Mumford and Sons to headline this year’s Coors Light Open House Festival, Belfast

London s nu-folk finest, Mumford and Sons, are to headline the festival on Monday 6th September with an opening night hoe-down in Custom House Square, Belfast. This latest announcement represents a major coup for the festival as Mumford and Sons are arguably one of the most successful British acts of the last 12 months. Tickets are on sale NOW for  25 from Support on the evening will come from rising Americana star Lissie, and exciting new English folk artist Andrew Davie.

If you’re a fan of Mumford and Sons, then you’ll be a fan of the banjo, and should check out Completely Banjaxed – a night of Ireland’s top banjo-pickers in one of Belfast’s more exciting music venues – the Black Box. This is just one highlight of the festival’s full Irish Traditional Music line-up which also includes a tongue in cheek concert challenge “Girls are better than Boys… Or are they?!” featuring leading Belfast musicians Mebh O’Hare and Barry Kerr among others. Check out the website for the full line-up of trad gigs and sessions.

Belfast s own folk royalty, the Lowly Knights, are also announced for the launch of the nu-folk club night, Communion Belfast. The festival is very excited to be hosting the Norther Irish premier of this London based music club night and record label which was originally started by members of Mumford and Sons. The show takes place on the festival’s closing night, Sunday 12th September, in the Black Box – tickets just  10.

Coors Light Open House, the “not in a muddy field festival”, takes place in venues throughout the arts and cultural flavoured Cathedral Quarter in Belfast’s city centre, including a large marquee in Custom House Square. It’s already shaping up to be quite a line-up with Wilco, Iron and Wine, Seasick Steve, Modest Mouse, White Lies, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Felice Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Low Anthem, Field Music and Villagers all recently announced.

Open House also features Chillifest – a fiery food & music phenomenon that features funky festival sideshows such as helium karaoke and beard grooming and Ireland’s only hot chilli pepper eating contest. Hayseed Dixie have just been confirmed as the ChilliFest headliners for the afternoon of Sunday 12th Sep. All chilli heads are hereby given fit and proper notice.

For the most up-to-date line-up, further festival information and to book tickets simply visit

Coors Light Open House Festival is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

You are now entering Derry/Londonderry City of Culture 2013


On Thursday night the winner of City of Culture 2013 was to be announced at 7pm on BBC One during the One Show. Having to sit through an entire episode of the One Show is a nightmare at the best of times, however, tonight it doesn’t seem to matter because at around 7.25 the announcement is made and the Maiden City is crowned the UK’s first City of Culture. Mayor Colm Eastwood and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness are among the representatives from the city in Liverpool and as the news is streamed live to Derry-Londonderry the Guildhall erupts with cheers and applause for the second time in the space of a month – albeit for two different reasons.

The eyes of the media are on this Northern Irish City yet again, this time it’s about what we’ve done in the past combined with a hopeful, ambitious and expectant outlook for the future.

So, what does being titled City of Culture 2013 mean for Derry-Londonderry? There’s already talk of the Turner Prize, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Brit Awards all being held here. There’s believed to be job opportunities a-plenty in the next few years and hundreds of millions of pounds being injected into the local economy with flocks of tourists descending upon the City to see what the big fuss is about.

In my opinion, the most important factor of this win is that the copious amount of talent hidden behind bedroom doors and that remains secluded in practice rooms, art studios and school class rooms will be given the chance to shine and will hopefully have the vital platform from which the city’s young and gifted can kick start their careers.

One point I firmly believe that Mayor Colm Eastwood would agree with is that the second largest city in Northern Ireland needs a proper high spec and large capacity venue. Already members of the media and general public have been speculating that, if and when the Brit Awards arrive here, they can only effectively and efficiently be held in Belfast. However, many frustrated young people have been crying out for Derry/Londonderry’s own version of the Odyssey for a long time and I reckon the time is now for the City of Culture 2013 to be given it’s own arena to hold the bigger events that come with it’s new title!

This isn’t really the place to discuss the negative publicity the City and the North has received in the past week. It has to be mentioned though, if only to outline that this time of celebration  is the kick in the rear we need to let the violence and hatred of the past rest in history books. This is the chance the City has to set an example to the rest of Northern Ireland by showing that we can integrate all types of cultures in the city and we can accept each others differences that have acted as a division for too long.

More to the point, this is about positivity and creativity, and when walking through the City on Friday afternoon you could see pride in the faces of the young and old. You could feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for what’s in store in the years to come. So let’s not waste it, let’s take on this challenge, let’s get ambitious and let’s get creative, let’s set the standard high because you are now entering City of Culture 2013.

TJ, Belfast Rocks

Belfast Rocks is run in Belfast, right bang in the centre of the city. We work to list all upcoming live events in the city; if you are organising a live event in Belfast contact us.  Belfast Rocks is part of the Event Rocks suite.


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Joker Tattoo Show

Come Celebrate the press launch of Joker Tattoo Studio Belfast.

Featuring Live tattooing, Katie and the Carnival  and Circus madness .

Joker Tattoo studio invite you to celebrate the press launch of the Joker Tattoo Studio Belfast in true ‘Cirque du Freak’ fashion. Be prepared to be amazed at this not to be missed event which will take place on August 16th in Auntie Annie’s Attic.

Highlights of the event include Live tattooing by Joker, the opportunity for attendees to become circus freaks themselves with some theatrical help from one of London’s top celebrity make up artist Natalya Nair , your hair styled by one of Belfasts leading hair salons Blue and be privy to a special dark concoction of musical pleasures by Katie and the Carnival.

With a crack of the whip the ring master will commence the live tattooing show. …

Get used to the pain. Much of it lies ahead … ”

Get your freak on to one of Northern Ireland’s premier bands while transforming yourself into anything but ordinary with the help of MS Nair & Blue.Then one lucky guest will win some free tattoo time by Joker. Round up the night with truly delicious treats of bespoke carnival cupcakes by Ani & Lulu’s Cupcakery -made with a little love plus a bit of rock and roll- along with tailor made gift bags to take home.

Admission to the Joker Show is a strictly guest list press only event where Joker will be on hand to have pictures taken with tatted attendees and all of the other inked and circus madness that is the Joker Show.

‘The Joker Show’

is a one off event to which Joker Tattoo promises will be an evening that you will never forget. …

Do you want to join?
Show Time  – 7 pm.

Curtains Close – 9pm

For further information please contact Kristen or Sabrina

T: 07866351850/07545801997

E: /

Thanks to our sponsors which include:

Lookaly roundup June 2010

Popular Places in June

  1. Tannery, Moira
  2. Chiquito, Belfast
  3. Portrush Playhouse, Portrush
  4. Teatro, Belfast
  5. Wolfes Gourmet Burgers, Lisburn

Featured Town: Derry

Know somewhere good in Derry?

Write some reviews and help improve the area.

What we’ve been blogging

Lookaly gets you to number 1 on Google
Own or part of a small business? Add yourself to Lookaly for free. Others have and are seeing top results from Google.

Is there anywhere better than boojum?
The Mexican burrito bar tops the charts as the best place in Northern Ireland according to you.

We’re supporting #derry2013 for UK City of Culture
Results are announced 15th July – you can show your support too

Lookaly is a user review site that lets you find the best places and services in Northern Ireland. Anyone can rate and review somewhere based on their experience.

Guildhall Press Launch Debut Novel by Charlie Herron


launch debut novel

McCauley’s War
Charlie Herron

Corinthian Lounge, City Hotel, Derry
Friday 16 July at 7:30pm

Guildhall Press is pleased to announce the launch of McCauley’s War, a thoroughly entertaining debut novel from well-known Derryman Charlie Herron.

Set in Derry in September 1941, McCauley’s War is written through the eyes of the streetwise nine-year old Dickie McCauley, who dominates his friends and constantly outwits his elders. Torn between the foolish, drunken dreams of his father and the realities of family life in wartime Derry, Dickie’s antics with his motley gang bring unwanted attention to the doorstep of his long-suffering mother. These innocent scrapes, ultimately complicated by much darker deeds and local politics, lead to terrible consequences for the close-knit McCauley family.

McCauley’s War is a poignant and compelling story, told with an absorbing mix of humour, insight and affection. Dickie McCauley’s war is hard fought – and he takes no prisoners.

Hot on the tail of Derry finding out if it has secured the honour as the UK City of Culture 2013 this Thursday 15 July, Charlie Herron is the seventh author aged over seventy years of age to debut with Guildhall Press.

Born in Derry, but with strong Donegal connections, Charlie grew up in the Marlborough area of the city and was for many years principal of Foyle View School. Charlie’s love of spinning tall tales has stood him in good stead as a stalwart of the Colmcille Debating Society and as a four-time winner of the ‘prestigious’ Baron Von Munchausen competition. More recently known for his storytelling on local radio, Charlie continues to broadcast with storylines never far removed from his native Derry and Donegal.

On retirement, Charlie took to creative writing as a hobby and has never looked back as he explains: “McCauley’s War has been a pleasure to write. It began as a short story, but the characters took on a life of their own and I couldn’t put down the pen. It is a different approach to writing for the radio or short stories. You have to develop the characters more and keep track of the various plot lines while always trying to retain the reader’s interest. But I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and learned a lot from working with the team at Guildhall Press. They helped greatly and I am thankful to them, and the Arts Council, for giving me this opportunity. Here’s hoping everyone enjoys reading it!”

McCauley’s War by Charlie Herron is published by Guildhall Press. Available from local bookshops and priced at £6.95. The author is available for interview. For further details, please contact:

Guildhall Press, Unit 15 Ráth Mór Business Park, Bligh’s Lane, Derry BT48 0LZ, N Ireland. T: 028 71 364413; E:; W:

Supporting Derry for City of Culture 2013 at


PáircFEST 2010 is on the way! Major open-air rock concert for Co. Monaghan.

As the main summer concert season approaches, young people form this area are usually planning their trips away to the various venues. However this year they will have the option of enjoying some top class open-air entertainment nearer to home. PáircFEST 2010 is set for Newbliss, Co. Monaghan on Saturday 17th July and boasts a very impressive line-up to entertain its patrons from early afternoon to 11pm.

Top billing on the day will be 3 of the best selling tribute acts currently on the Irish circuit. AZ/DZ will headline, after Knights of Leon, who will be preceded by The Bon-Jovi Experience. Speaking of the up-coming event, organiser Adrian Thompson explained his aims for the day. ‘Our aim is to provide a top class event, run to the highest standards that gives those present the value for money they deserve’. Stated Mr. Thompson. ‘The first thing required for that is of course the bands. We have the best selling tribute bands as well as a number of high quality local bands to get things up and running’.

And it is a packed line-up. Headliners AZ/DZ are a guaranteed great night for all AC/DC fans. Covering all the bands major hits from classic albums ‘High Voltage’ through to the more recent ‘Back in Black’. The band pride themselves on their rocking live performances.

Knights of Leon are an Irish based tribute band playing the complete catalogue of Kings of Leon songs. They display an attention to detail like no other both in terms of musical ability and showmanship. Definitely a show that will be enjoyed. Indeed the Knights will also hit the stage at one of Irelands biggest events this year, when they play Oxegen.

The Bon Jovi experience was formed in 2006 to bring the music of one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world to the venues and festivals of Ireland. Their renditions of ‘Keep the Faith’ and ‘Livin on a Prayer’ will have the audience shouting for more. Which is of course what they’ll get, as this class outfit play hit after hit to satisfy the ardent Bon Jovi fan.

With that excellent line up you may be forgiven for thinking that that is it? Well it’s not. There is much more on offer. Local bands will also take to the stage with their own original material. These bands are Speedking, Gascan Ruckus and Raw Dawgs.

So how do you get tickets for this magnificent event? Adrian Thompsom again, ‘Tickets are now available on line at and are priced at a very reasonable €32. We also have a number of local outlets such as Dan’s Bar, The Stag Inn and Martins Shop, Newbliss and Matthews, the Diamond, Clones, where a limited number are for sale’. These tickets will go fast, thanks to the excellent line-up, so the organisers advice is to get in early and pick up yours.

In conclusion what’s Mr. Thompson’s hopes for the event? ‘This is going to be a brilliant day, a full day, of live bands playing great music. It’s going to be run professionally to provide a complete enjoyable experience for all who attend. We will cater for all needs on that day both musically and otherwise’ and with a smile Adrian concluded, ‘Our hope is to have people leaving at the end of the night happy and asking us ‘what are your plans for 2011?’.

This event will have a bar serving alcohol on site and so i.d is strictly required for entry. There is also camping available which should be booked in advance. See PáircFEST website for details.

Set sail for the ultimate day trip with P&O

This summer the UK’s largest ferry operator P&O is making sure families in Northern Ireland have plenty of guaranteed holiday opportunities with fantastic day trip offers to Scotland.

As the shortest, fastest crossing from Northern Ireland to Scotland, P&O has a huge range of summer activities to entertain even the most active families. From bargain hunting in Glasgow city centre, golfing at the Barclays Scottish Open to a relaxing trip to Galloway Country Fair, families are spoilt for choice with P&O this summer.

One of the most popular P&O day trips is Loudon Castle, Scotland’s Premier Theme Park. P&O is offering Northern Ireland consumers the chance to experience the thrills and spills of this exciting attraction with their day trip service.

Enjoying some fast paced fun at Loudoun Castle!

With over 25 rides, Loudon offers a stunning variety of things to see and do.  From the highs and lows of the vertical launch ‘Brain Stormer’ to live entertainment such as the Big Top circus, magic show and its very own ‘birds of prey’ display, there is something for all the family.  The castle itself is also a big hit with its indoor and outdoor play areas, rare breed animal farm and woodland walks.

Tracy Robb, Marketing Manager for P&O Irish Sea said: “Families in Northern Ireland are always looking for a great day out.  With the shortest fastest crossing people often forget how affordable and hassle-free a day trip to Scotland with P&O can be.  It only takes 2 hours to get from Larne to Troon making a day trip like Loudon Castle a perfect day out.

Prices start from just £22 per adult and £17 per child with four crossings per day between Larne and Troon.

For more information on all day trips or to book, visit

whatsonni teams up with Alive Surf School to offer fans a special discount this week only!

Learn to surf this week for a special Whats On NI discounted rate.

OFFER EXTENDED DUE TO HIGH DEMAND! have teamed up with Alive Surfschool and are offering whatsonni fans a special discount for next week only!  To celebrate the launch of their ‘Alive on the Coast’ Campaign they are reaching out to families and individuals all over the country to come and try the coolest sport on the planet.  Alive Surf School is the longest running surf school on the north coast and with their instructor being  a lifeboat man, they provide a safe and fun learning experience for all.

Week commencing Monday 5th of July 2010 you can avail of a surf lesson for £15 per person (a saving of 40%) – all you have to do is quote promotional code ‘alive1’ ” to get your discount.  Become a fan of Alive Surf School here <!/pages/Alive-Surf-School/334533619835?ref=ts>) on Facebook and quote ‘alive1’ when booking your lesson and you are ALL SET TO GET WET!

Come Alive this Summer!
Come Alive this Summer!

Be quick because at these prices we expect things to fill up pretty sharpish.  Call Ricky on  07935952532 or email  There is also more information and an FAQ about Alivesurf School School and the Surf experience at

Watch this space for weekly ‘Surfisodes’ from the coast – Alive have teamed up with local Digital dudes Awakin™ who are helping to spread the good word on Alive and their North Coast cohorts. The 2 minute Surfisodes will tell you how the summer swell is working out and you’ll get cheeky bonuses on what other funky and fun activities you can get up to on the North Coast. Get in, get on and Come Alive this Summer!  Surf’s up!!!  PS – We hope all the water babes enjoyed the ‘all girls’ sessions over the weekend!

Meet Ricky 🙂

Find Alive Surf School at:

07935 952 532