Arco String Quartet Bring Classical to The Bandstand

This Sunday, August 25th, North Down Borough Council’s Summer Entertainment programme comes to a close with the fabulous Acro String Quartet providing the grand finale.

Arco String Quartet is one of the country’s leading professional and dynamic string quartets, having gained a fine reputation in Ireland both North and South for providing the highest quality musical entertainment and a level of performance, presentation and service second to none.

All of the players, are members of The Ulster Orchestra, are graduates of major music conservatories and have performed all over the world and with many prestigious orchestras as well as collaborating with artists like Foy Vance, The Farriers and Matt McGinn.

So for a lovely afternoon in the park, enjoying classical music in the great outdoors, make your way to Ward Park this Sunday from 3pm – 5pm and don’t forget your picnic!

Keep an eye out in local press each week for details on each artist or for more information phone our Tourist Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 or visit:

You’re Invited to a Digi-talk Conference 2013

Thursday 26th September 2013
9am to 2.30pm
Stormont Hotel

The Northern Ireland Digital Marketing Forum, in conjunction with Hastings Hotels and the Ulster Business School, has organised an innovative Digital Marketing conference – Digi-Talk – to bring some of Ireland’s experts to Belfast. These speakers are leaders in their fields and will talk on digital marketing strategy, the adoption of tactics and the legal implications of social media.

Who should attend?

Digital Marketers, Business Owners, HR Managers, Media, Students, Lecturers.


Krishna De Krishna

Content Marketing And Digital Expert, Krishna De Krishna is an authority in content marketing and digital strategy. She guides organisations to integrate digital communications to help them increase their visibility, reputation and profits. She will share tips on visual content marketing trends and what this means for your marketing and communication plans.

Leading Irish Times journalist, Conor Pope

Conor Pope is a journalist, author and broadcaster. As The Irish Times Consumer Affairs Correspondent he deals with topics as diverse as personal finance, tourism, retailing and property, and frequently comes to the aid of readers who have been upset by
businesses and service providers. He has radio slots on Today FM, RTE and Newstalk and recently appeared on RTE’s top-rated Celebrity Masterchef. Before developing an interest in consumer issues – and cooking! – he was the deputy editor of The Irish
Times website and worked exclusively in a online environment for more than a decade from 1996.

Award winning Law Firm A&L Goodbody, Partner Gareth Walls

Gareth has more than 12 years experience practising as a specialist employment lawyer and has built a strong reputation for excellence in Intellectual Property, Social Media and online legislation. He will talk on legal aspects of social media and advise on how to create a legally enforceable social media policy.

Students: £25
Delegates: £65

Includes lunch and refreshments
For further information please email or call 028 9067 4168.

Shining the Shores……. Lough Neagh Festival of Lights

Lough Neagh’s Festival of Lights will take place at Ballyronan Marina on Friday 23rd August with an impressive line-up of activities throughout the evening to entertain and awe audiences of all ages.

The magnificent illumination themed event is sure to draw large crowds of people from far and wide and have boats bedecking their vessels in the Marina for a dramatic light display.

Take a step back in time at our Vintage Tea Dance from 2pm in the Marina Centre with ‘Vintage Memories’ by the Washerwoman, entertainment by Liam McLaughlin and some delightful vintage refreshments.

From 4pm there will be taster sessions for canoeing & kayaking with the Mid Ulster Canoe & Kayak Club; a great opportunity for enthusiasts of all levels to try their hand at Water sports, so booking is essential (Tel: 028 7941 8399). You can also sample a short trip on the Lough, courtesy of Lough Neagh Boat Hire; booking recommended (Tel: 07928783516 or 07928766353).

Lough Neagh Rescue’s Raft Race will take place from 7pm, a perfect platform to showcase your creative flare and enter a home-made raft. Try building something fast and furious, the quirkier the better perhaps incorporating our theme of illumination.   To register Tel: 077 2516 2008.

A diverse range of activities and entertainment for you to revel in will be running throughout the evening, including an African drum band, Chinese dragon & Lithuanian Folk group, Flamenco dancers, a magician, face painters, kids craft activities, amusements as well as the Maid of Antrim vessel hosting its 50th Birthday Party.  A perfect opportunity to come along and enjoy a slice of cake, and get your discount coupon!

New to the festival this year is the International Food Market offering culinary delights from across the world, as well as our locally coveted cuisine of Lough Neagh Eels & Pollan, as well as Paella, Tapas, Hog Roast, venison burgers, Indian cuisine, Pizza, Coco Mojo, chocolate fountain and more to be confirmed; simply irresistible! Come along and tantalize your taste buds!

The festivities will continue with a spectacular fireworks display accompanied by music at 9.30pm coloring the sky and reflecting from the waters of Lough Neagh at Ballyronan, then live music from Just 2 will have everyone dancing to the beat into the early hours, bar open until late.

Entry £1 per adult – kids go free!

Find us on facebook: ‘Lough Neagh Festival of Lights’ for details of spot prizes throughout the evening!

For further information about the festival contact 028 7941 8399 or

Supported by Cookstown District Council through the EU’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Get A Taste of Student Life!

University of Ulster Chancellor James Nesbitt, is urging thousands of prospective students to come and enjoy a taste of student life at the University this September as the University hosts a series of Open Days at its campuses in Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee.

“We are throwing open our doors to give students and their families a glimpse of campus life,”  the Chancellor said.

“As a former Ulster student myself, I know that taking the next step in education, choosing course options and deciding where to study can be difficult decisions –  but we want to make it as easy as possible for prospective students to make the right choice.

“During our Open Days we’ll have all our offerings under one roof, so you can explore the range of opportunities – and chat with staff and students.

“Come and see what we have to offer!”

University of Ulster Open Days, in partnership with Danske Bank, will be held at:

• Coleraine Campus on Saturday 7th September

• Jordanstown Campus on Tuesday 10th Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September

• Magee Campus on Saturday 21st September

Pauline Wylie, Marketing & Recruitment Manager at the University of Ulster, said:

“Our Open Days are designed to give a feel for what it’s like to be a student at Ulster.  We’ll be hosting fun, informative lectures on a diverse range of subjects from Architecture to Biomedical Science and Creative Technologies, plus lots of interactive demonstrations and tours of our accommodation, library and sports facilities.

“We want to make our Open Days as accessible as possible – that’s why you’ll find our Coleraine and Magee campus Open Days taking place on a Saturday  –  and there’s also a special evening event at our Jordanstown campus.”

“Open Days are not just for sixth-form students or recent school leavers,” she said. “We want to encourage parents, mature students, anyone wanting to pursue postgraduate options to join us at the Open Day events.

“We will have staff available to explain how to fund your studies – and if you want to study and work at the same time, we’ll offer advice about how our part-time courses could help you create new opportunities in your career.

“From short courses, to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees – there is something foreveryone!”

All Open Days will run from 9.30am – 3.00pm with a special evening session at Jordanstown from 6.00pm – 8.00pm on Wednesday 11th September. For further information or to register for Open Days please visit

Ready steady Stendhal !

The wait is finally over and this weekend Stendhal Festival of Art returns to provide cravers of all things culture a healthy dose of creativity.

Musical performances from almost 60 acts including Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, Duke Special, Paddy Casey will complement a plethora of artistic genres including poetry, craft, sculpture, comedy, dance and much more, and Limavady is all set to get involved in the third instalment of this fast rising event.

Organisers of the festival have provided a few hints and tips about how to make the most out of your experience by answering some frequently asked questions about the event.

How do I get there?
If you have a sat nav – The postcode is BT490NQ If you have the internet, visit our website and click on the festival info link, then click on directions. Or simply type Stendhal Festival Limavady into Google Maps.
Can I bring my own alcohol on site?
Yes, those in possession of a WEEKEND CAMPING PASS or a FAMILY WEEKEND PASS are the ONLY patrons permitted to bring their own alcohol into the venue. Nobody in possession of a day pass is permitted to bring their own alcohol, but don’t worry, we will have very fairly priced drinks on sale at our bar. The Limit this year is 12 cans plus one plastic bottle. NO GLASS on site please or it will be confiscated.
Will there be a charge for car parking?
Yes, there will be a £4 charge for the full weekend OR £2 per day if you are only visiting for one day. People have asked us why we simply don’t add the price of the car park to the ticket price. Well the simple answer to that is that not everyone will drive to the event so in essence they would be paying for a service they won’t use and that’s not fair! Also see next post about our shuttlebus
I’m under 18, is the family pass my only option for entry?
Yes. Anyone under 18 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
When do we pitch our tents? Gates open for the event on Friday August 16 at 5pm so anytime after that. If something comes up and you can only camp on the Saturday night, just bring your tent on the Saturday.
If the kids get tired later on can we drop them off and come back to let our hair down?
Absolutely, that’s part of the reason we have introduced the shuttle bus, so that people can come and go as they please. Just don’t lose your wristband in transit.
And kids must be present when a family ticket is presented.
What time do the gates close for entry?
The gate and ticket office close at 10pm on both nights. There will be no access to the site whatsoever after this point.

Our Art Gallery and Craft Market will be back to showcase local talent so bring your extra pennies if you wish to support our local arts and craft sector. We have an album on our facebook showcasing some of the products on sale.
With weather conditions so changeable at the minute we recommend that you bring the appropriate footwear and clothing for anything the weather may decide to bring. Your guess is as good as ours at the minute.

We recommend you bring a lock for your tent. Or don’t bring valuables.
Don’t fancy driving to Stendhal this year?  Not a problem thanks to the good folk at North Coast Community Transport, who will once again be providing a FREE shuttle bus service between Limavady and the festival site.
Friday August 16. 6pm to 9pm the service runs in half hour intervals, on the hour from Limavady Bus Depot car park; and on the half hour from the festival site) Departure point: Car park behind Limavady Bus Depot.

Saturday August 17. 10am to 9pm Service runs on the hour from festival site and on the half hour from Limavady Bus depot Car Park.

Unfortunately there isn’t an ATM onsite but if you get really stuck you can get the free shuttle bus into town, times on previous update

Any caravans turning up on the day will not be allowed to stay in the car park even during day hours. Campervans that are not on the list will be charged £10, be in the general carpark and the festival will not be liable for any damage incurred.

Alcohol may only be brought onsite and into the campsite, so for those staying the weekend – alcohol is permitted in this area – family weekend passes not staying are not permitted to bring alcohol.

Tickets are selling fast but we have held aside some for those who are undecided to pay at the gate, there will however be an additional service charge of £5 on tickets bought at the gate.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (August 19 – 25).

  • Donaghadee Festival Fortnight, Donaghadee, Co. Down, August 10 – 24.  An action packed programme of events including multi-cultural entertainment, an autofest, historical talks and exhibitions.
  • Clandeboye Festival 2013, Grand Opera House, Belfast, August 19 – 24.  This year’s festival will include daytime and evening concerts, recitals, a masterclass with Michelin Star Chef Paul Rankin and a fashion show.  The festival will once again welcome international musicians who will be joined by the next generation of artists as they take part in the festival’s Young Musician Programme.
  • Ulster Rally Fermanagh, Enniskillen and Enniskillen Airport, Co. Fermanagh, August 23 – 24.  The best drivers and cars from across the UK, Ireland and beyond, will take part in this action packed extravaganza which is a must for racing fans.
  • Hilden Beer and Music Festival, Hilden Brewery, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, August 23 – 25.  A favourite for lovers of beer and music, this festival is a celebration of the best beers in the UK and Ireland, the finest local musical talent and includes an outdoor gourmet kitchen.
  • All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships, Carnlough, Co. Antrim, August 23 – 25.  Coastal rowers from all over Ireland will compete at the highest level with races held on a multi-lane, multi turn, course laid and maintained at sea over the three day regatta.     
  • The Gingerbread Man, The Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, August 24.  Imagine a world made entirely of biscuits, trees, houses and stars in the sky.  Into this beautiful world comes The Gingerbread Man, creating havoc wherever he goes.  A popular story and visual feast specially devised for younger children aged 3+.
  • Plants for Free – Workshop, Ballyrobert Cottage Garden, Co. Antrim August 24.  An opportunity to learn a range of propagation techniques which can be used successfully in your own garden for both ornamental and edible plants.  Learn how to deal with the critical early stages of growing including the choice of compost and growing location.
  • Belfast Mela, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, August 24 – 25.  This largest festival of ethnic arts, culture and heritage in Ireland will transform Botanic Gardens in the heart of Belfast into an exotic wonderland of world music, dance, fashion, food and celebration.
  • Lap the Lough, Peatlands Park, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, August 25.  A not-for-profit cycling event for the whole community.  The route is around 81 miles with stops every 25 miles.
  • Derry’s Walls Day, The Guildhall, Co. Londonderry, August 25.  As part of National Heritage Week, Walled Towns across Ireland will be exploring the heritage of ramparts, gates and towers.  Guildhall Square will be transformed into a History Square and people can experience some of what made life colourful when Springham and Smithes arrived in Derry in August 1613.


Stories from the Shankill, dance in public spaces, international collaborations and 400 years of Belfast’s history – this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s will shine a light on the wealth of world-class local talent.

Sharing the billing with key international performers from Thursday 17th October – Sunday 27th October, home-grown artists will engage and entertain audiences in venues across the city. Launching the local element of this year’s Festival was Damian Smyth , Head of Literature and Drama for Arts Council of Northern  Ireland and Belfast theatre company Kabosh whose performance Belfast by Moonlight will run throughout festival in St George’s Church in Belfast.

Commenting on the importance of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s for our local arts scene, Damian stated, “Northern Ireland has produced some of the most outstanding and artistically accomplished local acts of world-class standard.  The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s provides a platform for these theatrical talents to showcase their impressive work alongside that of renowned international performers.  Kabosh’s world premiere of Carlo Gébler’s new play, Belfast by Moonlight, with original music by Neil Martin, will enchant audiences, reinforcing the message of the world-class theatre we have in Northern Ireland.”

From Friday 18th October in the stunning surrounds of St George’s Church, Kabosh Theatre Company will chart the 400 year history of this ever changing city in the new play Belfast by Moonlight written by Carlo Gébler with original music by Northern Irish composer Neil Martin. This ritualistic drama commences in 1613 when the town charter is granted and gives a voice to the forgotten celebrating personal endurance and presenting a refrain for Béal Feirste.

Martin’s music features again within the spectacular theatrical and music event The Conquest of Happiness at T13 in the Titanic Quarter– an international collaboration between Belfast theatre company Prime Cut, East West Centre in Sarajevo and the Mladinsko Theatre in Slovenia. Inspired by British philosopher Bertrand Russell, directed by acclaimed Bosnian artist Haris Pasovic and performed by an international cast this piece takes us on a journey through some of the most dramatic events in the world’s recent history.

Another journey through history – only this time it is the Shankill Road that provides the focus and the venue as community actors work alongside professional actors to present Crimea Square at the Spectrum Centre. The amazing story of the Shankill Road from 1912 to the present day is populated by some of the Shankill’s greatest characters and covers major events from the signing of the Ulster Covenant up to and beyond the Shankill Road bombing. Using a unique combination of especially commissioned sound scape and film, the era of the cinema will be brought back to the Spectrum Centre (old Stadium Cinema) through the use of large screens recalling the Shankill of old.

From film to dance with Maiden Voyage at The MAC and the Ulster Museum – a newly commissioned premiere from Northern Irish dance company Dance Exposed which will take dance into public spaces to ask questions about the relationship between bodies and buildings as a way of understanding the link between individuals and the structures that shape their experience. Choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchúir will create a performance in and around The MAC and Ulster Museum that maps the relationships between dancer and audience, between the performance and the space it inhabits, and between the traces of what has been and of what is to come.

The scale and diversity of this annual Festival programme would not be possible without the continuing support of our various public and private sponsors, including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the EU and the British Council. Plus, the many venues, performers and partner organisations whose commitment and passion bring the arts to life for all to enjoy.

The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s runs from 17th – 27th October at venues all over the city. To find out more and book tickets visit  or call  box office on 02890 971197. ⧣BelFest

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


Recreate the summer steam train excursion of yester-year by steam train along the edge of Belfast Lough. This summer excursion will offer passengers steam train travel from Bangor station to Belfast Central station and return. For the historically minded, the steam train will offer a unique chance to travel south from Bangor on the former Belfast and County Down Railway line to Belfast. Departure times: Bangor Station 13:40;  Belfast Central 15:15  Tickets available now from the Belfast Welcome Centre. 17th and 24th August.


The Dragons of Azrael is a brand new interactive puppet show that will be enjoyed by all the family this weekend at the Burnavon Cookstown.  The show takes you on a magical journey to a distant world of Dragons, starring John Ryan as Ariel, it features the dragon planet Azrael, where imagination has died and the great Master Argon sleeps awaiting the birth of the Imagination Child. It is a world of darkness where no songs are sung, no one dances or creates art. The dragons’ souls are dead but with the combined effort of a newborn baby dragon and the imaginations of all the children of Earth they can save the day!  Laced with superb puppetry, special effects & beautiful music, the Dragons of Azrael is a great show for all the family.Visit theDragons of Azarel’s official Facebook page to see lots of pics from the previous shows.  Performed daily at 3pm and 4.30pm on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th August.


The Corralea Activity Centre Summer Buzz programme is specially designed for families: you do not need to be part of a group or to have any experience; just ring to book your place and enjoy the fun. All activities are either 2 or 3 hours long and are run by qualified staff. Waterpark sessions: 2 hour sessions, 10am-12pm or 2-4pm on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. Jump, bounce, slide on this island of fun.


Live at the Box is a free live music event at the Box on Portstewart Promenade in conjunction with the Big Telly Company on Sunday 18th August. Giving young, local, talented musicians the chance to play their music and admission is free!


It’s Victorian weekend at the Argory this weekend 17th and 18th August.  Don’t miss the chance to see what really goes on behind closed doors in the Big House. Meet the Housekeeper, the Governess and the Lady’s Maid and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea in the Octagon Room. Children can dress up, join in Victorian games and pick up some treats in the Victorian sweetshop. An experience not to be missed.

Larne Borough Council is proud to present its 60th Anniversary Annual Flower Show to be held on Saturday 17th August 2013.  This year, for the first time, the Diamond Jubilee Show will be held in the newly refurbished Larne Market Yard.  The show always attracts a very high standard of entries and Larne Borough Council hope, that with your help, this year will be no exception. This year’s theme of a bygone era gives a varied source for inspiration as does the new setting of Larne Market Yard.  Larne Art Club will again take part in this year’s show, demonstrating its interpretation of this year’s theme. The show opens to the public from 2pm-4pm with live music and of course the opportunity to view the wonderful exhibits.


Have you ever wondered what the animals get up to after closing time? Why go along along to Belfast Zoo on Saturday 17th August and find out at this special VIP twilight tour of the zoo.  The night will begin with a barbeque dinner, followed by a guided tour by zoo keepers. Tickets must be booked beforehand and spaces are limited.

Remember that Movie House Cinemas screenings before noon are only £3 for the rest of August!!

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.


THE Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is encouraging people to holiday at home this summer with the launch of a new campaign inviting you to take a trip down memory lane, recalling your favourite family breaks in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is encouraging people to holiday at home this summer with the launch of a new campaign inviting you to take a trip down memory lane, recalling your favourite family breaks in Northern Ireland. Rediscover NI takes the form of a survey on childhood holiday memories amongst adults and has been launched with the aim of demonstrating how much Northern Ireland has changed over the past 50 years by encouraging people to revisit where they holidayed as a child. Pictured are the Hollinger sisters from Ballymena holidaying in Portrush in the 1960s. To enter Rediscover NI and be in with a chance to win a short break in Northern Ireland visit or search ‘rediscover ni’ to share your memories and photos before Friday August 30th.

If you danced the night away at the Arcadia in Portrush in the 60s, took a rowing boat out in Bangor bay in the 70s or braved the Slippery Dip in Newcastle in the 80s, NITB is calling on you to record your memories on its website, with the chance to win a short break in Northern Ireland.

Rediscover NI takes the form of a survey on childhood holiday memories amongst adults and has been launched with the aim of demonstrating how much Northern Ireland has changed over the past 50 years by encouraging people to revisit where they holidayed as a child.

Pauline Gormley, Destination PR Officer of NITB, said: “We really are spoilt for choice for holiday destinations with our selection of 200km of diverse coastline and beachfront, right down to our fantastic Lakeland in Fermanagh or the mesmerising mountains of Mourne in Co. Down, all within two hours drive of each other.

“People have fond memories of their family holidays in Northern Ireland, whether they reminisce about the Morellis ice cream they enjoyed walking along the Portstewart promenade, following in the footsteps of Giants at the Causeway or coming face to face with marine life on the shores of Strangford Lough, at Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry.

“Whatever your memory is, we would like to hear it and you could be in with a chance to win a short break to rediscover your childhood holiday with your family today,” she added.

To enter Rediscover NI and be in with a chance to win a short break in Northern Ireland visit or search ‘rediscover ni’ to share your memories and photos by Friday August 30th.

A short break in Northern Ireland starts from £49 per room. To book a short break and find out more about Northern Ireland’s world-class attractions visit

Ships Ahoy! Coleraine Borough Council host the Portrush Regatta 17th-18th August.

FOR a second successive year, Coleraine Borough Council is hosting the Portrush Regatta on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th August.

Ships ahoy! With Maisy Hassan from the Borough of Coleraine as she sets her sails ready for Coleraine Borough Council’s Portrush Regatta 2013. All events will be held in Portrush running the two days of 17th and 18th August 2013. or

Following a successful launch last year, it is again being run in conjunction with Coleraine Yacht Club and Portrush Yacht Club with the aim of attracting sailing enthusiasts to the North Coast.  Local families and visitors are encouraged to come along and join in the nautical-themed land based events. The highlight of the weekend will be the racing programme for cruisers and dinghies starting from Portrush Harbour on both days at 11am.  Visitors will also be treated to a view of the 38 Ft Curragh Colmcille (the largest Curragh in the world) and the Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group plan to run a series of Curragh races over the weekend. The Kitty of Coleraine, one of the Borough’s most popular heritage boats will be showcased over the two days at Portrush Harbour.

Mayor of Coleraine, Councilor David Harding said, “This event is another great addition to the Borough’s events programme. I would like to thank Malin Waters for their financial support and our partners for providing their expertise, ensuring that this event becomes a stable fixture in Council’s annual events schedule. Everyone is welcome to Portrush to make full use of our wonderful coastline, either by lazing on the shoreline or getting out there to try any number of water based activities such as sailing, surfing, scuba diving, boat trips, sea angling etc.

A full programme of events is planned for the family onshore to complement the activities on the water including the Island Dhu open water swim on Sunday 18th, commencing at 1.30pm – only the bravest may apply!  Members of the public can now use the brand new Beach Volleyball court at East Strand, which has become a permanent fixture as part of the legacy following last week’s World Police and Fire Games event. Some of the other activities available for everyone to enjoy, and free to all, will be a special visit by Paula McIntyre, the BBC Radio Ulster Resident Chef, who will be cooking up some seafood dishes at the Good Food NI kitchen during the weekend. There will also be a ‘static mermaid’, live music, ‘Punch & Judy’ shows, tales from the deep blue sea, basket weaving demonstrations, sand sculptures and a photographic exhibition with lots, lots more to enjoy. Special showings of Free Willy and Pirates in an adventure with scientists will also be available for viewing at regular times at the Playhouse cinema, Portrush.

A full programme of events is available from . For a maritime weekend full of nautical fun and frolics, everyone is invited to make their way to Portrush for another fun filled weekend.