Family Fun At Sunflowerfest Music & Arts Festival

Organisers of the music and arts festival Sunflowerfest have announced the activities programmes for this year’s three day event, which takes place at Tubby’s Farm in Hillsborough from 9 to 11 August.

As well as an eclectic line-up of bands and artists including Alabama 3 Unplugged, Ozric Tentacles and Eat Static, people of all ages can enjoy a plethora of festival extras from poetry and comedy to kid-orientated circus workshops and dance classes.
Children will be mesmerized in a land of make-believe as they help the fairy queen prevent evil pirates from making people walk the plank of the Black Sheep, anchored by the Enchanted Glade of Mystery and Surprise.

They can also enjoy Sunflowerfest’s dedicated kids’ zone with willow sculpting, music workshops, arts and crafts, puppetry, face painting and yoga. Interactive dance classes including jumping jive, rock and roll, boogie babies and Shim Sham are also on offer.

Festival-goers can enjoy literature, story-telling and discussion in the Moot, a craft village and a delicious selection of world foods and premium German beers.

This year Sunflower Bliss teams up with the Lighthouse centre to create NeverNever land, where revellers can relax and nourish mind, body and soul, and seek eternal youth, enjoy the wildlife including rare birds, and try their hand at old crafts and trades.

More quirky festival extras include Augustine Leudar’s dreamlike surreal sound installation, which includes myths, scientific input and the harnessing of electrical signals in trees to create a 3D audio hologram – a pioneering, ground-breaking experience in nature and science; and the OneLove tent for some inspirational talks, music and dance.

Everyone can also participate in Friends of the Earth’s ‘Solution Tree’, an installation that allows people to offer their ideas on how we can live without harming the planet, and the more adventurous can even try a compost-heated shower on site!

Meanwhile, music-lovers can enjoy five stages of sound with the headline acts joined by over 60 other bands including Pocket Billiards, Michael Mormeecha, qwqwi (Germany), NI Soul Troop, The Dead Presidents, Mojo Fury, The Bonnevilles, Ed Zealous and many more.

A range of tickets are on sale now from and with single-day tickets available from £17.95 and weekend tickets from £62.95 including booking fees. Each ticket grants access for one person, with up to two children 12 years and under, permitted free of charge when accompanying an adult.

For a full list of festival activities and current line-up connect with and see

Enjoy a free swim or round of golf in Bangor this summer!

Take a day trip to Bangor by bus or rail during summer 2013 and enjoy a free swim or round of mini-golf!  Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex, Pickie Fun Park, Translink and North Down Borough Council have come together to give you a great value day out for the whole family.

David Johnston (Translink Bangor Bus and Rail Station Supervisor) pictured with Georgia and Thompson Gedge, Bangor.

Enjoy a FREE child swim at Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex * or a FREE round of mini golf for a child at Pickie Fun Park*, simply present your Translink ticket on the day of purchase to claim one of these great deals.

Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex is Bangor’s newest attraction, featuring a 50 metre swimming pool, leisure waters and extensive gym facilities in the heart of Bangor. The ever popular Pickie Fun Park which received a complete makeover in 2012 features giant pedal swans, an 18 hole mini-golf course, Pickie Puffer Steam train, electric cars, a play park and splash pad. So why not make the most of the summer holidays and take a day trip to Bangor!

Whilst in Bangor explore nearby FREE attractions such Bangor Castle Walled Garden, North Down Museum and Project 24 or take a rest and enjoy lunch in one of the town’s eateries. All of which are just a short walk from Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex , Bangor Bus and Rail Station and Pickie Fun Park.

To make this offer even better value for money Translink are offering a 1/3 off day return tickets to Bangor by train (After 9.30am). Or you can bring the whole family with the Translink Family and Friends Ticket which entitles you to unlimited day travel by bus or rail throughout Northern Ireland. The Translink Family and Friends Ticket costs £20 and is valid for 2 adults and up to 4 children. See for more information.

For more on this offer information visit

WPFG Surfing Competition Announced by Coleraine Borough Council.

Coleraine Borough Council has been working with the team from the World Police and Fire Games to ensure that they have everything they require to host three of their most prestigious events in the Borough. The first to be announced with dates and details is the Surfing competition.

Portrush is renowned for its amazing beaches, fantastic surf and fabulous hospitality, which is why East Strand Beach will be the main location for the Surf Kayaking, Beach Volleyball and the all important Surfing events.

The competition is scheduled for Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th August, starting each day at 10am with prize giving hosted at the end of each evening. The all important information that everyone wants to know is. yes its FREE!

Although limited spacing for watching the event from the beach, Council is encouraging everyone of all ages to come to East Strand and watch the surfing and other events which will be taking place in the same area over the three days.

Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding stated, “The venue is a popular seaside destination for visitors and tourists with many amenities nearby that complement the glorious beaches, restaurants, accommodation, and pubs offering local food and beverages. We are very pleased to be hosting the World Police and Fire Games beach events in Portrush and I am looking forward to meeting the competitors who are travelling from all around the world to compete”.

Paul le Fondré, Sports Coordinator said, “The 2013WPFG is proud to host this years surfing competition at East Strand Portrush, and spectators of the event are encouraged to spend the day at the beach as it is free. The surfing event will be run in conjunction with surf kayaking and beach volleyball.

“The surfing event will open to both men and women and will be divided into age groups from 18 to 50 years+, composing of the following categories; Shortboard, Longboard, Stand Up Paddle and Bodyboarding.

“For the first time in the history of the World Police and Fire Service Games, we are proud to host the first ever Stand Up Paddleboard “SUP” event. SUP is fast becoming a recognized world wide sport and is a spectacle to both participate in and watch.”

Information on the World Police and Fire Games will be on Council’s website on the run up to the event. For detailed information on the Surfing competition and other events at the 2013 WPFG please visit the website

There’s so much going on in North Down this Summer!

Walled Garden Tour

Wednesday 17th July, 6.30pm

Bangor Castle Walled Garden was unopened to the public when it was built in the 1840s. Recently North Down Borough Council restored the beautiful garden and officially opened it as a visitor attraction in 2009. This tour gives an insight into the garden and its history and also includes a question and answer session. Free. (Limited to 25 persons)

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Bangor Abbey Graveyard Walk, Bangor Abbey,

Thursday 18th July, 7pm

Discover some of the graveyard’s most famous graves and memorials, including a memorial to John Simpson, surgeon on the Titanic and the graves of Archibald Wilson, hanged after the 1978 rebellion and W.G. Lyttle, author of ‘Betsy Gray’ the popular novel about the rebellion. Tickets £3, all proceeds go to the Friends of Bangor Abbey. (Limited to 25 persons)

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Family Fun at Cockle Row,

Groomsport Saturday 20th– Sunday 21st July, 2pm-4pm

Every weekend at Cockle Row join in the free family entertainment. This Saturday there will be Casey’s Creatures and crafts. On Sunday there will be archery, crafts and entertainment from the Ulster-Scots Agency. Free. Cottages open 11am-5pm daily.

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Nautical Past, Crawfordsburn & Belfast Lough Boat Cruise

The Jetty, Pickie Funpark, Bangor, Saturday 20th July, 2pm

Discover the rich nautical history of the Lough including Bangor’s role in D Day, WWII, ‘The Battle of The Copeland’s’, the first naval battle in the U.S. Civil War, and of course the Titanic. You will learn about the surrounding coastline including Grey Point Fort in Helen’s Bay, the best preserved coastal defence Battery in these islands, and be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife including native and migrant birds and perhaps spot a seal or two. Tickets: £10.

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Capri Car Club

Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, 21st July, 10am-5pm

Bring a picnic along and join the Ford Capri and RS owners clubs as they show off these classic cars in the grounds of the Transport Museum.  A great chance to admire the car you always promised yourself! The Museum is open from 10am; the Capri Cars are due to be on display at the Transport Museum from 12 noon. Normal admission prices apply.

For more information contact Ulster Folk & Transport Museum 028 9042 8428 or visit

Summer Entertainment – Marion Jordan Band

Ward Park, 21st July, 3pm-5pm

This Sunday sees the talented Marion Jordan take to the Bandstand at Ward Park. Marion is a seasoned performer with a versatile voice, accomplished in a diverse range of styles: Classical, Musical, Traditional, Jazz & Blues (Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones), and timeless pop classics. Marion has graced the stages of many prestigious venues including Belfast’s Grand Opera House and most recently in the new Bert’s Jazz Bar in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast. Free.

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Mon 22nd – Sun 28th July

Romeo & Juliet at the Walled Garden

Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th July, 7pm

Heartbreak Productions bring their modern adaption of the popular Romeo & Juliet story to the beautiful surroundings of the Walled Garden. This will be a magnificent open air production full of passion, thrills and adventure. Let’s hope the weather stays this good for everyone to enjoy.

Kids Nature Trail, Castle Park

Saturday 27th July, 10.30am

Join this interactive nature trail led by Patrick Clegg from the Woodland Trust and well-known bird expert Dot Blakely, where you will learn all about the natural habitat and bird life that exist in the Castle Park grounds. Tickets: Free. (Limited to 25persons)

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Archaeology Day, North Down Museum

Saturday 27th July, 10am

Archaeology Day this year will have a Bronze Age theme to celebrate the refurbishment of our Archaeology Room which hosts one of our collection treasures, the Ballycroghan Swords. With plenty of activities for all the family, you won’t want to miss out on fun and fascinating look at the past.

Activities this year include displays of Falconry, archery and weaving, demonstrations of metal-pouring and more including the popular mini-dig. We are also welcoming special guests Ancient Music Ireland, who will be performing Bronze Age music with Bronze Age horns from Antrim and Iron Age trumpets from County Down and County Armagh. Free.

For more information call the Museum on 028 9127 1200 or visit

Family fun at Cockle Row Cottages, Groomsport

Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th July, 2pm-4pm

Again this weekend in Groomsport, there is lots of free family fun to keep the whole family entertained. On Saturday come along and see Mantella Environmental and on Sunday there will be children’s crafts and entertainment from the Ulster-Scots Agency. Also on Sunday there will be a craft fair at the cottages from 12noon-4pm. The cottages are open to the public from 11am-5pm daily. Free.

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit

Summer Entertainment – Tony Martin All Stars

Sunday 28 July, 3pm-5pm, Ward Park Bandstand

Live Music in Ward Park continues this Sunday with Tony Martin All Stars. They capture the essence of Dixieland Jazz with a nostalgic appearance by one of the old days, Malcolm Gooding who returns to these shores for a stomping performance of foot tapping finger snapping jazz. There will be energy and high jinx and smiles all around, so grab some friends and a picnic and make sure you are there to see it all! Free.

For more information contact Bangor TIC 028 9127 0069 or visit


Pickie Fun Park is open daily throughout July 9am-9pm. So why not call down and take a ride on the Pickie Puffer or enjoy a round of golf on the nautical themed mini-golf course.

Coming soon…

Bangor 400 Open House Festival, Various locations throughout Bangor

August sees the Open House Bangor Festival. To help celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Bangor’s Town Charter this music based festival will feature headline concerts from acts including The Undertones, The Staves, Farriers to name a few, music sessions, comedy, and poetry, walking tours & exhibitions in various locations all over Bangor. For more information visit

World Police & Fire Games

The World Police & Fire Games in Belfast takes place from 1 – 10 August 2013, with an aim to attract 25,000 visitors from over 70 countries. This will include an estimated 10,000 competitors competing in around 57 sports, plus 15,000 friends and family. Bangor is lucky enough to host a selection of the events during the games. Bangor Aurora will get to host its first major event and other events will be taking place at Ballyholme and Bangor Sportsplex.

It is completely FREE to be a spectator throughout the games; however some venues may have a limit due to venue capacity size. So don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity and get involved! For more information visit

Our pick of great family days out for the weekend.


On Friday 19th July the small village of Ballywalter on the east coast of the beautiful Ards Peninsula will host the Ballywalter Fair Day which dates back to the 1940s. Now the fair day is one of the largest fairs in Northern Ireland and is always held around the July holidays, when this small fishing village bursts into life with thousands of visitors from all over Ireland. The fair attracts traders from as far away as Scotland, England and the South of Ireland. There is something for everyone at the fair, from the young to the old, with pony rides and inflatable slides to craft and food stalls. So make it a date and don’t be late for the Ballywalter Fair Day.


Discover your Hidden Heritage – Come and delve into the ancient site of Ardboe Cross and take a tour of St. Coleman’s Abbey this Saturday 20th July . Hear a reading of the ancient High Cross inscriptions, featuring 22 panels depicting Biblical scenes. Booking is essential for all Hidden Heritage events through the Burnavon Box Office/TIC. Buses will depart from the Burnavon for the tour sites at 6pm sharp on the evening of the event on Saturday 20th July.


Join Corralea Activity Centre for a Night Paddle on Lough Macnean this Thursday evening.  As darkness falls, step into your canoe, push off the shore and slip into the still waters.  Listen to the water gurgling beneath your boat between your rhythmic paddle strokes, marvel at the splendour of the setting sun as the light dims behind Thur Mountain.  Accompanied by a qualified instructor you will navigate between the dark silhouettes of Lough Macnean many islands absorb the stillness and peace of a summer evening and drift under the starry sky.  Your instructor will finish your tour on an island where you will enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit by the side of a camp fire.  Minimum age 7. Under 9s must be accompanied by an adult.  All equipment provided.


Join the National Trust on Saturday evening at Mussenden Temple for a unique evening of melodies in this breathtaking venue at  Downhill Demesne perched on the cliff tops of the North Coast.  Stunning location and beautiful music.


The Argory Estate in Moy will once again be filled with the sound of pipes, drums and folk music, along with highland and Scottish dancing workshops on Sunday 21st July.  There will be performances from members of St Laurence O’Toole Pipe band, St. Marys’s pipe band Derrytrasna and the Armagh School of Drum Majors. There will also be traditional Scottish food in the Courtyard and you are encouraged  to bring your West highland and Scottish Terrier along for their very own unique gathering.


See Fantasia 2000 at the Courtyard Theatre Picture House on Sunday at 2.30pm. This update of Disney’s magical masterpiece brings together animation and music in a presentation of great musical works for all the family, featuring seven animated short films set to classical compositions, along with the original version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Mickey Mouse.


Contemporary Circus meets traditional Alpine culture in a splendid display of stupidity. Brought to you by the Festival of Fools, This Sunday’s “Sunday Treat” is “Yodel” is an absurd comedy where Wolfgang Glockenspiel performs his world famous musical crescendo while riding on a 2 metre high Unicycle. Witness the wonderful exposition of traditional Leek dancing with a chorus of juggling. Listen to the beautiful melodies played by his orchestra of Bell Ringers. This is a highly original, funny and energetic show that will charm any audience in the Cathedral Quarter between 2pm and 5pm.

For more details on these and other events across Northern Ireland, news and competitions see, follow us @whatsonni and like us at Add your  events FREE OF CHARGE at www.whatsonni.

50 things summer wild-time challenge!

With another six weeks of blissful freedom ahead, the summer holidays are a giant, fun-sized adventure for children of all ages. But for parents, filling the long days of summer can sometimes be a challenge.

If you need some help keeping your little rascals amused then look no further than the National Trust. At Trust places this summer, children big and small will be encouraged to release their inner ‘wild’ side by trying to complete 25 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’.

From Monday 22 July to Sunday 1 September, simply sign up for free at and download the brand new ‘wild-time challenge pack’, crammed with a six week adventure planner, activity sheet and plenty of top tips to help boost kids’ outdoor experiences this summer.

Plus, if families log each adventure they complete online, not only will they collect exciting rewards along the way, but if you tick off 25, you will also receive a free National Trust family visit pass and be in with a chance to win the top prize of directing and starring in your very own nature film *.

Here’s a taster of what you can do. There are lots more great hints and tips to help you and your family to enjoy the great outdoors at all of the Trust’s special places at

The Argory

  • Skim a stone – adjacent to Blackwater River, The Argory is the perfect location for stone skimming.
  • Hunt for bugs – surrounded by woodlands and gardens, there won’t be a shortage of bugs to discover under rocks and near the river!
  • Canoe down a river – there are access points for the Black Water Canoe trail at The Argory and Bond’s Bridge.

Florence Court

  • Discover what’s in a pond – there’s a huge population of all kinds of life beneath the water and mud.
  • Go on a really long bike ride – explore the forest for hours with the fantastic bike trails at Florence Court.
  • Run around in the rain – with plenty of wind and rain it’s best to enjoy it by having fun and running around!

Mount Stewart

  • Catch a falling leaf – discover a whole world of trees and plants in the spectacular gardens
  • Make a mud pie – with plenty of rain and our own lake to help make the best squelchy mud for pies.
  • Create some wild art – take some inspiration from our topiaries and formal gardens and create something of your own.

Castle Ward

  • Explore inside a tree – discover the inside of some of the oldest trees at Castle Ward and have fun playing hide and seek.
  • Track wild animals – learn to recognise animal prints and tracks, and follow them if you can!
  • Find your way with a map and compass – there are over 21 miles of trails for you to navigate through.

Downhill and Hezlett House

  • Make a trail with sticks – how many sticks can you find and how long will you be able to make your trail?
  • Fly a kite – the cliff top estate is the perfect open space for some windy kite flying.
  • Go bird watching – with fantastic coastal views and a bird hide there are lots of birds to look out for.

Rowallane Garden

  • Roll down a really big hill – the gentle, rolling hill at the front of the house is perfect for some dizzying family fun.
  • Climb a tree – just the place to work on your tree climbing skills in the secret world at Rowallane.
  • Make a grass trumpet – call to each other with your trumpets and see who can do it the loudest.

Spending time outdoors is good for your heart and it’s good for your soul and the National Trust has a fantastic range of green spaces – perfect for your ‘50 things’ adventure.

*Terms and conditions apply. Available at


The creative VFX studio MPC (honored with an Oscar for ‘Achievement in Visual Effects’ for its work on Life of Pi) will unveil a new global advertising & art initiative, alongside key creative partners from New York and London, at Derry-Londonderry’s CultureTECH Festival this September.

MPC, who are famous for their work on advertising campaigns including John Lewis ‘Snowman’, Channel 4 ‘Meet the Superhumans’ and Nike+ ‘Game On’; as well as blockbuster movies such as Prometheus, Life of Pi and the Harry Potter franchise – will announce the initiative as part of a keynote showcase at the festival’s industry conference, on Wednesday, September 11, which also includes presentations from creative companies including Culture Shock NY, Finger Music and Streaming Tank.

Hugh McGrory, Creative Director of Culture Shock, New York, one of the key partners in the new initiative, is also a Derry-native.

Hugh explained: “At Culture Shock we explore the intersection of art and technology and that’s why CultureTECH is the perfect partner for us in the North of Ireland. I grew up in Derry, it’s always been an amazingly creative place, and I’m delighted to be coming back in September to get a sense of what is happening now in the city. We are launching a global project in 2014 with MPC and want to use that to make it easier for creative talent with great ideas to connect with our partners in New York and around the world. ”

Justin Brukman, Executive Producer of MPC, New York added: “We are delighted to be coming to Derry for the first time during the UK City of Culture celebrations. We will launch a new global advertising and art initiative during the CultureTECH festival in September. We intend to bring to the project to the UK and Ireland for events in 2014 and want to grow our relationship with CultureTECH to explore a host of opportunities that can be of benefit to the creative community in Northern Ireland.”

Although details of the initiative itself won’t be announced until the event in September it is thought that it will include events and programming in major cities throughout the world.

CultureTECH Festival Director Mark Nagurski added:

“It goes without saying that we are delighted to have so many great creative companies, including MPC, involved in this year’s event – their collective international reputation speaks for itself. And the fact that Hugh McGrory is involved in the project adds a brilliant local dimension. The aim of this year’s festival is to help build new networks and anything that will help local creatives to connect with others internationally will be a brilliant legacy from the City of Culture year.”

Full details of the CultureTECH programme are available online now at


(Tues, July 9th – Derry-Londonderry) Derry-Londonderry’s CultureTECH Festival has today unveiled its 2013 festival programme featuring in excess of 100 events across the week of September 9-15, including; The Belfast Media Festival, an International Artificial Intelligence Prize and a dedicated CultureTECH Junior programme which is hoped will engage with as many as 10,000 young people.

Emma Leahy from Syncni, digital media partner for Culture Tech Festival 2013

Speaking ahead of the launch, festival director Mark Nagurski explained that the emphasis of this year’s event was on “participation and accessibility”: “As you’d expect we have a brilliant lineup of speakers that cross the lines between technology, arts and culture. Organisations like the Tate, the Barbican, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the NY Philharmonic will join a host of speakers from the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and many more. But what hopefully sets CultureTECH apart are the opportunities for people from all backgrounds to engage.”

“Across the week we have events where people can build video games, write and record music, experiment with digital storytelling tools or learn software code. We have several groups who will be using CultureTECH as an opportunity to make films about the music industry, the games industry and the animation industry in Northern Ireland. And many more who will be using it as a platform to launch new companies, programmes and products.”

Perhaps the biggest draw will be the CultureTECH Junior programme, sponsored by Seagate. Designed initially as a dedicated strand of events for people under 18 to get involved in the festival, it has quickly grown into the largest individual project within it. Over three days, nearly 40 organisations – including CERN, Intel, W5, Samsung and Seagate – will host a major science and technology expo for young people at The Venue, making it one of the biggest events of its kind in the region this year. Over 4,000 school children will visit on the Thursday and Friday before the expo opens to the public on Saturday, September 14th

The CultureTECH Junior programme will also include events in partnership with CoderDojo (software workshops for kids), Teen Tech (hosted by former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin), Young Enterprise Northern Ireland and the University of Ulster. Many of the main programme’s international speakers will also take part in school visits across the week.

The full festival programme is available to view or download at The majority of events are free including CultureTECH Junior Family Day and a variety of live music and games events across the city on Saturday, September 14th.

Other programme highlights include:

Belfast Media Festival (Sep 12-13)

Free industry event featuring speakers from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc…

International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence (Sep 13-15)

The world’s longest running international artificial intelligence prize

DANI Awards (Sep 13)

Northern Ireland’s premier black tie awards for the digital and creative industries

City Arcade / Multiplay Games Bash (Sep 12-14)

Free-to-play games arcades throughout the city centre alongside games tournaments hosted in partnership with major publishers

Nerve Centre at CultureTECH (Sep 13)

Full-day music industry programme featuring speakers from Soundwave, Planet Mu, Amazing Radio, Propellerhead software

Twenty live music events

Featuring the best Northern Irish record labels, promoters and festivals (Sep 9-15)

Keynote Showcase

A major showcase and launch event from Oscar-winning visual effects studio The Moving Picture Company (MPC)

Gallery Exhibitions

Multiple gallery exhibitions of multi-media arts including a week-long pop-up gallery in Foyleside Shopping Centre

Selected Speakers include:

Scott Stulen – curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival

Sharna Jackson – Editor, Tate Kids

Wilson Kriegel – CEO of Paltalk and formerly of OMGPop (makers of Draw Something)

Michael Spencer-Jones – rock photographer who shot iconic album covers for Oasis and The Verve

Julii Oh – marketing manager of the NY Philharmonic

Adam Perry – founder of BandApp and former drummer with the Bloodhound Gang

Fred Bolza – VP, Sony Music Entertainment

Don Undeen – Manager, Media Lab at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)

Hugh McGrory – founder and creative director, Culture Shock NY

Jay Onda – Business Development at NTT Docomo

Justin Brukman – Executive Producer, MPC New York

As part of Belfast Media Festival

Julian March – Director of Online, ITV

Peter Johnston – Director of BBC NI

Ralph Rivera – Director of Future Media, BBC

Stuart Cosgrove – Director of Creative Diversity, C4

As part of Loebner Prize

Prof. Noel Sharkey – Professor of Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, University of Sheffield

Dr. Roger Schank – John Evans Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University

Dr. Hugh Loebner – International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), New York


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (July 15 – 21).

  • Jazz by the Lake, Crom, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, July 18.  Jazz has returned to Crom – come along and enjoy a relaxing evening listening to some local jazz by the shores of Lough Erne.  Hearty supper included.
  • Wildlife Trackers, Mount Stewart House and Garden, Newtownards, Co. Down. July 18.  A drop off programme for children aged between 5 – 11 years.  Parents and carers can relax while the children learn more about the amazing animals that make Mount Stewart their home.
  • Brighter Nights, Ballycastle Seafront, Co. Antrim, July 19.  Enjoy entertainment by the seafront with King Shah which combines pulsating music, good humour, acrobatics, contortions, tumbling and fire limbo.
  • Glasgowbury 2013, Draperstown, Co. Londonderry, July 19 – 20.  For the first time ever Glasgowbury will expand to a two day festival and headline acts for this year’s event include a Northern Ireland exclusive performance from Downpatrick rockers The Answer, Derry~Londonderry dance duo The Japanese Popstars and North Coast instrumentalists And So I Watch You From Afar.

  • Pinhole Camera Workshop, Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh, July 19 – 20.  World renowned camera expert Justin Quinnell will be holding exciting workshops where you will make your own five-month duration pinhole camera.  Using a tin can, some tape and paper you will be able to take a photograph from this summer until the winter equinox, recording the sun’s path on each day.
  • T13 – All-Ireland Blade Jam, T13 Urban Sports Academy, Queen’s Road, Belfast, July 20.  Ireland’s first ever All-Ireland contest with the top blading athletes descending on T13 for a packed program of competition and entertainment including live music, action sports, urban arts and much more.

  • Raspberry Tea, Ballance House, Glenavy, Co. Antrim, July 20.  Enjoy a taste of summer at Ballance House where there will be local produce to buy, a variety of craft stalls to browse, face painting and tombola.  Admission includes traditional afternoon tea and a bowl of locally grown raspberries or strawberries and cream.
  • Argory Tartan, The Argory, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, July 21.  The estate will once again be filled with the sound of pipes, drums and folk music along with highland and Scottish dancing workshops.  There will also be traditional Scottish food in the Courtyard.
  • Romeo and Juliet, The Walled Garden, Bangor, Co. Down, July 24 – 25.  Absorb yourself in this modern performance of Romeo and Juliet which sees two innocent young lovers fall victim to family hatred and cruel destiny.  Gather your family and friends and grab a picnic and enjoy this open air theatre performance.
  • Come Canoeing, Gortin Lakes, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, every Wednesday in July. Enjoy some outdoor fun and go canoeing with Four Elements Outdoor Adventure.  No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided.

Jacqueline from shares her pick of family events happening across the North this weekend.


There is lots of fun to be had at this weekend’s SpecDuckular event at WWT Castle Espie on 12th and 13th July. Unlock your artistic talents and join local wildlife artist Bernice Anderson, in the Drumlin Theatre. Bring along a rubber duck and enjoy a picnic in our grounds. Show your ducks to the restaurant staff and collect a prize. Quackanory – enjoy some duck related children’s stories at different times throughout the day.  Have a go at Pond dipping at the pond zone and woodland mini-beast hunting in Stoat Town. At different times throughout the day.  Complete all 4 activities and collect a free duck related gift to take home with you.  Plus lots of lovely duck related games including favourites like Duck hunt and ducking and diving.


Glenelly Rockin’ By The River Festival is an annual festival which takes place in Plumbridge, Co Tyrone. This year the festival runs from Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st July and includes a vintage day, cycle and family day, variety concert, Nathan Carter & his band, under age disco, and much more.


Looking for adventure and fun this summer? Share Adventure camp is now taking bookings for the 9th – 16th August 2013. The camp includes:· Morning, afternoon and evening activities, food and accommodation,  RYA/BCU Qualification, 24 Hour Supervision.


Slaughtneil GAC are hosting a family fun day on Sunday 14th July from 1-5pm. Admission is free so bring the family to enjoy townland games, dance and music,  juggling, face painting,  games and more.


Enjoy some summer fun in Armagh city – the perfect choice for those looking to fill their summer holidays with days to remember. From cathedrals to the planetarium, museums to the mall plus a series of fun-filled summer events, a trip to Armagh City this summer is sure to provide an unforgettable experience! Navan Fort or Emain Macha as it is known is one of Ireland’s most famous and important archaeological sites. Home of the famous Red Branch Knights and the Ulster Cycle of tales, Navan Fort is a place where myth and reality meet. During your visit you will have the chance to feast like a king or queen as you join one of Navan Fort’s mythological figures for a picnic.


This weekend you can enjoy a range of family activities at Belfast Zoo’s Family Weekend event, including face painting and a bouncy castle. Animal feeding times will be taking place throughout the day.

For more details on these and other events across Northern Ireland, news and competitions see, follow us @whatsonni and like us at Add your  events FREE OF CHARGE at www.whatsonni.