in the historic Cornmarket yard with local musicians playing out year one of Islander Festival.
Any musicians or artists that are interested in being part of this exciting new festival please contact Barry Flanagan on 02867723590 or e-mail email@example.com