Carl Frampton is an Irish professional boxer who fights in the super bantamweight division and is managed by Barry McGuigan. Carl is supporting the Action on Hearing Loss ‘Summer Stroll’ on Saturday 11 August. The walk will take in the picturesque scenery of the North Down Coast, starting at Holywood and finishing up at the beautiful Crawfordsburn Country Park, totalling approximately 6 miles.

Speaking at his local boxing gym, Carl said,

‘As a professional athlete, I really understand the importance of good health – that includes keeping fit as well as looking after your hearing. If you want to have a great day out and raise money for a good cause, then why not go along to the Summer Stroll!’

The event is a perfect family day out and suitable for people of all ages. It promises to be a great event to be a part of. For an added fun twist, Action on Hearing loss ask people to wear items of pink and blue clothing to match their brand colours!

Action on Hearing Loss works to ensure better health for everyone – this includes encouraging people to take care of their hearing and to keep fit and well. ‘The money raised will help to support the 300,000 people who are deaf, have a hearing loss or tinnitus in Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the Summer Stroll, visit or phone 028 9023 9619.

North Down Pipeband Championships Return For 2012 Saturday 21 July 2012

The North Down Pipe Band Championships will return to Bangor on Saturday 21st July 2012 at The Town Hall which is sure to be a spectacular back drop for this years’ event.

With over 40 bands and 50 Drum Major’s competing, the event promises to be a fantastic day out for all the family.

The Mayor of North Down, Councillor Wesley Irvine said:

“As Mayor of North Down I am honoured to act as ‘Chieftain of the Day’ for this prestigious event. The Championships are a firm favourite in the Council’s Events Programme and brings a great day of family entertainment to Bangor.”

The show kicks off at 12 noon and runs till 5pm so come along for an afternoon of pure entertainment!

For more information phone our Tourist Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 or visit:


NEST is part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 Festival and is also the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist’s Taking the Lead commission for Northern Ireland – an initiative by all four Arts Councils of the UK to create public art for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“NEST is a an extraordinary and beautiful study of life in Northern Ireland – a strange and unusual ‘census’ that brings together thousands of individual possessions, thoughts, words, sounds and voices for the making of a single landscape, a single sound, a single NEST’

Brian Irvine & John McIlduff: Artistic Directors of Nest

NEST has involved the people of Northern Ireland making art on a massive scale through the simple act of donating an object, telling a story or performing as part of a large community chorus. Almost 2000 objects have been donated by people of all ages and from all walks of in Northern Ireland. Attached to all donated objects is a handwritten label that reveals some personal story, history or commentary associated with each person’s object. These objects have been formed into a massive public art installation inside a huge warehouse called T13, located in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter opposite the new Titanic visitors centre. An unusual ‘census’, NEST is a collection of hidden personal moments – a moving and revealing portrait of the people that make up Northern Ireland.

Central to the installation is a performance of a new oratorio composed by Brian Irvine, performed by the 90 young players that make up the Ulster Youth Orchestra and a specially formed community chorus made up of 200 singers of all ages and backgrounds brought together from different corners of Northern Ireland.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “This is an arts project unlike any other in both ambition and scale. By donating personal items and singing in the large community choir thousands of local people have already contributed to the many stories which make up the final installation, while the live musical element performed by some of Northern Ireland’s most talented musicians will add another unique dimension to this epic project.”

On Saturday 21st July at 4pm precisely the doors to this extraordinary exhibition will open. The first visitors, VIPs and special guests will assemble in anticipation outside the T13 warehouse from 3pm onwards. The new oratorio will be performed while the first visitors make their way through the exhibition that occupies over one acre of floor space.  The orchestra and choir will perform for the second time at 8pm when the second wave of visitors arrive. The exhibition is FREE, but due to high demand, visitors on the first day must have reserved their FREE tickets via the project’s website

No tickets are required between 22nd and 29th July when the exhibition will be open daily from 12pm – 8pm. Smaller scale impromptu musical interventions will occur during this period and the installation will run continuously from 4pm on the 21st July until 8pm on 29th July 2012. Exhibition catalogues that contain the full list of donated objects and accompanying stories, as well as details of people and groups involved in the creation of NEST will be on sale during the exhibition.

For more information on NEST contact Cathie McKimm, Project Manager, on 07874 023528 or e-mail  Regular updates on the event can be found at or on Facebook (nest2012) or twitter (2012nest).

Therapy? prepare to headline Glasgowbury 2012

This ‘Small But Massive’ festival gathers pace…

The 12th annual Glasgowbury Music Festival kicks off this weekend and is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting years for the festival yet.

Recently voted Northern Ireland’s Best Festival at the first ever NI Music Awards, Glasgowbury have arranged a stellar line-up of some of the best emerging and established talent for their July 21st celebration.

The hills will be alive with the sound of music as NI legends Therapy? cap off this year’s Draperstown based festival in a year that has saw them release their highly acclaimed new album, A Brief Crack Of Light.

With over 20 years of touring experience and stunning releases in the form of the iconic Mercury nominated album Troublegum, Glasgowbury 2012 will make history as the first NI festival headline appearance for the three-piece rock band.

Joining them for the Sperrins spectacular is a host of premier talent including Derry three piece The Japanese Popstars who have enjoyed a massive year with a Choice Music nomination for their acclaimed second album, Controlling Your Allegiance, as well as producing the official track for the Caterham Formula One team.

Meanwhile Fighting With Wire, Glasgowbury 2010 headliners, return to the scene of some of their most iconic performances as they prepare to celebrate the release of their much anticipated second album.

The complete line-up also includes LaFaro, Rams’ Pocket Radio, Wonder Villains, Mojo Fury, Pocket Billiards, Silhouette, Marc O’Reilly, Amidships, Pretty Child Backfire, VerseChorusVerse, Our Krypton Son, Axis Of, Soak, Best Boy Grip, Sons Of Caliber, RunawayGO, Farriers, Kowalski, The Man Whom, Enemies, Katie & The Carnival, Droids, Tied To Machines, The Dead Presidents, The 1930s, Triggerman, Empty Lungs, Swanee River, Tucan, The Jepettos, Scorpion Jack, Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters, John Deery & The Heads, Master & Dog, Humanshield, Mojo Gogo, Icon On Fire, The Red Velvetines, Paul Casey, Ard Ri, Intermission and a festival exclusive performance from Derry’s 4 Conors as well as a special Rural Key Collective showcasing some of the artists breaking through from Glasgowbury’s award winning Rural Key Programme.

Meanwhile Glasgowbury are once again teaming up with the talent behind the legendary Celtronic festival to curate a selection of acts including Space Dimension Controller, Ryan Vail, The Host, Deep Fried Funk and Psycatron.

Elsewhere on site there’s a wealth of activity going on with the return of the G Spot comedy stage featuring some of Ireland’s finest, bone-tickling talent.

And for kids and the young at heart there’s a host of activities from face painting and balloon modelling to samba parades and workshops and iconic Swingball stations.

“This year’s line-up reflects the diversity and scale of talent that we have at our fingertips,” said festival organiser Paddy Glasgow.

“Glasgowbury aims to be the sort of festival which celebrates the best in new and established homegrown talent and the large variety of acts on show this year contributes to what I think is one of the most exciting Glasgowbury line-ups yet.

“The festival is run very much in the spirit of the people and it’s the people what make Glasgowbury so special and I look forward to welcoming them all to Eagle’s Rock once again.”

Glasgowbury 2012 takes place across the weekend of July 21st and a limited number of tickets are still available to buy. For details on tickets and all things Glasgowbury, see

Glasgowbury 2012 is supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Arts Council NI.

All new boutique Music Gig for 2012

National Trust proudly presents one day of truly exquisite music, performed by a magnificent selection of some of the best young musical talent, Northern Ireland has to offer.

August 4 from 12 noon, will showcase this talent at our Gig in the Garden, only a couple of miles from Belfast city centre on the banks of the River Lagan, in the glorious setting of Terrace Hill Garden, Minnowburn.

The extraordinary line up will include, Katie & the Carnival with their whimsical spirit and a deep bluesy sound. The Jepettos, have been described as, sweet and heart warming, like pouring a cup of hot chocolate directly onto your ear. The White Mansions, evoke times gone by with their deep bluegrass sound and finally The Sons of Caliber “Music for folks”, with their earthy nature.

Other established and new bands hot from the Northern Ireland music scene will be The Bookhouse Boys, The New Sheriffs, The Jahm Band, Ciaran Lavery and Wes Grierson.

But it’s not all about the music; the gig will also celebrate the natural world, with hands on crafts and displays designed to encourage people to get outdoors and closer to nature.

The ‘Field Kitchen’ operated by Root & Branch Organics will supply delicious organic and fair trade food while Hilden Brewery will bring along their tepee, so punters can sample their celebrated local beers and ales.

Craig Somerville, Belfast Area Warden said,

“This is an exciting line up and this is not the first time the Minnowburn area has hosted a concert of this nature. On 2 August, 1969 ‘Pop for Peace’ was held in the adjacent Sandpit field. That gig was organised by people involved in the local music scene in a genuine attempt to bring the divided youth of Northern Ireland together, through music. John Lennon endorsed it and about 3000 people came along to see bands, such as Marmalade perform. So come along and support our local young musicians”.

Get your ticket via the Belfast Welcome Centre online at or telephone 028 9024 6609.  Adults are £8, 16 year olds and under £4, while 5 year olds and under go free. Gates open at 12 noon and music ends about 7pm. Keep up to date with us via facebook/giginthegarden and twitter@Giginthegarden


Northern Ireland is catching its breath after the largest event of its kind ever staged here, Land of Giants, was performed in front of thousands of ecstatic audience members at the Titanic Slipways on Saturday night (30 June).

Photography by Neil Harrison, copyright Neil Harrison Photography.

The team behind the massive outdoor happening managed to keep quite a few surprises up their giant sleeves as an enthralled capacity-crowd followed every step of the epic story, despite the rain.

Throughout the 45 minute night-time extravaganza the central character, Grace, took the audience on a thrilling journey visiting fictional characters from Northern Ireland’s history, starting in 1869, while referencing the many giants visible in our cultural and natural heritage, such as Harland and Wolff’s, Samson and Goliath and Cave Hill’s Sleeping Giant – which is allegedly the inspiration behind Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver.

At one point the tiny star of the show took a dramatic charge from one end of the 150m stage towards the Titanic Building and after a breath taking leap, suspended from a crane barely visible in the dark skies, she appeared as an animated character on the Titanic Building which transformed into the pages of a massive storybook. The Titanic was also ‘raised’ on the site where it was built using pyrotechnics and spectacular light effects – much to the delight of the wowed audience.

Throughout the show, snapshots of the lives and voices of the people of Belfast were narrated visually or in music, and the story touched on the hay day of the linen industry, the building of the Titanic, the First and Second World Wars – right the way up to the present year.

Photography by Neil Harrison, copyright Neil Harrison Photography

Moira Swinbank, Legacy Trust UK who part-funded the event said:  “The people involved in delivering this event; from the volunteer performers, acrobats, actors to the costumiers, production and operations teams, and many more, have gained invaluable experience that truly can’t be bought.

“The knowledge gained and contacts made will help develop their talents and prospects and ensure a bright future for events in Northern Ireland for many years to come.”

Land of Giants was delivered by a consortium which included Belfast City Council, Beat Carnival, Belfast Community Circus and Young at Art and was funded by Legacy Trust UK with additional support from Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of Cultural Olympiad, said:  Well done Belfast for the stunning images of the London 2012 Festival – these will go round the world and be an amazing legacy for Belfast.”

Cian Smyth, London 2012 Creative Programmer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:  “This is a new and exciting era for outdoor arts events in Northern Ireland.  An event of this scale and calibre, involving so many people, has never been staged here before and sets a high standard for the sector.  The development of our arts performance and events sectors as a result of the show can’t be underestimated.”

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson said:  “Belfast really shone last night and the show was everything we thought it would be; epic, exciting, colourful, breath-taking, and at times utterly moving; but most importantly it was about Belfast and its people who were the lifeblood of the story and the stars of the show.”

Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said; “The success of last night’s show demonstrates our ability to stage large, world class events.  I am sure this will be one of the highlights of the 2012 Festival. I want to congratulate everyone involved, and I know this was the result of many months of hard work.  I am sure everyone who made it along to the Titanic slipway will have enjoyed the show and its mix of pyrotechnics, music and daring aerial performances.”

Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster said: “People in Northern Ireland, whether locals or visitors, are just spoilt for choice over what to see and do at the minute. From the sell-out Irish Open and the Clipper Round the World Yacht race to amazing events such as the Land of Giants. We are continuing to show the world that we have so much to offer visitors and securing our place as a great country to visit.”

Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.

Land of Giants was part of London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

Get Ready To Rock In Groomsport!

There’s a fantastic line-up of top quality acts at this year’s annual Music & Fireworks event, taking place in Groomsport on Saturday, July 7th. This free event has all the elements for a fantastic evening out with music, food & drinks available on-site, a fun-fair and a fireworks display!

UTV’s Ralph McClean will guide the audience through the event’s performers. First on stage at 7pm is the soulful Matt McGinn who has truly made his stamp on the Northern Irish music scene and further afield with his unique blend of heartfelt and quirky songs.

Next up, is bluegrass group ‘Viper Central’ who will entertain the crowds with their foot-tapping range of original and traditional bluegrass numbers. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, this five-piece group approach their music with the sense of creativity and adventure found in the earliest bluegrass and old time recordings.

The superb headline act will not disappoint, ‘Glory Days’ The Bruce Springsteen Tribute Show will be belting out all of Bruce’s old favourites from ‘Dancing In The Dark’ to ‘Born To Run,’ guaranteed to have Groomsport rocking! As the UK’s number one Springsteen act, the band has been playing for more than a decade and is made up of eight Springsteen fans who wanted to capture the live Springsteen experience – no lookalikes, just the music!

For the children, the funfair will be in operation from 3pm – 10pm and from 2pm – 4pm, there will be balloon modelling and American flag making at Cockle Row Cottages.

Commenting on the event, Alison Stobie, North Down Borough Council’s Tourism Manager said: “I’m thrilled with this year’s line-up. We want everyone to have a good time but please stay safe, please be aware that there is a strict no glass policy on-site, so any alcohol consumed must be from the bar area. To help make it an even more enjoyable evening, our partners Translink are putting on a special late night service with buses at 11.30pm and 12midnight back to Bangor. Groomsport really is an ideal location for fireworks and I’m looking forward to our rock inspired fireworks display at 11pm.”

For further information on this event please contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069 or email

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre opens its doors!

The National Trust opened the doors to the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, today Tuesday 3rd July.

The £18.5 million investment will create an exciting new tourism offer which was made possible with support from £9.25 million from Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment of which £6.125million has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, and £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with £6.25 million from National Trust funds.

The visitor experience includes;

  • · A new state of the art visitor centre featuring an illuminating exhibition showcasing the stories and the science behind the Giant’s Causeway
  • · Innovative pocket size audio guide in a variety of languages
  • · A grab and go style café
  • · A new retail facility introducing new and exclusive local products
  • · Tourist Information
  • · Fully accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility for people with disabilities

The walks and trails around the site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. It might even be possible to glimpse Northern Ireland’s favourite giant, Finn McCool whilst walking around these new trails!

The local community also plays an important part in the exhibition area of the new centre. Lots of wonderful stories and memories depicting the lives of the local around the Causeway area are captured through still and moving images.  There is also a display of postcards showcasing local people thoughts and feelings of having a World Heritage Site on their doorstep.

There is also a fantastic range of local produce on display in the retails area of the new visitor centre.  From the beautiful jewellery designs of Keri Shanks to the unusual wood carving of McCullough’s Furniture, Ballymena to the exclusive Causeway tartan designs of Tweedie Acheson, Coleraine.

The planning of this new visitor centre has been extraordinary, with local talent and expertise being integral in bringing the new building design to life.  Even the grass seed from the area was combed to produce a compatible grass variety for the planting of the grass roof on the new visitor centre. Visitors can enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the North Coast landscape from the grass roof of the new Visitor Centre – it is truly unique.

Giant’s Causeway Project Director, Graham Thompson said;

“This is a significant milestone for the National Trust in Northern Ireland and is the culmination of years of working in partnership with stakeholders in the community, the business sector, and government and political arenas.  This reflects our commitment to the tourism industry and Northern Ireland confidently moving on.”

Visitors wishing to avail of the fantastic new visitor experience can buy tickets in the following ways; pre purchase on line at

from the end of June, at the park and ride facility in Bushmills village,  or upon entry to the visitor centre.  Ticket prices are £8.50 (adults), £4.25 (child), £21.00 (family) with discounts available for green travel and pre purchasing online. Groups visits (15 people plus) can pre book now by contacting 028 2073 3419.  National Trust members will enjoy free entry.

As National Trust is predicting a significant rush of interest from local and international visitors, opening times to the Visitor Centre are extended from 9am to 9pm in the summer months, so there is a real opportunity to experience the Giant’s Causeway beyond the busiest hours of 11am – 3pm.

With over 100 staff and volunteers to greet and tell the stories of this geological phenomenon, the National Trust looks forward to welcoming all visitors to Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site.

For further information on the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre visit


Derry is buzzing with a new wave of excitement as the city welcomes home the iconic Clipper boats.

Privileged to be on board with the festivities, the famous Continental Market has transformed itself into a bespoke trading event for the Clipper Festival. Representing many of the boats international origins, the Market will unite the best of Northern Irish produce with their speciality continental delights for everyone to enjoy.

The social hub of the continental market will provide an eclectic blend of rich and flavoursome foods, vibrancy of colour and intoxicating aromas to stir the senses. With delicacies such as South African ostrich burgers, German Bratwurst, and irresistible crepes from France on offer, served alongside wholesome homemade pies and local cheeses from Northern Ireland, visitors will be spoiled for choice. Amidst the unique cultural atmosphere of Derry, visitors will be taken on a voyage of worldly discovery that will tickle the taste buds.

There is much more to the market than food. For those who want to treat themselves to something special, handmade gifts carefully crafted by traders from around the globe are also showcased.  Update your accessory collection for summer with South American jewellery, style your wardrobe with some unique fashion from Finland, or brighten up your home with an eclectic selection of household crafts from India and Asia.

Allan Hartwell, Chief Executive of Market Place Europe said  “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to be part of such a world-class event during this wonderful new beginning for Derry/ Londonderry. We look forward to making our contribution to this international event in this historic city.

There is no better place to promote the quality of Northern Irish produce, alongside that of their Continental trading brothers and sisters. The soon to be City of Culture, reinforces once again that it is indeed Our Time, Our Place.

The award-winning market will be located at Queen’s Quay from Thursday 5 July to Sunday 8 July.  The market will be open from 10am – 8pm daily.