The SSE Arena, Belfast: Friday 4th to Sunday 6th May

Live show will transport fans straight into the world of Fast & Furious recreating the most awe-inspiring moments from the movies along with new stunts and story

  • Fast & Furious Live brings audiences closer than ever before to this extension of Universal Pictures’ record-breaking film franchise
  • World premiere on 19 January 2018 at London’s O2 arena will kick off global tour starting in Europe
  • Arena tour to make additional stops in 23 cities in 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK


Tickets will go on sale Friday 29th September at 9am via:

The SSE Arena, Belfast Box Office: Tel. 02890 739074
Book On Line:

Ticketmaster: In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):   0844 277 44 55 (ROL: 0818 719300)
Book On Line:


London: 21 September 2017 – Universal Brand Development, Fast Live Productions, MCD Productions and tour producers Live Nation Entertainment today announced that Fast & Furious Live will premiere in London at the world famous O2 Arena on 19 January 2018 before heading to The SSE Arena, Belfast as part of the first leg of the global arena tour. The action and excitement from one of the most popular and enduring film series of all-time will come to life in this ground-breaking live-arena tour.

Creative director and executive producer, Fast & Furious Live, Rowland French said: “It’s been years in the making, and we are beyond excited to finally show fellow fans what we have been creating in order to bring Fast & Furious Live to the global stage. With this mix of extraordinary stunts, special effects, cutting-edge 3D-projection mapping – as well as drivers pushing their own limits — every performance will create an unforgettable experience for the live audience. Twenty-three cities across 14 countries is just the beginning for Fast & Furious Live.”

The adrenaline-fueled, two-hour show is set to be the most spectacular live arena production ever produced, featuring precision performance driving and newly created physics-defying stunts. Using favourite cars and locations that criss-cross the globe along with key scenes from the film series – created via state-of-the-art 3D projection mapping – fans will be transported straight into this immersive extension of the Fast & Furious movies.

Fast & Furious Live will allow audiences worldwide to experience the extreme action sequences from the franchise through an authentic live experience,” said Vince Klaseus, President, Universal Brand Development. “With this live show, we are redefining fan access and bringing audiences closer than ever to their favourite movie moments.”

Audiences will feel the heat from flaming exhausts and marvel at vehicular acrobatics as scene after scene unfolds enhanced by the most advanced digital projection technology imaginable. Featuring several original cars from the films, as well as exact replicas of fan favourites — from Dom’s legendary Dodge Charger to the flip car from Fast & Furious 6, Fast & Furious Live will evoke some of the boldest moments from the franchise.

Thousands of the world’s best stunt performers and drivers applied for the opportunity to join the production and, following extensive auditions, have been whittled down to the ultimate elite team who have started a rigorous 4-month training camp in preparation for the world tour. They will be joined by some of the world’s leading parkour athletes resulting in a truly global cast who will be performing incredible stunts and never-before-seen live action. The cast includes stunt drivers Chris Burns and Jonathon Irwin – both from Northern Ireland.

Executive President Touring International Music, Live Nation, Phil Bowdery said: “As the world’s largest live-entertainment company, we have been part of many incredible shows, but we are especially thrilled to be working on Fast & Furious Live, which will offer fans a spectacle on an unprecedented scale.”

The European tour will debut with a ‘super-charged’ world premiere at London’s O2 arena on 19 January 2018 before heading across the continent to the biggest and best arenas including The SSE Arena in Belfast as well as massive shows in Belgium, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark.

Fast & Furious Live tickets will go on sale Friday 29th September at 9am via:

The SSE Arena, Belfast Box Office: Tel. 02890 739074
Book On Line:

Ticketmaster: In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):   0844 277 44 55 (ROL: 0818 719300)
Book On Line:


Presale information:

VIP Packages available at:

Further details can be found at

Belfast Gears Up for Ciclovia Belfast this Sunday!

It’s set to be ‘wheely good fun’ as Ciclovia Belfast gears up to create a traffic free cycle route in the heart of Belfast City for the third time.

The fun, free event is open to everyone, of all ages and abilities on Sunday 24th September 0930 – 12:30pm. There is no need to register.  Simply turn up and enjoy the traffic free cycle!

There will be lots of sporting and creative activities at the two hubs located at Botanic Gardens and Belfast City Hall as well as along the route itself; which runs from Botanic Avenue, Shaftesbury Square, Dublin Road, Bedford Street and Donegall Square West.  Route activity includes; music from Ulster Orchestra, buskers, circus entertainment, athletics, hip hop dancers, bling your bike, BMX demos, a 40 foot haulage truck to educate drivers and cyclists on road safety – plus much more!

Spanish for cycle freeway, Ciclovia Belfast features the closing of a section of streets to allow cyclists, of all ages and abilities, to cycle a traffic-free route. Ciclovia is an international phenomenon with many cities across the globe, including New York and Paris, staging their own version.

The aim of Ciclovia Belfast is to promote community cohesion as well as physical and mental well-being and this year the Ciclovia Belfast team hope to see increased participant numbers.

To help participants get ready for Ciclovia Belfast a range of bike shops in the Greater Belfast area are offering free bikes checks – see website for details. If you want to take part but don’t have a bike – don’t worry you can hire a bike from one of the Belfast Bikes docks located along the Ciclovia Route.

Johnny Davis from Pioneer Group, Ciclovia Belfast event organisers, commented:

“When we piloted Ciclovia Belfast in 2015 we knew from participant feedback that there was a huge appetite for this event. Over the past two years we have seen cyclists of all ages and abilities take to the Belfast streets. We have had young first time cyclists with stabilisers to families on tandems and it has been a joy to watch.  With the help of key partners including Belfast City Council, Public Health Agency and Department For Infrastructure our aim is to make this year’s Ciclovia Belfast the biggest and best yet but we can only do this with the help of the participants.  We hope that lots of people will join us on the cycle freeway on Sunday 24th September and help us make ensure that Ciclovia Belfast 2017 becomes a regular fixture on the city’s event calendar.”


So get on your bike, get your friends on their bikes and cycle traffic-free in the heart of Belfast on Sunday 24th September 0930 – 12:30pm.  Also, there will be an official cycle along the Ciclovia Route with the Lord Mayor of Belfast at 10am at College Park East (McClay Library) entrance to Botanic Gardens.
Make sure you follow Ciclovia Belfast on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @CicloviaBelfast #CicloviaBelfast and We need you to help spread the word and help make this the biggest and best Ciclovia Belfast yet.



Ritchie Remo Rolls into Town

Join one of Ireland’s leading entertainers as he keeps you amused in an evening of songs and craic at Theatre at The Mill on Thursday 21 September.

Ritchie Remo is fast becoming one of the most sought after singers on the Irish country circuit.

With songs such as ‘Hit The Diff’, ‘Honey I’m Good’ and his current single ‘Galway Girls’, there is sure to be something for all the family.

Ritchie and his band roll into Theatre at The Mill, Newtownabbey for part five of the #CountryBoy tour.

This tour also includes a visually spectacular lighting show and as always there will be a surprise or two. Come along and see the show that everyone is talking about.

Tickets are available from Box Office T: 028 9034 0202 or online at


10 things to do in Northern Ireland next week

Discover NorthernIreland has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are 10 exciting things taking place this week (25 September -1 October)

  1. Locally Produced Beer Cider & Spirit Festival, Newcastle, 30 September. Set in the picturesque Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, this event highlights the best local beer, cider and spirit Northern Ireland has to offer. Local produce will also be available to sample and purchase at the festival. Tickets are £14 and includes three drink tokens and a souvenir glass.
  2. Raising Steam, Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen, 30 September. Headhunters Railway Museum commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the closure of railway services in Fermanagh and bordering counties with events for all the family, including several vintage steam traction engines raising steam once again and a screening of the iconic film, The Railway Children.
  3. The Home Key, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Derry~Londonderry, 29 September. A special performance from Lisa Hannigan, who is celebrated for her unmistakeable vocals. Her latest album, At Swim, which takes a turn into darker more reflective territory, features an inspired acapella version of Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Anahorish’ taken from his early collections.
  4. Guitar Night – Thomas Leeb, Belfast, 28 September. The Crescent Arts Centre is delighted to present the first ever Belfast Guitar Night, which will feature the amazing Thomas Leeb. Leeb is a skilled guitar player, with his first solo performance at aged fifteen, he is now a frequent performer at concerts and festivals in Asia, America and Europe.
  5. Murder Mystery Evenings, Cookstown, 29-30 September. Lissan House sets the scene in 1943, when war rages abroad but at the ‘Big House’ the enemy lurks within. There has been a murder but who dunnit? What has ice-cream got to do with it? Fatal attraction, fun and forensics. Come dressed to kill in 1940’s style service or civvies. Tickets include a glass of bubbly on arrival and a hot buffet supper. Book early to avoid disappointment on 028 8676 3312.
  6. Mister Maker, Belfast, 30 September–1 October. CBeebies’ Mister Maker is coming back to the Grand Opera House by popular demand in his smash hit live theatre tour. With a fabulous supporting cast and art at its heart, this fantastic live show encourages Mini Makers and grown-ups to sing, dance and make some noise.
  7. The Unholy Gospel Band, Downpatrick, 29 September. The Unholy Gospel Band is a first in Northern Ireland with its authentic American gospel music delivered live and straight from the soul. Featuring songs by Mahalia Jackson, The Staple Singers, James Brown and many more. See them perform at the Down Arts Centre from 8pm.
  8. The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Belfast, 26 September. The Australian Pink Floyd Show returns to the SSE Arena with a new set of Pink Floyd songs – ‘The Best Side of the Moon’ incorporating a full performance of what many would call the most iconic rock album of all time.
  9. Country comes to the Forum, Derry~Londonderry, 26 September. Millennium Forum Theatre and Conference Centre hosts ‘Country Comes to the Forum.’ A night of entertainment with great country acts, fun and laughter with all proceeds going to a local charity.
  10. Strabane Market, Strabane, 29 September. On the last Friday of every month from April – December, the Alley Theatre will welcome the very best of artisan traders, offering visitors a friendly shopping experience with a wide selection of speciality foods and handmade crafted products.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit


Over 700 jobs to be created as work begins on £30m motorsport centre of excellence

PREPARATORY work has now begun on an international motorsport centre of excellence that is set to deliver huge economic benefits and put Northern Ireland on the global racing map.

An estimated 700 jobs will be created in the 18-month construction phase of the £30m Lake Torrent development which will transform 163 acres of former clay pits in Coalisland, County Tyrone, into a world-class motorsport complex with a championship racetrack and motorsport training centre for Northern Ireland.

Up to 80 part-time and temporary positions will also be required to provide ancillary services such as security, engineering, promotions, marketing, etc with significant spin-off benefits for local retailers, transport and accommodation providers.

Approximately 25 full-time jobs will be created on completion to run and maintain the track on a daily basis with an additional 50 staff required on race days.

Earlier this month, Mid Ulster District Council granted planning permission for the first phase of work which includes the race circuit, pits, medical centre, restaurant, hospitality suites, six business units and a crèche, as well as a new public ring road to bypass the town and facilitate easy access in and out of the Lake Torrent centre.

This first phase is due to be completed in early 2019 but the potential for further jobs within the overall complex is also huge with plans for the second phase of works submitted to build a further 90 retail and business units, and a range of community and leisure facilities including a hotel, cinema, theatre and more food outlets.

Talks are also ongoing to develop an apprenticeship programme that will offer specialist skills training on-site across a range of engineering disciplines including welding, fitting and the building and servicing of motorcars and bikes.

Lake Torrent is the brainchild of Manna Developments founder and motor-racing enthusiast David Henderson, who lives in Islandmagee, County Antrim, but whose roots are in County Tyrone.

Speaking today about the development for the first time, Mr Henderson said:  “This is an historic day for the town of Coalisland, the county of Tyrone and for the whole of Northern Ireland as we finally start preparatory work on Lake Torrent, a dream of mine that has been 15 years in the making but is now a reality.

“I would like to offer my thanks for the incredible support of the local community, and in particular to local MP Francie Molloy, without whom we would not be standing here today, and Mid Ulster District Council for listening to and considering our proposals which admittedly must have seemed very ambitious to all concerned,” he added.

“Together our vision is to regenerate Coalisland and the surrounding areas through the creation of an internationally recognised motorsport arena which will become a venue for regional, national and international competitions, aiming ultimately to host events like Super Bike and Saloon Car Championships, attracting up to 30,000 spectators per event.

“At the same time, we will be providing the local community with new opportunities through business, engineering, leisure, increased tourism, job creation, research and development.  So we are filled with a sense of pride to stand here today, cutting the first sods on a project that will drive change and transform lives in the area. 

“Motor racing in Northern Ireland started 90 years ago and is still going strong.  The development of Lake Torrent will extend that into the next 90 years and beyond, providing sustainable local employment both for skilled and unskilled workers into the future,” said Mr Henderson.

MP for Mid Ulster Francie Molloy (Sinn Féin) said:  “This is a great project.  When David first approached me about a site I said I have the ideal place… the clay pits in Coalisland.  He outlined his proposal of a safe motor racing track and all of the associated elements within the centre, and we discussed job creation and skills training for the area.

“Aside from the economic benefits in the construction of Lake Torrent, to have an on-site hotel and thousands of visitors to spread around the hinterland is just magic.  It’s just what we needed and David has the vision and passion to deliver it.”

Welcoming the work starting on site, Councillor Kim Ashton (DUP), Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said:  “With the beginning of this project comes substantial investment and employment, the rejuvenation of an unused site, and the development of a centre of excellence for motorsport which will attract significant visitor numbers.  I am delighted to see work start and wish Lake Torrent well at this milestone in the project’s development.”

The Lake Torrent site is located within a two-hour drive of most of Northern Ireland and is within easy reach of the M1 Motorway, just a 40-minute drive from Belfast, providing direct access to two International airports and sea ports.

British motorsport design firm Driven International Ltd has been appointed as the race track designer, working alongside a number of local companies including Contract Ground Services (CGS), Clarman Architects, McWilliams & Co Quantity Surveyors, and Maneely & Co Estate Agents.

The track is expected to be an FIA and FIM approved 3.6km (2.2 mile) undulating course, offering 12 turns and a mix of technical and high speed sequences, accompanied by supporting facilities such as pit garages, spectator and hospitality areas.

We would like to thank our team of designers including Driven International and Clarman Architects,” said David Henderson.  “Working with them to refine our plans over the last few months has been a great experience.  

“We set out to invest in the local community and to leave a legacy for the future generations in Coalisland.  Our focus has always been on the creation of jobs in the local area on a short- and long-term basis.  Lake Torrent provides a massive opportunity for young entrepreneurs and small businesses to come to Coalisland and bring in new technology, ideas, and investment into the region, providing opportunities for tourism and businesses to flourish,” he concluded.

Shania Twain Announces 2018 UK & Ireland Tour!

The SSE Arena, BELFAST: Saturday 29th September 2018

Tickets on Sale: Friday 29th September

New Album ‘NOW’ Released 29th September

Having stolen the show at Radio 2’s Live in Hyde Park earlier this month, multiplatinum, multi-award winning Shania Twain announces 6 unmissable UK & Ireland arena dates for autumn 2018 – the first time Shania has toured here in 13 years!


Shania will play The SSE Arena Belfast on 29 September – tickets go on sale Friday 29 September at 10am


The SSE Arena, Belfast Box Office: Tel. 02890 739074
Book On Line:


Ticketmaster: In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):   0844 277 44 55 (ROL: 0818 719300)
Book On Line:

With the imminent release of her stunning new album ‘NOW’ (out 29th September on Virgin/EMI) and three decades into her storied career, Shania Twain has never sounded better.  Containing the singles ‘Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed’ (which impacts Sept 29th) and the joyful lead track and radio mainstay ‘Life’s About to Get Good’, ‘NOW’ is the first time Shania has assumed the role of sole songwriter and co-producer.

Following recent performances on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘The One Show’ as well as the Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Chris Evans, Shania feels “its time to get back out there and give the music a chance to live a life!” and so will embark on her first UK & Ireland tour since 2004’s huge Up! Tour.

Shania plays the following 2018 shows:

Friday 21st September:                  GLASGOW, Glasgow SSE Hydro

Saturday 22nd September:            MANCHESTER, Manchester Arena

Monday 24th September:             BIRMINGHAM, Birmingham Arena

Wednesday 26th September:      DUBLIN, 3Arena

Saturday 29th September:            BELFAST, Belfast SSE Arena

Tuesday 2nd October:                     LONDON, London O2 Arena

Tickets for The SSE Arena, Belfast go on sale 10am Friday 29th September and are available from Ticketmaster and The SSE Arena box-office.

Fans can pre-order the new album via the official Shania UK store to get access to an exclusive pre-sale for tickets. More details can be round here

Shania is a five-time GRAMMY Award-winner and the reigning Queen of Country Pop. With 90 million albums sold worldwide, Shania remains the top-selling female country artist of all time. Shania’s albums include her Platinum-selling 1993 debut, Shania Twain; the GRAMMY Award-winning, Double Diamond-selling 1995 release, The Woman in Me; Come On Over, the best-selling studio album in Soundscan history by a female artist in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time with over 40 million units sold worldwide; and UP!, Shania’s third consecutive Diamond-selling album release.

Recognizing her indelible impact and achievements in music, Shania is the first and only female artist to receive CMT’s Artist of a Lifetime Award. She was also honoured with the Icon Award at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony. Shania’s hits include “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One,” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”.


What’s On Causeway Coast and Glens

Art Exhibition – Brain and Lisa Ballard

Date: 16th – 30th Sept

Time: Mon – Sat: 09.00 – 17.30, Sun 11.00-17.00

Venue: Gallery 1608, Bushmills

Contact:   Tel no: 028 2073 1324

The most important exhibition in the North West this year. We are thrilled to host this father and daughter show featuring new work from both artists. Join us on Saturday 16th September at 2.00pm for a glass of wine at the official opening of this important exhibition.


Causeway Coast Marathon

Date: 23rd Sept

Time: Ultra Marathon 7.15am
Challenge Walk 07:30
Marathon 09:30
Half Marathon 12:30
10k Run / Walk 14:30

Venue: Portballintrae Village Hall

Contact:   Tel no: 028 7034 4723

The Causeway Coast Marathon will take place on Saturday 23 September 2017. Runners from across the world will once again step up to the start line in one of the Causeway Coast events. Having established itself as one of the most scenic marathons in the world the 2017 event is set to attract participants from across the globe that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this fantastic route. The times shown are provisional.  You will receive your final information 72 hours before the event start which details times. Times are dictated by the tide, and may be 1 hour earlier, or 1 hour later. Registration on website the


Damhead Miniature Railway

Date: 23rd Sept

Time: 12.00-17.00

Venue: 48 Damhead Road, Coleraine

Contact:    Tel: (028) 2587 8237 Mob: (07703) 254 595

Damhead Miniature Railway, in the heart of the countryside between Coleraine and Ballymoney, is a great place to visit with the children. The small trains can be travelled on by both the kids and adults and the track covers one third of a mile. There are picnic facilities on site.


Young Frankenstein

Date: 23rd Sept

Time: 20.00

Venue: Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, Castle Rock

Contact: Tel no: 028 9032 5913

This horror comedy classic in the creepy surrounds of the derelict Downhill Demesne. Like most of his other films, Young Frankenstein is director Mel Brooks’s loving homage of a classic story.


Explore the Roe

Date: 23rd Sept

Time: 10.00

Venue: Roe valley Country Park, Limavady

Contact:    Tel No: 028 2075 2100
Join Loughs Agency Riverwatch Team and The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust, as we investigate the River Roe. We will be looking at maps of the River Roe and the Roe Valley as well as investigating the species of fish and invertebrate that inhabit the River itself. Learn how the Loughs Agency monitors and protects the river system and how you can do your bit in keeping the River Roe healthy. Free event. To register contact:


Community Archaeology Open Day

 Date: 23rd Sept

Time: 10.00 & 12.30

Venue: Location to be advised

Contact:    Tel No: 028 2075 2100

Become an archaeologist for the day and learn some new skills such as trowelling, surveying and identifying artefacts. You can join in this exciting adventure at our archaeological site to be confirmed. Discover the history surrounding this site, see the discoveries made during the excavation and take part in some real excavating on site. To register contact:


Michael Henry Psychic Medium

Date: 23rd Sept

Time: 8.00pm

Venue: Riverside Theatre, Coleraine

Contact:      Tel no: 028 7012 3123

A night with a seventh son who is able to connect with those who have passed over. Tickets £19.50 see website for further information


Roe Valley Junior Triathlon

Date: 24th Sept

Time: see website

Venue: Roe Valley Leisure Centre, Limavady


Entry: £6. For registration and further information see website:


Conal Gallen – How’s Your Father

Date: 29th Sept

Time: 8.00pm

Venue: Riverside theatre, Coleraine

Contact:      Tel no: 028 7012 3123

Father and son team, Conal and Rory Gallen have written probably their funniest comedy play to date. Bridie Murphy opens Bridies Boutique B&B, much to her husband Wiilie’s bewilderment!   A night full of laughs at the Riverside.


The Illegals & Niamh Kavanagh

Date: 30th Sept

Time: 8.00pm

Venue: Riverside theatre, Coleraine

Contact:      Tel no: 028 7012 3123

The Illegals make their annual return to the Riverside with a show that celebrates the 40th anniversary of two of the best rock albums of all time – Hotel California and Rumours.  Tickets:  £18.00.


Coast and Country Super Spud Tour

Date: 6th Oct

Time: 10.30 – 18.30

Venue: Guests will be collected at the Causeway hotel, Bushmills

Contact:   Tel no: 07912 408 256

Adding to our unique foodie tour family, we are delighted to launch a new collaboration with the Northern Ireland Potato Festival 2017 at the beautiful location of the Giants Causeway for our Coast and Country tour series. This guided tour by luxury coach will showcase some of the best local produce the Causeway Coastal Route has to offer, with our humble spud being the star attraction. Sit back, relax and savour the flavours that make this area and our award-winning produce so unique.


The Northern Ireland Potato Festival

Date: 6th – 7th Oct

Time: 10.00 – 17.00

Venue: Causeway Hotel, Bushmills

Contact:   Tel no: 028 2073 1226

Northern Ireland’s favourite potato themed festival is promising a packed programme of activities and attractions for all ages on Saturday 7th October 2017. Fun will commence at 10:00 and run until 17:00 in the grounds of the Causeway Hotel. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a range of delicious local produce from gourmet burgers to speciality potato dishes, artisan confectionary and locally crafted beers & ciders or find inspiration at the Cookery Demonstrations & talks taking place throughout the day in the Food NI festival kitchen.

Newry sets sail with first City of Merchants Festival

Newry unveils a giant weekend festival spectacular starting Friday 29 September to celebrate its rich heritage

Newry scores a festival first this month as a brand new spectacular weekend-long event sails in to captivate a city renowned for its rich maritime and industrial heritage and its prowess in trade and commerce.

Organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and designed to showcase Newry’s unique history and success, the inaugural City of Merchants festival event kicks off on Friday 29 September, promising three days filled with fireworks, events, family fun, arts, culture and the best food and drink.

Only a few weeks away, Newry’s City of Merchants festival will wow audiences with a breath-taking firework spectacular set to music at Albert Basin on Saturday 30 September – guaranteed to set the wintry season off with a bang.

Woven through the stunning canals and waterways within a vibrant and confident city flanked by night-time projections at landmark sites, visitors can join Newry as it celebrates its proud history by taking part in a series of very special events or soaking up the festival atmosphere in its many restaurants, hotels, bars and cafés.

Launching Newry’s first City of Merchants festival, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said:

“We’re really excited to unveil a very special festival giant for Newry and for Northern Ireland that promises to complete a summer of fantastic fun and entertainment for hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far.

“Newry’s City of Merchants festival is a wonderful chance for everyone to celebrate this great city, its past, present and its confident future in ways that everyone can enjoy.”

With activities taking place from Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October – including ‘Merchant Quest’, ‘Trade Secrets’, fun-filled creative workshops and a special exhibition event at the world famous Bagenal’s Castle, visitors have plenty to choose from.

On Saturday from 5pm until 9pm, Newry’s famous quays will be a destination not to miss, with the arrival of a Tall Ship, a funfair, kids’ activities, boating trips, a ceili tent and a special pontoon on which to view the dazzling pyrotechnics as they light up the city’s sky. A floating stage with live music will add to the festival city vibe.

City of Merchants is supported by Newry Business Improvement District (BID), which invests in and delivers projects to improve local trade and to raise the profile of the area.

Newry BID manager, Eamonn Connolly, said:

“The City of Merchants festival is a fitting way to celebrate the rich and vibrant history of Newry as a place of trade and commerce. Newry is a bustling city with a bright future and we look forward to being a part of these celebrations.”

City of Merchants is the final event in the highly successful Giant Adventures season programme, delivered by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council which has drawn record crowds and included Footsteps in the Forest, Skiffie Festival, Festival of Flight and Wake the Giant.

Roisin Mulgrew added:

“The fifth outstanding Giant Adventures this year, this very special weekend looks both to the past and to the future, celebrating a special and unique history and heritage, a diverse culture and the legacy of Newry, its many waterways and its vibrancy as a place to live, to visit and to enjoy.”

For more details on City of Merchants, events and booking information, log on to or visit and  Follow #CityofMerchants on Twitter for more details.



A brand new week-long festival aimed at cocktail lovers will bring a top line-up of special events to Belfast this October.

Whether you are looking for a ground-breaking cocktail creation, want to watch some of the world’s best bartenders in action, or fancy taking a step back in time to the age of prohibition, Belfast’s first and only Cocktail Week has something for everyone.  

Running from October 16 – 22, the inaugural event invites cocktail lovers to whet their whistle and enjoy a jam-packed calendar of bespoke events taking place in bars across the Cathedral Quarter.

Kicking off the week in style, award-winning London establishment Swift will take up a special residency in The Merchant Hotel’s iconic Cocktail Bar from October 16.

Fresh from a big win at the Spirited Awards, where the bar was named Best New International Cocktail Bar 2017, husband and wife duo Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson will bring the Swift team to Belfast for a week-long takeover with innovative cocktails and their renowned Irish coffees on offer.

Festival-goers can also take a step back in time and experience the atmosphere and excitement of the birth of the cocktail at The Luggage Room takeover of Sixty6 (upstairs at The National).  Enjoy signature creations from the prohibition age from the acclaimed London based Luggage Room staff who will be mixing up The Darb (Citadelle Gin shaken with apricot brandy, Italian vermouth and lemon juice) and Barney Barnato (pisco stirred with Cocchi Americano, Pierre Ferrand dry Curaçao and aromatic bitters) along with juleps, cobblers, swizzles, imperials, punches, sours, flips and other popular concoctions of the time.

Continuing the festivities, Club Sixty6 will host an intimate whiskey masterclass on October 19, where guests will get a behind-the-scenes insight into the magic of whiskey distilling.  The bar will also cater for those who want to enjoy a non-alcoholic tipple with a Future of Mocktails Masterclass and an innovative mocktail menu, which will be available all week.

Ending the week on a high, guest speaker, author of the Curious Bartender range of cocktail books and award-winning bartender, Tristan Stephenson, will host a seminar exploring the art of mixing the perfect cocktail on October 22.  The famed bartender, co-owner of two of London’s hottest cocktail bars, Purl and Worship Street Whistling Shop, will give guests an exclusive opportunity to taste contemporary and classic cocktails with his own unique twist during the masterclass.  Tickets for this event will cost £10 and includes a drink on arrival.  Following the event, guests will be invited to raise a toast to end the week of celebrations with a free after party taking place in Club Sixty6.

Bronagh Bennett from the National Grande Café and Club Sixty6 and creator of Belfast Cocktail Week said;

“Belfast Cocktail Week is a way of showing that Belfast can compete on an international level alongside cities with great cocktail cultures such as London, Edinburgh and even New York.

“Belfast and Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector has come a long way in recent years and customers are really broadening their horizons.  The wide range of events taking place during the festival will appeal to everyone and I hope it encourages people to try something new.

“We are looking forward to bringing this week-long event to Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and hope it will be the first of many.’’

Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston, co-owners of Swift said;

“We are so excited to bring Swift to Belfast and The Merchant.  We will be bringing each of our bartenders over and will have something new and exciting on for each day as well as our Swift favourites.  The Merchant has been a long time inspiration to us so it will be incredible to showcase a little bit of London in the heart of Northern Ireland.”

Bars taking take in the festival include The Cocktail Bar and Berts Jazz Bar at The Merchant, The National Grande Café and Club Sixty6, Bullitt Hotel, Bootleggers, Muriel’s Café Bar, The Spaniard and Babel, the new rooftop cocktail bar at Bullitt, on its opening weekend.

Most events at Belfast Cocktail Week are free of charge and first come, first served.  Please check the website for details for ticketed events.

For a full line-up of events and further information on optional festival passes, visit More events are still to be announced and will be added to the line-up over the coming weeks.  A limited number of festival passes will also be available to purchase from The National Grande Café. The optional festival passes are priced at £10 and includes 25% off selected cocktails in participating venues (excluding The Merchant where instead festival pass holders will get a complimentary taster of punch with each cocktail purchased at The Merchant Hotel’s Swift Takeover.



The Björn Identity are undoubtedly Ireland’s greatest tribute to the world’s most famous super group ABBA, and they’ll be performing at Armagh’s Market Place Theatre on Friday 29 September.


Exceeding all expectations of ABBA tribute bands from their stunning costumes, vocal likeness and ABBA style choreography, to a perfect copy of Benny’s famous white Yamaha piano, this show is an authentic ‘ABBA in Concert’ experience unlike any other, featuring a guest performance from Richhill’s Hardy Memorial Primary School Choir. With all the glitz of the classic 70’s era, performing all of ABBA’s greatest hits from ‘Waterloo’, ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Super Trouper’, ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ and many more!

The Brandon McPhee Show returns to Northern Ireland and The Market Place on Friday 6 October, following its outstanding first tour last year. Already acclaimed for his unsurpassed skill on the button key accordion, Brandon is also rapidly gaining a following at home and abroad as a country music vocalist and guitarist. Brandon and his Scottish Country Band boasts some of the finest musicians around. Adding mirth and mayhem to the show, Scotland’s son of fun Eddie Rose will entertain once again with his great singing voice and fantastic sense of humour. And completing the show is Special Guest Radio Ulster’s favourite presenter Hugo Duncan

On Friday 6 October, ‘The Outlaw Country Show’ will feature the songs of Steve Earle, Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard and John Prine. Expect to hear ‘LA Freeway’, ‘Hello in There’, ‘If I Needed You’, ‘Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, ‘Angel From Montgomery’’, Techumse Valley’, ‘Desperados Waiting On A Train’, ‘Up Against The Wall’, ‘Red Neck Mother’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Let Him Roll’, ‘Pancho and Lefty’, ‘All Of Me’, ‘Anyhow I Love You’, ‘Lake Marie’, and ‘Copperhead Road’.

Visit the website at for full details and bookings, or contact the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821. And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.