Contestants gather on eve of finals

A head sommelier from a French three-star Michelin restaurant, a former Wall Street broker and a drumming world record holder are among the contestants battling over the next two days to win a 30-day stay in Bushmills and the chance to produce their own blend of one of the world’s best-loved Irish whiskeys.

The trio are among nine finalists in the Make it at Bushmills competition that also offers the winner a month’s luxury penthouse accommodation in Ireland and £5,000 spending money.

Representing countries in Europe, North America and Africa, the contenders won their national heats on the strength of a public vote. Now, starting tomorrow morning, they face one final test – the Master’s Challenge – a series of mental, physical and skills-based challenges set by Bushmills Master Distiller to find a worthy winner.

The finalists are:

  • Koen Cassiers (Belgium) – an enthusiast of all things Irish, Koen is a trained guitar maker who enjoys walking and cycling.

  • Ivan Ivanov (Bulgaria) – a trained lifeguard and bartender, Ivan recently graduated with a degree in marketing.
  • Loïk Tavernier (France) – the head sommelier at the 3-star Michelin Restaurant Michel Trama in southwest France.
  • Sietse Offringa (Netherlands) – a native of Utrecht currently studying Event Management.
  • Allister Brown (Northern Ireland) – an engineer who holds the world record for being the first person to play the drums for over 100 hours.
  • Kevin O’Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) –a former barman who has worked in Bulgaria and America’s west coast.
  • Lance Ralph (South Africa) – an ardent Bushmills® Irish Whiskey fan who wants to show Ireland what his country has to offer.
  • Nick Ord (United Kingdom) – a bar development consultant to resorts and hotels worldwide and a previous winner of Bartender of the Year.
  • Joshua Wortman (USA) – a film school graduate who now works in the whiskey business following a Wall Street career.

Speaking on the eve of the finals, Bushmills Master Distiller, Colum Egan, promised the competitors an ‘amazing experience’ as they tackle a variety of challenges designed to ensure that only the very best succeeds.

“Over the next couple of days I and my fellow judges will be working hard to select our ultimate winner who must have the skills, the aptitude and above all, the mischievous spirit and unique approach to life that is embodied in Bushmills Irish Whiskey,” adds Colum.

The finalists’ progress will be charted on-line from 25-26 August at the Bushmills Facebook page –



Guinness® & Co have announced the 6 lucky bands who have been selected for the Belfast regional showcase of the ‘Our Thursdays’ competition. As part of this year’s Arthur’s Day® celebrations, ‘Our Thursdays’ is on the look out for emerging talent all over Ireland to offer them the incredible opportunity to be part of the Arthur’s Day line up on September 23rd.

Since July, hopeful bands have been performing in pubs every week all around the country at the Guinness ‘Our Thursdays’ pub showcases where the public decided, via text vote, who would go through each week. The bands that received the most votes at the end of each pub showcase have been named as the official Arthur’s Day artist in that bar on 23rd September.

What’s more, a team of music industry experts including members of Snow Patrol, have had the unenviable task of listening to all the pub showcase winners from around the country and have now whittled it down to the best 24, 6 of who will play at the Belfast regional showcase in The Empire, Belfast on 26th August.

The Belfast Regional Showcase Details:

Date & Location: The Empire, Belfast, this Thursday, 26th August

The 6 Bands:

  1. Bettylee &The Blonde (Limavady)
  2. Naoimh O’Hagan (Belfast)
  3. Picture the Sound (Ballymoney)
  4. Shouting at Planes (Cavan)
  5. Escape Fails (Belfast)
  6. The Empire Saints (Bray)

This event is open to the public and entry is free of charge.

From the regional showcases, four lucky bands will be selected to perform at the national showcase which will take place in Lavery’s, Belfast on 9th September.

At this showcase, the team of music industry experts will deliberate and decide on the three bands that will play in Galway, Cork and at St James’s Gate Brewery on Arthur’s Day alongside amazing international artists including Snow Patrol.

For detailed information about Arthur’s Day and Our Thursdays visit

Our Thursdays events and Arthur’s Day celebrations are strictly over 18’s events.

Drink Responsibly. Visit

The GUINNESS and ARTHUR’S DAY words and associated logos are trade marks.

Border youth highlight respect and diversity in the North West.

Last week saw Strabane’s Alley Theatre and the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey present a dramatic theatrical conclusion for this summer’s Border Youth Drama Project. Presented to packed audiences in both venues, this groundbreaking arts scheme, supported by IFI (International Fund For Ireland), has been exploring various themes of diversity, peace and reconciliation over the summer holidays, culminating in a stage performance of song, music, comedy and drama.

“Border Youth is now a firmly established success story in the North West, bringing together over 40 young people from Donegal and Tyrone in a collaborative project that leaves a lasting legacy of theatre skills and friendship between young participants in the border areas” commented Kieran Quinn, Chairman of the Balor DCA. “During the project children have learnt how to socially mix with each other, explore new skills and gained a new found confidence in themselves which they can now use throughout their lives. As the course has progressed I have personally seen how well the young people have mixed as a group and this has developed a new sense of friendship and respect across the borders, which would not have been possible if it had not been for this wonderful summer project.”

“I would like to personally congratulate the International Fund For Ireland for supporting this hardworking project, which we know is making a real difference to the lives of young people living in the border areas” concluded the Balor DCA Chairman.

“The summer has just been awesome, I have really enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing if I can do it again next year”  exclaimed Caoimhne Quinn, one of the young people taking part in Border Youth, on the dedicated Border Youth Facebook page. “I’ve made loads of new friends and I know we will keep in touch”. Border Youth has utilized every possible communication tool to ensure students were kept informed before, during and after the project. Social media tools including a podcast recording, dedicated Facebook page and website were all utilized to engage the young people on the scheme.

Winston Patterson, board member of the International Fund for Ireland, stated “I am delighted with the very professional way in which the Border Youth event was organised. It was very evident from the performances in both pieces of theatre that an enormous amount of thought and work had gone into the summer camp in preparation for both shows. The sensitive treatment of the themes of respect, diversity and reconciliation was impressive and a true measure of the success of the programme so far.”

Strabane District Chairperson, Cllr Michaela Boyle commented at the final night of the scheme, “Over 5 weeks ago these young people did not know each other. In fact many of the young people would not have even traveled to their respective home areas of Strabane or Ballybofey. However through the medium of the arts, the actors you see on the stage have achieved far, far more than putting together an evening of drama and song. This group has developed friendships that will last into adulthood, increased their understanding of other communities and found new levels of confidence in themselves. The reach of this scheme is not confined to the walls of this venue and the students taking part. This year has literally seen the world invited to find out more about Border Youth via a dedicated web site page, Facebook site and a podcast.  I must congratulate IFI and everyone involved in developing this unique project, which has allowed everyone to see what great work is being produced by the young people in the North West.”

Maximising the Economic potential of the City of Culture 2013.

The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce in Partnership with Derry City Council, Ilex, and The Strategic Investment Board are calling the Business Community to Action on Monday 6th September 2010 in the Waterfoot Hotel at 4.45 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.

We are seeking to facilitate and examine opportunities of “Maximising the Economic potential of the City of Culture 2013.” We are seeking a constructive input from the Private Sector on exploring opportunities in terms of investment, upskilling, physical infrastructure, and the building of new audiences and the attraction of new visitors.

The anticipated outputs include an increase of 2,900 jobs over the lifetime of the Regeneration Plan to 2020 with 1,300 in place by 2013.  It will lead to a doubling in tourism income and performance.  It creates a significant peak in construction activity over the next two years and sustained growth in employment sectors in terms of creative cultural jobs and business services.

The opportunities are tremendous; however the timescale is short so we must move into an action mode in order that we commence the development of our city’s proposition.

The keynote address will be delivered by US Economic Envoy, Declan Kelly who will lead a panel of experts in giving you an update on the City of Culture, What next and how and where we go from here.

We have had significant interest in this event and therefore we anticipate that there will be high demand for places, which will be offered on a first come first serve basis.

To book your place/s please contact our Events Manager Christina McCallion on 02871 262379 or email .


Ireland’s biggest arts festival targets 50,000 visitors and 36 citywide venues in global arts celebration.

The countdown to Ireland’s largest arts festival – the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s – is officially under way.

Unveiled today [Monday 23 August] the Festival programme is bursting at its proverbial seams with the best of international and local music, theatre, dance, visual art and spoken word in a packed 16-day programme which kicks off on October 15.

Taking place at a record 36 venues across the city, the festival will see a school sports hall in North Belfast transformed into the battlefields of Iraq and the tranquil Botanic Gardens turned into a mystical, magical garden. With traditional venues from the Ulster Hall, the Waterfront, Grand Opera House and the Great Hall at Queen’s to a barge on the Lagan, Clonard Monastery and May Street Church, this year’s festival will be the liveliest and the most diverse in its 48th year history further bolstering its reputation as one of the premiere arts events on these islands.

As the festival has grown in size, stature and popularity so too has the line-up – and this year promises to be the biggest yet as organisers look to pull in up to 50,000 visitors from around the world with its top tier attractions.

With round-the-clock entertainment, there really is no better time to take in the city.  Featuring more than 60 show-stopping acts the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s welcomes back world-class comic Michael Palin, sees local legend Paul Brady perform alongside the Ulster Orchestra in his orchestral debut, as Therapy? showcase their seminal Troublegum album in full, army regiment drama Black Watch and renowned Australian circus performers Circa will astonish adults and young people alike with their rigorous and exhilarating routines.

The festival, which last year drew more than 40,000 people to the city, is supported by Ulster Bank, Queen’s University Belfast, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council and receives both public funding and Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Festival Director, Graeme Farrow, said this year’s line-up would secure Belfast and Northern Ireland’s place as a world-class destination for arts entertainment.

“We thought that last year’s programme would be hard to beat, but I’m delighted to say that we have managed to do just that. With a hectic schedule that is bursting with the most talented artists from every area of the arts world, there’s never been a better time to get involved.

“In a major coup, we will be presenting smash hits from both the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal National Theatre with Alan Bennett’s sensational The Habit of Art and Black Watch in the same programme. We’re tackling big issues with Black Watch, FML and Trilogy, all of which have enjoyed phenomenal success elsewhere. How will Belfast react? We’ll also celebrate the anniversaries of artists as diverse as Chopin; John Lennon; Mahler; Tagore; minimalist composer Terry Riley; Therapy?; jazz legend Kenny Wheeler and rock star Ian Dury while welcoming winners of the Grammys, Turner prize and South Bank Awards.

“Whatever you are in to – this year’s festival has it all. Early booking is not just preferable, it is essential!” Graeme added.

Ulster Bank’s Chief Executive of Retail Markets, Mike Bamber says that the bank’s ongoing commitment to the festival reflects the close and valuable relationship between business and the arts.

“The arts are as much part of the economic fabric of society as they are of our cultural identity and development.  Ulster Bank is proud to partner the ever-evolving Belfast Festival at Queen’s which makes an essential contribution to the cultural landscape of Northern Ireland.

“The festival is achieving deserved international recognition for its scale and the excellence of its content and has helped to raise the global reputation of the city and the province.”

Theatre-lovers can also look forward to the world premiere of Colin Bateman’s first play, National Anthem, gritty teenage play FML from Belgium’s legendary CAMPO outfit featuring some of our own young people and acclaimed proto-feminist play Trilogy. Choreographic superstar Russell Maliphant showcases his latest work and you can even participate in an ancient foot washing ceremony courtesy of Adrian Howell!

Music fans will be treated to special appearances by US singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, Afrobeat star Tony Allen, French soundtrack composer Yann Tiersen of Amélie fame, and Polish conductor Antoni Wit will give a rare performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.5.

Fred Astaire’s daughter Ava Astaire McKenzie will host a musical tribute night to him featuring original film orchestrations and musical numbers. The award-winning, Belfast-born composer Brian Irvine showcases his new chamber opera based in a bingo hall – Postcards from Dumbworld. Traditional Irish acts such as De Dannan and Anúna along with the Dublin Gospel Choir are also a firm feature.

An impressive selection of talks with established writers, politicians and performers are a key part of the programme and include an audience with Jenni Murray, Peter Hain on Nelson Mandela, Paddy Ashdown, Roddy Doyle and Joseph O’Connor.

Commenting on the diversity of the programme, Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University said;

“The content and subjects portrayed address topics such as the feminism, teenage life and the war on terror.  There is hard hitting drama, invigorating music, spectacular dance and a series of exquisite talks and tours.  The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s truly has something for everybody.”

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said;

“The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival has established itself as a highlight of our cultural calendar, annually attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the city and beyond to attend a wide range of arts events.  As a platform for showcasing the best local and international acts, the Festival provides an excellent example of the major contribution that the arts make to our social, creative and economic life.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, hailed the Festival as being a highlight in the city’s arts and entertainment calendar.

“Thanks to excellent initiatives such as this, Belfast’s status as a thriving cultural centre of excellence is being secured locally, nationally and internationally,” he said.

This year’s festival runs from the October 15-October 30. For more information on the festival programme or to book tickets, log on to or contact the festival box office Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and Sat 10am-2pm on 9097 1197.

A Walk for Wellbeing!

Laura, who will be walking 18 miles for Aware Defeat Depression NI

Click to sponsor Laura at

18 miles isn’t far, it’s approximately Portstewart to Ballymoney, Downpatrick to Castlewellan or Belfast to Bangor. Only 20mins in the car and you’re at your destination. However, walking that distance is a different story all together as Holywood girl Laura Kelly is finding out.

A fan of keeping fit and not one to turn down a challenge, Laura jumped at the chance to do an 18mile walk while raising money for Aware Defeat Depression.

There’s a common misconception that depression is all in the head or a case of wallowing in self-pity. Anyone who has experienced it knows how soul-destroying it is. It’s tough enough going through it without feeling like you should ‘give yourself a shake’.

Commenting on her reason for this challenge Laura says:

“I’ve seen the effects of this illness on those close to me. I’ve seen how it destroys relationships, lives, jobs and general wellbeing. Depression is something I struggle with myself, especially coming into autumn and winter. I know how much getting outdoors and being active can help so I’m really excited about doing this walk, and raising awareness of the illness at the same time”

Walking has always been regarded as the poor relation of sports and training. Runners have their marathons, cyclists have their races, but walking has been known as the gentle sport- a stroll, an amble or a Sunday afternoon dander to blow the cobwebs away. Bigfoot walk is the first of its kind, a challenge specifically for walkers.

It takes two iconic landmarks, between 15-20 miles apart and joins them with an incredible walking challenge. The very first Bigfoot challenge is between the historic towns of Armagh and Dungannon. Starting from the mall in the shadow of the Cathedral spires, to the summit of the Castlehill in Dungannon, seat of the O’Neills, where you can trace the entire route back to Armagh.

While Laura may enjoy her exercise, the training plan is proving somewhat tricky.  Having suffered with sleep issues for a number of years Laura is currently experiencing a bout of insomnia that is affecting much needed physical energy for training. A recent training session was particularly hard when Laura and her co-walker were undergoing a 10mile walk.

“Having had a sleepless night the night before our 10mile walk I was feeling particularly drained but determined to keep going.  Physically the pain was bearable and I can work through that, but mentally I was exhausted. I know they say you have to train your mind as well as your body but this was tough. At the end of the walk I cried and felt really low because of how hard it had been. It’s made me realise just how challenging this is going to be.”

Although into keeping fit Laura admits that the length of time it takes is the biggest obstacle.

“My attention span isn’t the best, so it means gym sessions, or sports I enjoy are restricted to 30-45mins. Anything more than that and I start to lose interest and motivation or get distracted. Knowing this walk is going to take the guts of 5/6 hours is proving to be the toughest mind challenge.”

Undeterred by the struggles of walking for that length of time Laura’s daily reminders of why she’s doing the walk help to spur her on.

Aware Defeat Depression is the only charity in Northern Ireland working exclusively with and for people with depression. While Laura admits that raising money for charity is sometimes risky knowing how closely involved Aware are with the fundraising and support services and the assurance that the money is going directly to a specific illness is a huge benefit. It’s not just about raising money in order to fund training and support services. It’s also raising the profile of what Aware do.

“I want to reach my financial target because I know the money will help Aware to do what they’re so good at – provide support groups across N.I, hold training sessions and educate people about depression. But, if people can’t donate, then talk about the walk. About the fact this gal and her pal are walking 18miles, that in itself is a conversation starter and will hopefully lead onto mentioning Aware.”

The more people that talk about depression rather than avoiding the topic because of the fear of being judged, then the more people will become comfortable with it.

“If 1/4 people are affected by depression, the chances are you know something who’s dealing with it or trying to hide it…or maybe you’re going through it.”

You can sponsor Laura by visiting her online fundraising page on The money raised goes directly to Aware Defeat Depression. Where supporters are UK taxpayers, the charity will automatically receive 28% extra in Gift Aid, which makes Justgiving the most efficient way of sponsoring Laura.


Acoustic Dan

The Harp Ice Cold Big Gig is to showcase the very best of local acoustic talent at the latest instalment of the ever-popular music platform at the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast this Friday, 27th August.

Headlining the bill is Belfast’s own Acoustic Dan, a truly unique talent. Dan’s folk rhythms filled with cut-throat wit and a bare-knuckled take on Belfast life have established him as an institution in his home city and recently attracted major industry attention. Prepare to have your eyebrows raised and jaw dropped at the Harp Ice Cold Big Gig as Dan takes you on an adrenaline fuelled folk journey through the streets and tales of Belfast.

Rachel Austin

Supporting Acoustic Dan will be Rachel Austin, an exceptional singer-songwriter originally from Virginia, Texas. Rachel’s music has taken her around the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and now to Belfast. Her emotive live performances never fail to impress and have won her support slots for artists such as Duke Special, Iain Archer and Declan O’Rourke.

Opening the Show - Jason Clarke

Opening the show is Jason Clarke, one of the most hotly tipped young talents in Northern Ireland.  After scoring top support slots with international acts such as Paolo Nutini and Tommy Reilly, Jason’s soulful acoustic music is channelling a route to major success. If there was ever a time to jump on a bandwagon, this is it.

The Harp Ice Cold Big Gig showcases the finest new and up-and-coming talent from across the island of Ireland each month in 2010. Visit the Harp Facebook page at for all the latest news on The Harp Ice Cold Big Gig and Harp events throughout the country.

The Harp Ice Cold Big Gig featuring Acoustic Dan, Rachel Austin and Jason Clarke is this Friday 27th August at the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast. Admission £4 at the door. Over 18s only.

Drink Responsibly for the facts

The HARP words and associated logos are trade marks. © Diageo Ireland 2010.

Delirium Tremens return with new member and more..

Delirium Tremens

September 16

Delirium Tremens, w/ Common Bred Trigger


Doors 9.00pm

September 18

Supporting Therapy?

Opening of the new Belfast Skate Park

Doors 9.00pm

After a tumultuous year for Belfast’s rock innovators, including a major line-up change furious recording and even more furious writing, the band are returning with a new member, new gripping music and an even greater thirst.

With a short career that’s already involved major industry backing, radio play and sessions for the likes of Radio 1, support slots with major bands like the Datsuns, Monotonix, Junius and gripping performances all over the Island, the band found themselves signing an album deal with local label Audio-Ill just under 18 months after coming together.

Their ferocious shows and twisting, musically adventurous approach has earned comparisons to artists as diverse as Dinosaur Jr, Rage Against The Machine, King Crimson, Sonic Youth, latter era Radio Head and Primus.

After becoming one of the most hotly tipped alternative bands over the last two years, Delirium Tremens are now planning an Ireland and UK tour to coincide with their coming debut album release expected in early 2011.

“A powerhouse of melody and ferociousness both in studio and on stage. With Delirium Tremens, Northern Ireland could have something very exciting indeed to watch in 2010.” – Rory McConnel, Radio One

I seriously can’t rate these guys highly enough – often regarded as ‘criminally underrated’ – well, I think this is an understatement.”Mark Dunn,

“The best live band in Belfast, and they keep getting better and better” – Andy Mulholland, Feile FM

“Lou Barlow would most certainly approve.”Kerrang

“With so many indie bands out there, it’s good to know there’s still some noisy rock around” – Rigsy ATL, BBC Radio Ulster

“Someday, has a glorious frantic drive to it, while Barabas is built round a beautiful riff that embeds itself in your head the same way Tuppenny Nudger did a couple of years back.”William Johnston ATL

For interviews, copies of their latest recording, further images or for more information, contact the band at, or, or email

Take part in Northern Ireland’s first Bigfoot walk for Aware!

Runners have marathons. Cyclists have ‘sportives’. What do walkers have? Sunday Strolls and Bigfoots, that’s what! A Bigfoot is a walkers’ marathon and there is one happening on the 12th September. The 18 mile walk from Armagh to Dungannon follows the footsteps (approximately 40,000 of them) of our ancestors, Vikings and settlers. Setting off from the Mall in Armagh, the route finishes at Dungannon Castle, where you can climb the tower and survey the route you’ve just walked, if you have the energy left! It’s a massive challenge, so why not participate and raise some sponsorship for Aware Defeat Depression.

Aware Defeat Depression is the only charity in Northern Ireland that works exclusively with people experiencing depression and bipolar disorder. With one in four people in the country experiencing symptoms at some stage in their life, it is one of the most common illnesses in NI, but we need your help to keep our vital services operating. Aware run a network of 20 support groups, right across the province as well as a phone helpline service; your donations can help us help someone who is experiencing depression.

If you want to participate in the Bigfoot Walkers’ Marathon, just go to their website to sign up ( then contact Lorraine at Aware Defeat Depression for sponsor forms and your Aware walking vest, just email or call 9073 1734.

For more information on the work that Aware Defeat Depression does or information about the support groups, visit or call the helpline on 08451 20 29 61.


After a major £7.2 million revamp, Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a jam-packed autumn programme of classes, workshops and events, as well as a decadent fund-raising Masquerade Ball on September 4th. The centre - which reopened in April - is also giving everyone the chance to win a full year of free classes and events. Preparing for the party are musicians Katie Richardson and Kyron Bourke, and dancer Sarah MacKeever. For more details, log on to or phone 028 9024 2338.

Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre is to cap its biggest year yet with a jam-packed autumn programme and a decadent Masquerade Ball, designed to raise vital funds for its work providing a wide range of arts and cultural activities for all, it revealed today (Tuesday 17th September).

The centre – which reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment and restoration in April – will also mark its 30th anniversary on September 4th by giving everyone the chance to win a full year of free classes and events.

Its new autumn programme of eclectic classes and workshops features African drumming, photography, belly dancing, flamenco, tap and ballet, as well as old favourites yoga, art, journalism and drama. Tots are looked after too, as ‘Baby Dance’, ‘Baby Art’ and ‘Play Acting’ make a welcome return.

Running from September 13th to December 19th, the jam-packed timetable offers everyone from Belfast and further afield a great chance to experience a wide variety of art forms including music, dance, verbal and visual arts in new, state-of-the art facilities.

Crescent Arts Centre manager, Keith Acheson, said:

“This autumn is already gearing up to be our busiest in 30 years and we can’t wait to welcome all our patrons – new and old – to this fantastic facility in the heart of the city. Demand for our classes and workshops continues to grow and we would encourage everyone to attend our Enrolment Day on September 4th to secure a place.

“Details of how to win a year of free classes and workshops are available in our new programme, which is available at the centre and at venues across the city, and we look forward to revealing the winner at our gala Masquerade Ball.

Crescent Arts Centre chairman, Dr David Hill, said:

“We are all proud of the organisation’s past and of our newly-restored building. However, even as we reflect on our history of 30 years of the celebration of life through art, we are firmly focused on the future of the Crescent.

“I believe the new programme takes the best of our previous programmes and builds on it with more special events and some entirely new classes. Our aim now, despite the economic challenges faced by the arts sector in particular, is to get the most out of the building and the most people into it!

“I hope everyone will join us soon and often, starting with Enrolment Day and the Masquerade Ball. If you can’t find anything to excite you, it’s time to check for a pulse!”

The Masquerade Ball will feature music from Katie and the Carnival and Kyron and the Strangels, as well as circus-style acts and burlesque dancing, courtesy of BelfastUnbound. A prize for the holder of the Best Mask is planned for this stylish event, which features a full buffet and refreshments. Dickon Hall Gallery, based at the Crescent, has donated a piece for a silent auction, in addition to the Crescent Townhouse Hotel, which had kindly donated a free night’s stay and restaurant vouchers for lucky winners on the night.

For details of the Crescent’s new autumn programme and the Masquerade Ball, log on to, phone 028 9024 2338 or email