The syndrome is about to set in! Get the full low down on the Stendhal Festival here – finalised programme now available!

LIMAVADY and the wider northwest is abuzz with anticipation as the first ever Stendhal Festival of Art edges ever closer.

This Friday and Saturday (August 19 and 20) will see festival goers descend on Ballymully Cottage Farm on the outskirts of Limavady to revel in what promises to be the start of something special.

30 musical acts from all over Ireland and the UK will take to four stages over the weekend, including the Murcury Music Prize nominated Turin Brakes, rising local star Rainy Boy Sleep, legendary Irish troubadour Andy Irvine, The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland and many more.

On top of the music Stendhal Festival will also be showcasing the best in local Art, Dance, Poetry, Drama and Craft.

If that wasn’t enough there will also be a Children’s play area and Kids workshops so that the whole family can come and enjoy an event the likes of which the Limavady Borough has never experienced before.

This week The Northern Constitution takes an in-depth look at what Stendhal has to offer and talks with the organisers who will be answering some of the more frequently asked questions that have arisen regarding the event.


Music is the most exciting aspect of the Festival, the artists performing at the Festival encompass a wide variety of musical genres and there is certainly something to appeal to all musical tastes.


Festival headline act, Turin Brakes

Headlining are Turin Brakes, the modern folk duo whose critically acclaimed albums such as ‘The Optimist LP’, ‘Ether Song’, and ‘Jackinabox’, saw them lead a revival in the popularity of the folk genre.

Their spellbinding song-writing was described by the NME as: “Fully formed and brutally emotive,” and takes the listener on a journey from melancholy through hope, love through isolation and humour through desperation, and sometimes that is just in one song.

Best known for their 2004 smash hit single ‘Painkiller’, the boys from Balham have received mountains of critical acclaim and produced five outstanding studio albums.


This summer just keeps getting better and better for Rainy Boy Sleep, aka Stevie Martin.

Not satisfied with slots at Hard Rock Calling, Glasgowbury, Glastonbury and of course Stendhal, it has been announced that Rainy Boy Sleep is to play the BBC Introducing Stage at this year’s Reading Festival which takes place on August 26-28 and is headlined by the awe inspiring Muse.

Stevie is a well known face on the music scene in Limavady and the Northwest. Over the past few years he has been honing his unique, intimate style of performing locally around the bars of the Roe Valley such as the Alexander Arms, Frank Owens and in particular the Corner Bar.

His original material such as ‘Your Face’ and ‘Manchester Post’ are fantastic examples of what he is all about, haunting vocals, clever lyrics, strong guitar work and slick production. But the people of Limavady have known that for a while now. However, those were Stevie Martin gigs, as Rainy Boy Sleep he has upped the ante and incorporates a Boss Loop Station to bulk up his sound and give his material an added dimension.


The Gorgeous Colours are a five-piece from Dublin that blend countless genres together to create a sound that is very much their own. Their most recent single “It’s OK to Be Normal” – described by one blogger as “quite possibly the best track of the year so far released by an Irish band” – follows the band’s critically-acclaimed The Creatures Down Below EP, which was funded by fans through an online pledge campaign. The video for the title track of the won the Viewer’s Choice Award for best video at the 2010 IMTV awards.


For those about to rock Stendhal, we salute you.

Getting the rock on the road are the sensational Swanee River, a powerful blend of soul, blues and rock and roll. Hailing from the city of Derry, beginning in September 2004, Swanee River have a huge reputation around the local music scene and are a band in high demand, Stendhal is just one of 3 gigs they have lined up on August 20.

Intermission are another hot prospect coming out of the Maiden City.  A three-piece who spectacularly infuse powerful driving riffs with the unique vocals of front man Glenn Rosborough to produce a sound that no doubt raise a few eyebrows at Stendhal.

Key of Atlas are considered one of Belfast’s best up and coming new bands.
Previously chosen as BBC ATL’s Product of Northern Ireland, much of Key of Atlas’ appeal can be attributed to their enthusiasm and charisma on stage, they have a genuine connection with the crowd and this really shows on stage.
Other Rock acts taking to the stage are Tommy Shots from Portrush, We are Burkes Lounge and Chase Atlantis, both from Limavady and Tin Pot Operation from Belfast


The much heralded Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland will be bringing along a fifteen piece string section to delight all who attend the inaugural event on August 20.

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) was established in 1995 as a means of bringing young people together from different backgrounds and communities, through the powerful medium of music. Composed of 130 young people from many parts of Ireland, the CBOI is one of Ireland’s flagship peace initiatives and has become the most acclaimed youth orchestra that Ireland has ever produced. In addition, the CBOI provides essential musical education for 5,000 children in schools all over the country and often fills a void where no musical outlet exists.


Stendhal Festival of Art is delighted to have Mark Black on board for this year’s festival. No stranger to the festival scene, Mark has performed his distinctive style of “rootsy blues” that often combines rock, country and Celtic influences at Glastonbury in 2009, and a string of others throughout the UK, including Limavady’s own Jazz and Blues Festival.

Other Jazz and Blues acts include, The Mean Mistreaters, Joanna Higgins and The Limavady Big Band.


If anyone doubts that music is a timeless and a universal language, consider the career of Andy Irvine.

Musician, singer, songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout at 45 year career.

Andy Irvine

From Sweeney’s men in the mid-60’s, to the enormous success of Planxty along-side Christy Moore in the 70’s, then from Patrick Street to Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny’s Mozaik, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.

As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour. To quote the Irish Times, “Often copied, never equalled,” his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dances and a compelling cannon of his own self-penned songs.

Andy is playing a special acoustic set at 9pm on Friday August 19 for all our first year campers, but for those who have a day ticket and don’t want to miss out, you can arrive out to Ballymully Cottage Farm after 8pm on the Friday and your day pass will get you in to see this special performance.


Along with Turin Brakes, other folk acts on show at Stendhal include Galway based Queen Elvis, and the Gypsy Folk stylings of Balkan Alien Sound.


The winners of our first People’s Choice contest on Facebook, Sons of Encouragement are an altenative pop/punk act from Carrickfergus.

Influenced by bands such as Green Day and Blink 182, the boys have already garnered some very good reviews at home, and impressively, the States, but what matters most is that YOU wanted them at Stendhal.


Lantern for a Gale are a five piece hardcore band from the North Coast of Northern Ireland.

Formed in Spring 2010 to create music influenced by but not limited to; devastation, human adversity, pounding rhythms,  hurtling roars, collapsing mountains, caustic vocal frictions, broken equipment, expectations, kicks to the head, nerves and crushing melody, Lantern for a Gale take no prisoners with their ferocious live sets.


Bomb City 7 are a unique entity of their own who seamlessly blend the lyrical fluidity of hip-hop with the bone crushing force of rock. Their performances are explosive and with pop sensibilities they put a modern twist on hip-hop whilst still retaining the attitude of punk rock


With musical influences including Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and James Taylor, Lee Rogers’ brand of blues-laced rock/pop has the distinctive charm of fellow countrymen Van Morrison and Paul Brady while remaining uniquely his own. Other acoustic performers include; Warren Boyd, The Steve Experiment, Ruairi Connolly, I am J.A.C. aka Stephen Roddy and Kevin Rotherham


The Down And Out Bluegrass Band from Belfast are a strictly traditional old time bluegrass band with no fancy frills, just straight forward country pickin’ and harmony with a good hard driving style.

Along with performances from local poets, the poetry aspect of the event will be headlined by The Poetry Chicks.Abby Oliveira and Pamela Brown have been performing together as The Poetry Chicks since 2006. They are based in Derry and are regular performers on the British and Irish poetry scenes, including appearances at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Flatlake Literary Festival.


Stendhal are delighted to announce that the fantastic Echo Echo dance company will be adding their name to the dance organisations that will be taking part at the festival. Along with others such as Flemenco NI and the Heraghty School of Irish dancing, Echo Echo will be on site to showcase some sensational local dance talent.


Our Art Gallery will be showcasing the very best of local artistic talent, encompassing various genres and themes. Artists on site include; Grazia Longo, Jude McVitty, Elaine Taylor, Emmily Hill, Joshua Marx, Claire O’Connor, Brian Kielt, Thomas J Byrne, Amanda Shirlow, Cliodna Timmony, Steven Feeney , Martina O’Connor and Jade Shields.


Adding a bit of theatrics to the proceedings at Stendhal, Limavady Drama Club will be performing ‘Heavens waiting room’, a one act comedy play penned by Gary Diamond.


Stendhal will have plenty to offer for kids at the event. On site there will be amusements including a bouncy castle, a mini-railway, inflatable slides and more. There will be a nominal fee for these.

The Wheelworks Art Cart will be stopping by with it’s sensational digital music workshop which will allow children of 8 years and above to produce and perform their own original compositions.

Over the moon NI will be providing face painting, a treasure hunt, balloon tying and patchwork quilt embroidery.

There will also be other workshops for children including circus skills such as juggling, Diablo and Poi.


Providing top class food and drink at the event will be several local business and some from further afield. On site you will be able to choose from a variety of eateries including Buddha, Mullans Organic food, Docs Diner, Love Paella, Candyfloss Co. and more.

There will be three bars on site selling drinks at a fair price, this includes a wine bar for those with a more sophisticated palate.


Stendhals craft market will provide a variety of skilfully hand crafted knick-knacks which will delight and excite. On site our craftsmen and women will be selling such items as Jewellery, Pottery, Hand made sock monkeys, Girclee art prints, fair trade clothing and more.

Limavady printing company will also be on site to provide materials for any budding artist who want to paint onsite.


Q: Can we buy tickets at the gate on the day?

A: A small amount of tickets will be available on the day, we have a limited capacity so we suggest to avoid disappointment people buy their tickets before the event. Tickets are available at and all Ticketmaster outlets, the final post day for tickets online has passed so anyone buying online through the week can pick their tickets up at the box office on the day.

Q: If I have purchased a camping ticket when do I come to camp?

A: For all our campers we are allowing tent pitching on the Friday and the Saturday if you don’t fancy two nights of the great outdoors. On Friday the gates open from 6pm and will close at 10pm, while on Saturday the gates for general admission open at 9am.

Q: Can you bring your own alcohol?

A: Campers can bring their own alcohol however no glass bottles will be allowed on site. Bag searches will be taking place at the entrance gate to ensure this is adhered to.

Patrons on day tickets are cannot bring their own alcohol on site, as we have several bars to provide plenty of drink for day patrons.

Q: Andy Irvine is playing on the Friday night, I wanted to see him but I bought a day ticket, is there any way I can use this to come on the Friday?

A: Andy Irvine is playing a special acoustic set on Friday night at 9pm, if you have purchased a Day ticket and wish to come along to see him that is no problem, just arrive on site on Friday and we will take care of it.

Q: How does the ‘Stendhal Forever’ ticket scheme work?

A: On the day we will be taking the details of all our patrons who have purchased tickets at the entrance gates. These names will be added to our database and kept for future years. The ‘Stendhal Forever’ scheme does not apply to tickets won in competitions or obtained through ‘Test drive the Arts’. If you have purchased a ticket but for some reason cannot attend just email us your name, details and ticket number and we’ll get you in our database.

Q: Is there a shuttle bus from the town?

A: Not this year, but for people that don’t drive the taxis in the town know where they are going, There is also a drop off point in the car park for those who are getting a lift out with others.

Stendhal 2011 Line-Up

Main Stage Karma Valley Stage
1100-1130 Chase Atlantis 1115-1145 Sons of Encouragement
1150-1220 We Are Burkes Lounge 1200-1240 Queen Elvis
1240-1310 Tommy Shots 1300-1330 Limavady Drama Club – Heaven’s Waiting Room
1340-1430 Limavady Big Band 1400-1440 Joanna Higgins
1440-1450 Irish Dancing 1500-1540 Down and Out Bluegrass Band
1510-1600 Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (String Section) 1600-1640 Tin Pot Operation
1615-1700 Intermission 1650-1740 Balken Alien Sound
1715-1800 Swanee River 1800-1845 Mark Black
1820-1910 The Gorgeous Colours 1900-1950 Mean Mistreaters
1930-2030 Key of Atlas 2000-2100 Poetry Chicks
2045-2140 Rainy Boy Sleep 2115-2145 Lantern For a Gale
2200-2315 Turin Brakes 2155-2235 Bomb City 7
Garden Shed Stage Craftea Stage
1230-1340 Poetry
1345-1420 Ruari Connolly 1700-1735 Flamenco Dancing
1430-1505 I am J.A.C. 1900-1945 Warren Boyd
1515-1550 Kevin Rotherham 2000-2100 tbc
1600-1645 Warren Boyd Open Mic
1700-1745 David McCann
1800-1845 Steve Catherwood
1900-1950 Lee Rogers



Colin Geddis