First Islander festival pulls in holiday crowds in Lisnaskea

Mark McCambridge of Arborist singing in Belle Isle Castle.  DP48

Mark McCambridge of Arborist singing in Belle Isle Castle

MUSIC and storytelling in some of Fermanagh’s most breathtaking locations provided the basis for the inaugral Islander Festival, which ran over the May bank holiday weekend in the Lisnaskea area.

The four day music, arts and food festival was centered around Upper Lough Erne and featured magical locations such as Belle Isle, Trannish Island and Crom Castle.

The festival aimed to showcase the very best of what Fermanagh has to offer, and what makes this county unique so venues included islands, castles and historic sites on or around the shores of Lough Erne.

Musicians, artists, gourmet food and traditional craft providers  gathered to celebrate the life of the lough.

And among the special guests playing the festival was singer/songwriter Duke Special, who performed in the Grand Hall  of the island castle at Belle Isle.

The best of Fermanagh cuisine and crafts was also there to be experienced at events such as Folk n’ Food at Belle Isle Estate and May Day at the Market, set in the historic Cornmarket of Lisnaskea.

Other unique experiences included a boat trip to the Trannish Island  Campfire sessions and  an unplugged session around the campfire from some of the festival favourites.

On Sunday, the Share Inishcruiser departed for a two hour cruise exploring the lesser known and most beautiful parts of Lough Erne while guests listened to local musicians and storytellers.

Also on Sunday Crom Castle was the venue for The McPhillimy Jazz Quartet and local Blues artists who played in the open air.

The castle also hosted the home-grown talents of the Fermanagh Choral Society.

For full pictorial coverage see the Fermanagh Herald, May 7.

This week, Ryan Smith, looks ahead to a new four-day festival coming to the county in May...


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