Set sail for Larne this June and join Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the Larne Alive Maritime Festival.

There is a packed festival programme this June to celebrate the Larne Area’s Maritime Heritage and also the visit of the Tall ships to Northern Ireland this July.

The festival opens on Saturday 6th June when Larne Main Street will be awash with all manners of strange sea creatures, sailors and of course pirates! Schools, groups and clubs from throughout the Larne area will be dressing up and taking part in the parade along with a group of local young people who have being learning to stilt walk for the event.  This parade is sure to be a colourful and vibrant affair and lots of fun for all taking part and spectating!  Come down to Larne Town Centre from 2pm to 4pm to enjoy live music at Broadway Bandstand along with face painting and walkabouts! Enjoy the atmosphere and watch the parade pass by at around 3.15 pm. The Parade will be leaving Larne YMCA at 3pm.

On Sunday 7th June at 8pm in Larne Town Centre the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council sports crew will be hosting a special pirate bicycle ride around Larne Town Centre. Dress up yourself and even your bike and sail up Main Street in true Pirate style. Why not even light up your vessel with LED lights and glow sticks to stand out from the crowd.

Throughout June you will be able to take part in a tricky treasure trail around Larne town for all those aspiring sailors out there! To complete the trail, pick up a form from Larne Visitor Information Centre or Larne Museum & Arts Centre. Locate all TWELVE pieces of loot hidden in various locations around the town which will reveal the location of the Buried Treasure. Fill in the entry form and drop it into the treasure chests located at the Larne Visitor Information Centre or Larne Museum & Arts Centre. Closing date is Friday 27th June.  Forms will also be available to download from

As part of the festival programme budding photographers will be asked to take photographs which capture Larne coastal landscape and maritime heritage. Whether it’s a striking shot of the rugged coast line or a fisherman coming into shore we are looking for creative images that show off Larne’s beautiful landscape! Entries will be displayed at Larne Visitor Information Centre in June. There will be 2 categories, under 16 years and over 16 years. There will 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for each category.

This is just one of a large number of events taking place in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Keep up to date with what is happening in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne at


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (June 1 -7).

  • Bargain Hunt Antiques, Art and Collectibles Fair, Greyabbey, Co.Down, June 1. Join Tim Wannacott and other art dealers for a special day of antiques in Greyabbey. Two teams will go head to head and visitors can enjoy the fun atmosphere whilst browsing the stalls of porcelain, furniture, silver, original paintings, vintage clothing and more.
  • Walk the Glens Festival, Co Antrim, June 5. The Walk the Glens Festival is based around the spectacular surroundings of Glenariff, Cushendall and Cushendun. Local guides will escort you through breathtaking routes and also inform and educate on the culture and history of this famous area.
  • Titanic Taster Tour – Art, Titanic House, 6 Queen’s Rd, Belfast, Co. Antrim, June 6.  Join the Titanic Foundation for an exciting opportunity to enjoy a fully tutored day of location drawing with local artist Julie Douglas.  Stops include the SS Nomadic, the former Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, before finishing off in the famous Titanic Dock & Pump-House.
  • Mid Ulster Vintage Rally, Springhill House, Moneymore, Magherafelt, Co Derry~Londonderry, June 6.  Spectators can enjoy the largest vintage vehicle rally in mid Ulster, where hundreds of vehicles and items of machinery will be on display for all the family. The event will be hosted by the Mid Ulster Vintage Vehicles Club.
  • Fleadh Cheoil Ard Macha, Parochial Hall,  Blackwatertown, Co Armagh, June 5 – 7. The Fleadh will begin on Friday 5th June with a concert featuring the Crosskeys Group of Traditional Music and various local artists. The Saturday will see competitions take place all day in St Jarlath’s Primary School followed by Street Sessions.
  • Omagh Laughs Back, various venues around Omagh, Co Tyrone, June 5 – 7. This brand new Festival of Comedy is brought to you by Dalys Comedy Club and will feature an array of comedy talent from all over the UK and Ireland including comedy workshops, street performers and stand up comics.
  • Forest Fun and Minibeast Hunt, Florencecourt, Co Fermanagh, June 7. Families can come along and join the hunt for wildlife in the Marble Arch Caves National Nature Reserve. Children can learn all about the minibeasts fascinating lifestyles and their roles in the ecosystems.
  • Christy Moore with Máirtín O’Connor Band, Belfast Waterfront, Co Antrim, June 5 – 6. Music legend, Christy Moore will entertain crowds with his much loved songs and will be joined on stage by Máirtín O’Connor, one of the most respected and best loved musicians to emerge from Ireland and one of the main musical forces behind Riverdance.
  • Open Day at Grey Point Fort, Helen’s Bay, Co Down, June 6. This exciting event is organised by the Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society and Volunteers. Visitors can watch the Living History show from 12.30pm which will include representatives of British, German and Russian WW2 armies with their respective uniform and weapons as well as take in a display of D Company military vehicles, a collection of radios and military memorabilia.
  • Photography Weekend Workshop, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, June 6 – 7. Perfect for photography enthusiasts, this mixed weekend workshop with two award winning photographers will focus on landscapes and birds.  Attendees will learn lots of new skills and techniques on what promises to be an exciting and interesting weekend.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto

Here is Jacqueline’s pick of what’s on this weekend across NI this week.


Country blues band Alabama 3 are set to headline a three day music festival in Holywood which will take place from Friday May 29th to Sunday, May 31st throughout the town.  Alabama 3 will be supported by bands Shock Treatment 21 and Drop Circus as well as acoustic act Mike Donaghy at the Holywood Rugby Club Marquee on Saturday night. Friday night Ska tribute band Doghouse at the Holywood Rugby Club Marquee while Celtic Soul will finish off the weekend on Sunday at the Holywood Yacht Club.


You’re invited to step back to the 1800s to see what really went on behind closed doors in the Victorian big house at the Agory’s Victorian Tea this Sunday 31st May.  Get the gossip from the Housekeeper and the Lady’s Maid and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea; finger sandwiches, Victoria sponge, homemade scones and other traditional delights.  Afternoon tea sittings: 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm.  Booking is essential.


The ‘Tour of Fermanagh’ annual charity cycle will take place on Saturday 30th May 2015.  The event will raise funds for Lisnaskea Emmetts GAC and a local charity. The cycle is aimed at all levels of cyclist, from relative newcomers to the sport up to experienced endurance athletes. Three individually tailored cycle routes (60km/100km/150km) will cater for cyclists of all abilities and fitness levels whilst showcasing the beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings of Co. Fermanagh.


Welcome to Dame Gothel’s garden where you can let your hair down with Rapunzel at the Burnavon Theatre Cookstown on Saturday 30th May.  Narrated by a wonderful frog this fun adaptation has all the elements of a traditional tale…the witch, the beautiful girl locked in a tall tower and, of course, the handsome prince who attempts to save Rapunzel. With specifically recorded music, beautiful made rod puppets and Steve Smart’s masterly puppetry skills, this is a show that is enjoyed by adults and children alike.


In celebration of their 10th Birthda,y The Jungle Moneymore are hosting a Wild West Party on Saturday 30th May. The event will be staged in The Jungle’s contemporary activity barn which boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound system. Visitors are encouraged to adopt the funky theme and come dressed as Cowboys or Indians and dance the night away to Country Music provided by a top local DJ.  There will be a Rodeo Bull content with prizes up for grabs in addition to dancing wild west cowgirls.


If you go down to Antrim Castle Gardens on Saturday 30th May, between 1pm and 4pm, you’re sure of a big surprise! The teddy bears’ picnic will be fun for children of all ages with a wide range of children’s entertainment including arts & crafts, face painting, balloon modelling and a teddy bear hospital.  Listen to enchanted tales from Mr Hullabaloo and his cast of colourful puppets and bring your favourite teddy to the Jump, Jiggle and Jive teddy bear dance workshop.


For W5’s final event of ‘Robot Month’ on Saturday 30th May, John Donaldson from the 501st Ireland Garrison, Star Wars costuming club, will be appearing throughout the day as General Grievous, the cyborg leader of the droid army! John’s movie accurate costume has to be seen to be believed – do you dare approach him for a photograph?  General Grievous is free with admission to W5.

Add your events free at Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.


With over 100 events, many completely FREE, the fifth Belfast Book Festival, 8-14 June, is getting ready to showcase some of the biggest names in the literary world from home and beyond.

On the case of the fifth Belfast Book Festival, 8-14th June, which will showcase some of the biggest names in the literary world from home and aboard at the Cresecent Arts Centre and across the city, were from left Glenn Patterson,who will launch his book here's me here at the festival, Deepa Mann-Kler Chair of the Crescent Arts Centre, and Conor Maguire who will perform a one man show of Moby Dick. For further details visit Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography

The voices of authors, poets and performers will come alive at the Crescent Arts Centre as well as other locations across the city. From young to old from first timers to late bloomers – whatever your age or level of   reading interests the jammed packed programme is guaranteed to have something to encourage you to take part.

Notable highlights for this year include; a conversation with Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and David Walker on their co-authored book ‘Cameron’s Coup’; 1991 Booker prize winner, novelist and short story writer Ben Okri; writer, filmmaker and radical thinker Tariq Ali in conversation on his book ‘The Extreme Centre: A warning’; Comedian Mark Thomas who will be raising the roof of the Belfast Empire; actress and comedienne Helen Lederer who will discuss her book ‘Losing It’.  Plus hear from Eimear O’Callaghan on her book ‘Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary.’

The Belfast Book Festival is proud to present a range of firsts, late bloomers, launches, weeklong events, workshops, lunchtime sessions, as well as providing a platform for unknown authors.  Look out for ‘Fiction Firsts’ featuring first time novelists, contemporary writers at ‘Young Irelanders’ and, showing it’s never too late to start writing, will be the ‘Literary Late Bloomers’. Join local author Glenn Patterson as he launches his latest book ‘Here’s me Here.’  Get yourself heard through events such as Self-Publishing Salon, Publishing Day and Squat Pen.  Need a festival fix during the day?  Then, make sure you check out the literary lunchtimes featuring a range of local author’s voices. Weeklong events include ‘SacrumProfanum’ an exhibition in the 1st floor Crescent Arts Centre gallery whilst workshops range from fiction writing with Claire Keegan to performance reading for writers with Rosie Pelan.

The festival will also provide a voice on interesting topics and debates. Highlights include ‘Writing on Depression’ with Liz Frazer and Carolyn Jess-Cooke, high profile former Premiership footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger in conversation with Denise Watson and racy revelations of a famous Dublin Madame with Julie Peakman and Nuala McKeever – ‘Peg Plunket: Memoirs of a Whore.’

Poetry lovers will be in their element with the wide choice of events available. Some of the events include; ‘The Accessible Muse’ Brian Patten one of the legendary Liverpool Poets; exhilarating performance poet Tony ‘Longfella‘ Walsh; the annual Poetry Slam; award-winning Kate Newmann and Nessa O’Mahony or hear from John F Deane, James Harpur and Anthony Cronin at Three Voices.

The voices of children and children’s authors will also be heard with support from Eason and the best bit – all of these events are FREE. Hear from Julie-Anne Graham’s ‘The Perfect Percival Priggs’, to Chrissie Gittins’ ‘Stars in Jars’ to Derek Mulveen’s ‘Oisin the Brave – Robot Island’.  Kids will enjoy the book detective events where they can track down escaped book characters as well as the outdoor Eason Family Fun Day at Crescent Arts Centre featuring art workshops and magical stories.  Want to spark their imagination then get your 7 – 12 yr along to the Scribbling & Rory’s story cubes workshop.  Local school pupils will get the chance to be involved in the Festival when featured authors will join them for workshops. Register your interest at

If music is your interest then the Belfast Book Festival has something for you. Look out for a discussion with local musician Duke Special & writer and comedian Andrew Doyle on their forthcoming musical adaption of Gulliver’s Travels at the Lyric Theatre with Youth Music Theatre UK.  Hear from storyteller, illustrator and musician Randall Stephen Hall on his one man show.  Go behind the scenes of the Eurovision Song Contest with David Blake Knox or hear about life in 90s Manchester band Inspiral Carpets with frontman Tom Hingley.
Festival Director, Keith Acheson, said:

“Every year the Belfast Book Festival provides an opportunity for authors, poets and performers, to showcase their work.  Yet again we reveal another packed programme of events which we hope will appeal to everyone – no matter what age or level of interest in literature. Whilst we are delighted to welcome returning supporters we are keen to reach out to those who have never participated in our festival before and encourage them to join us in trying something new.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our key funders the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council for their continued support as well as all of our many festival sponsors and partners.”
For further details on the Belfast Book Festival including the full festival programme  visit or follow on facebook – Belfastbookfestival or twitter @belfastbookfest #belfastbook.

What’s On in North Down & Ards

Sat 30 May to Fri 5 June

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May, Family Fun at Cockle Row Cottages

Groomsport Harbour

Free entertainment, 2pm-4pm.

Sat 30: Bricks4Kidz Lego Workshop

Sun 31: Face Painting, Plant and Play Garden Workshop and Crafts

Cottages open to the public 11am-5pm. Free admission

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,

Saturday 30 May, Tea with the Lord

Tour Departs from Ards Visitor Information Centre

Tickets: £18 (Ad), £16 (Conc), £4

Embrace the opportunity to visit Ballywalter House, the beautiful stately home of the Dunleath family.

Info: Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846,

Sunday 31 May, Comber Historical/Titanic Walking Tours

Tour departs from The Square, Comber

Tickets: £6 (Ad), £5 (Conc), £3 (Ch)

Join Valhalla Street Theatre as they transport you back in time to Thomas Andrews, designer of the Titanic.

Info: Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846,

Sat 6 June to Fri 12 June

Saturday 6 June, Meet the Maker: Making a Folding Stool

Ards Crafts, Craft and Design Centre

Tickets: £12 inc materials (Age 18+)

A workshop with green woodturner Alexey Janes

Info: Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846,

Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June, Family Fun at Cockle Row Cottages

Groomsport Harbour

Free entertainment, 2pm-4pm.

Sat 6: Glitter Tattoos, Casey’s creatures

Sun 7: Aldo’s Magic Show

Cottages open to the public 11am-5pm. Free admission

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,

Saturday 6 June,  Abbots, Priests & Pilgrims Coach Tour

Tour departs from Ards Visitor Information Centre

Tickets: £17 (Ad), £15 (Conc), £8 (Ch) – Includes light lunch

This tour traces the rise of Christianity in the Ards Peninsula.

Info: Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846,

Monday 8 June,  Helens Bay in 2 World Wars: St Johns Church and Grey Point Church

Tour departs from St John’s Church car park

Tickets: £3

This fascinating Tour of two of North Down’s hidden gems explores their strong connections to both World Wars.

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,

Wednesday 10 June,  Bangor Castle Walled Garden Tour

Tour departs from the bandstand in the Walled Garden

Free tour

This popular tour provides an insight into the garden’s history, its restoration and the vast array of plants, fruits and vegetables which are grown there.

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,

Tickets on sale now…

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June, Sea Bangor Festival Tall Ship Sailings

Bangor Seafront

The Morgenster will be open to the public over the two days of the Sea Bangor Festival weekend, with evening sailings on both nights from the Eisenhower Pier (limited numbers):
Saturday, departs at 7pm
Sunday, departs at 7.30pm

Tickets cost £15 (no concessions) and the sailing will take you around Belfast Lough over a duration of 1 hour and thirty minutes

Info and booking: 028 9127 0069,

Wednesday 8 July and Thursday 9 July, Heartbreak Productions presents David Walliams’ ‘Mr Stink’

Bangor Castle Walled Garden

Shows: 2pm and 6pm

Cost: Tickets £7 (Ad), £5 (Ch). Pre-booking essential

Watch the fabulous characters from the celebrated novel by David Williams come to life in Heartbreak Productions’ adaptation of Mr. Stink for the outdoor stage, working together with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

To book: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, 028 9127 0069; Ards Visitor Information Centre, 028 9182 6846; Book online (


North Down Museum, Bangor

Castle Park Avenue, located by Bangor Castle (Town Hall) BT20 4BT

T: 028 9127 1200. Admission Free

Saturday 2 – Sunday 31 May

Historical Storyboard: Mining Heritage

Wednesday 20 May – Sunday 28 June

For Whom the Bell Tolls: 9th Century Bells Exhibition. This exhibition has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Portaferry Visitor Information Centre

The Stables, Castle Street BT22 1NZ

T: 028 4272 9882. Admission Free

Saturday 6 – Saturday 27 June

Art in the Loft – “Ash artefacts”

Downloadable Guides

2015 Ards and North Down Events Guide

2015 Experience Ards and North Down Tours

Win a ride on an amazing Jetlev Flyer at Sea Bangor!

Ever seen a Jetlev before? Come to the Sea Bangor Maritime Festival and watch the spectacular Jetlev in action!

The Jetlev Flyer is a water jetpack which the pilot straps into and takes off like a superhero. Water is delivered to the jetpack through a sophisticated device giving enough pressure to lift them out of the water up to heights of 10 metres high and speeds of 40mph.

The Jetlev-Flyer is an exhilarating combination of personal flight and an extreme water sport. These unique £80,000 carbon fibre 260hp machines combine their powerful supercharged engines and unique designs with water nozzle repulsion force to achieve stable, controlled flights. Jetlev demonstrations will be taking place each hour at the Bangor Festival 27 and 28 June.

We are giving one lucky person the chance to have a free ride on a Jetlev at the Sea Bangor Festival (worth £150). If you would like to be in with a chance to win this thrilling prize, please email and tell us in less than 30 words why you deserve to win! You must be over 18 to enter.

This year’s Sea Bangor, which is being run by Ards and North Down Borough Council and kindly sponsored by Tourism NI, is absolutely packed with something to do for everyone. Situated in a tented village in Quay Street car park, highlights of the festival will include the “Big Bangor Bake Off” competition hosted by SERC which will include baking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, a cake contest and pancake challenges. Over in the kid’s tent “Tiddlers,” Cahoots NI will be performing a special theatrical magic show and The Dockside Emporium which is being hosted by Bangor’s Craft Emporium promises to be a world of entertainment and wonder with demonstrations and crafts from lots of local artists.  With maritime themed street theatre, a tall ship, a naval vessel, a gourmet food tent, a fantastic live music programme, an aerial display from the Twister Aerobatic Team, and so much more, Sea Bangor is definitely not to be missed! The festival runs from 10am to 6pm on the Saturday and Noon to 6pm on the Sunday.

For further information check

Straw’s The Draw In Magherafelt

The straw is once more the draw in Magherafelt when the town’s annual festival takes place next month (Saturday 6 June).

Up to a dozen ‘straw people’ are expected to be on show during the festival’s community carnival parade through the town centre, with an exhibition of all the straw creations, entertainment, food and craft stalls on offer during the afternoon at Meadowbank Sports Arena.

All of the straw characters are being designed by local community-based groups for the event which is organised by Mid Ulster District Council.

The Straw Festival takes place on Saturday 6 June, beginning with the community carnival parade at 1pm from Magherafelt High School and finishing at Meadowbank Sports Arena with a family fun day and prizes for the best straw creations. Entertainment will continue on site until 5pm and admission is £1.

For further information on the Straw Festival, contact Magherafelt Visitor Information centre on 028 7963 1510 or visit


Now in its 5th year the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival in partnership with UTV, 18 – 25 July continues to get bigger and better every year.

But did you know that the main event the world famous Highland Games, 18 – 19th July, has been hosted at Glenarm Castle since 1994 and since then has attracted over half a million visitors!  The Festival is now recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest cultural family events which continues to expand and deliver fun filled entertainment under that well-known saying – something for everyone!

Following a record crowd last year, the Glenarm Castle Highland Games, is back on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th July.  Making a welcome return will be strongman events alongside traditional Highland Games.  New to the games this year, and a major coup, is the County Antrim Pipe Band Championships which will feature numerous bands from across N.Ireland and Scotland.  There is also an expanded action packed programme of events including live wrestling, additional music stages, more local foods, pop-up restaurants, shopping, a new kids zone, and back by popular demand, the ‘world’s only’ sheep fashion show. On Saturday 18th July the evening music concert will rock with nostalgia as Bay City Rollers starring Les McKeown take to the main stage along with Bagatelle, Hothouse Flowers and support from Rob Strong, Runabay and XOD dancers.

Adrian Morrow, Festival Director, commented;
“ We are delighted that we are approaching such a fantastic landmark at Glenarm Castle  – 20 years of the Highland Games and this year is our  5th P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival.  We are one of the few remaining long standing annual events within the NI events calendar and this is all down to our fantastic team, who are already working on the event for next year, as well as our partners and sponsors who enable us to continue to deliver a diverse and ever expanding programme every year. The line- up this year is phenomenal with more music, more food, more sport – there’s just more festival for everyone. We are of course indebted to our sponsors – P&O Ferries, UTV, Tourism NI plus many more as well as our visitors, who support us every year, to who I say a huge thank you from all the team at Glenarm Castle – without you there is no festival .”

Joanna Walsh from P&O Ferries, title sponsor of the event, said;


“P&O Ferries is proud to be title sponsor for the 2015 Dalriada Festival. Each year, the festival improves more and more with the promise of fantastic food, great music and sporting action to keep the whole family entertained. It is sure to be another successful year!

“As operators of the shortest, fastest and most frequent crossings between Larne, Cairnryan and Troon, P&O Ferries is looking forward to welcoming many visitors from Scotland on board our sailings this summer to bring them across to the event. We wish the festival every success!”

Michael Wilson, Managing Director UTV, added;

UTV has been a part of the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival in Glenarm for the last four years and we are delighted to be lending our support once again this year. UTV is all about family entertainment and the Dalriada Festival is a perfect partnership. The event is first class family entertainment with the caliber of the musical line up, the food on offer and events surrounding the week. The Festival just gets better. It will be an event for all the family to enjoy.”

Eddie Rowan, Event Manager, Tourism NI:

“Tourism NI is once again pleased to support the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival.  It is a pleasure to see this fantastic festival grow from strength to strength as it continues to significantly increase visitor appeal to the North Coast of Antrim.  The range and quality of activity on offer will not only generate a substantial impact on the economy but also contribute to Northern Ireland’s positive profile as an attractive destination.  I wish all the participants and visitors a very memorable trip to Northern Ireland and to Glenarm for this action packed week of events.”

Following on from the Highland Games will be an action packed week in Glenarm Village and surrounding area which will feature  the biggest range of sporting events to be held at any festival in Northern Ireland.  Events include beach mounted relay, Dalraida wipeout, bubbleball soccer tournament, kids duathlon, sprint triathlon, super endurocross, Dalriada 5k and 10k run, rowing and sailing regatta.  Closing the festivities will be the ever spectacular fireworks finale.
For further information including Highland Games day passes (book online and SAVE 20%), Saturday evening concert tickets (£28.50) and camping packages visit and


The Willis Clan is a family band of twelve brothers and sisters from Nashville, Tennessee – Music City USA, where they perform regularly on The Grand Ole Opry alongside many of the country superstars you may know.

The Willis Clan is a family of amazing musicians, dancers, athletes, writers, and artists. They have Irish roots and started out in Irish music and dance, being placed in the top 5 at the World Championships of Irish Dance in 2013, and winning the Fleadh Cheoil in 2012. Now they perform many genres of music such as bluegrass, country, and pop, in addition to Irish, to create a unique blend of the old and new.

They were contestants on Season 9 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ making it to the live rounds and getting to perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The Willis Clan will perform at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh for one night only on Friday 5th June at 8pm. Tickets are priced £10 each. Tickets can be booked through the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Sea Faring Star Sails to Rathlin

Famed Iceman Trevor Robertson sails in for Rathlin Maritime Sound Festival

INTERNATIONALLY renowned sailor, Trevor Robertson, is sailing to Rathlin Island for the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, and will be giving a talk on ‘Three Winters on Ice’ on Wednesday, 27th May 2015 in the Parochial Hall, Rathlin.

Pictured is the ‘Iron Bark’, Trevor Robertson’s famed 35-foot steel cutter during the time of overwintering in Antarctica. Trevor will be giving a talk on ‘Three Winters on Ice’ on Wednesday, 27th May 2015 in the Parochial Hall, Rathlin, as part of the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival.

Born in Africa, raised in Western Australia and now sailing all over the world, Trevor Robertson initially trained as a geologist and worked on an off- shore oil rig. Trevor built his own 35-foot steel cutter named Iron Bark in Maryborough, Queensland before moving abroad.

Learning that a month on an oil rig could fund a whole year of sea travel aboard his beloved Iron Bark, Trevor repeated this pattern to fund his sailing obsession, allowing him to embark upon some spectacular journeys.

Trevor Robertson is the only sailor in history to have overwintered, frozen in the ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic, both in the same boat. It is these kind of achievements that saw Trevor and his wife, Annie, jointly awarded the highest accolade in the sailing world, the Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America.

Having recently arrived in Scotland from Newfoundland, Trevor passed through the eye of Hurricane Cristobal, which was caused by a post-tropical depression, blowing at force twelve, so a short hop across the Irish Sea in the month of May to the stunning Rathlin Island will be a much easier journey.

Speaking ahead of his talk in Rathlin, Trevor explained: “When I received an invitation to come to the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival to give a talk, I was only too delighted to accept! I’m going to be delivering a discourse on my sailing adventures around the theme of ‘Three Winters in the Ice’, and exploring my time spent overwintering.

“I’m also looking forward to having a chat with some like-minded individuals and engaging on some of the activities on Rathlin.”

Caroline Carey, Tourism Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens said; “The Festival Committee are only too delighted to have the famous Trevor Robertson visit our Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival. Many in the seafaring world will have heard of Trevor and his fantastic sailing exploits. I’ve no doubt that he is a very welcome addition to our many events and activities taking place over the ten day Festival.

“The focus turns to Rathlin particularly over the weekend beginning Friday 29th May with traditional boat racing and demonstrations, a Vikings battle, a Big Lunch and the Rathlin Coastguard Rescue Team Line Throwing competition.

“There really is something for everyone at this Festival so if you are at loss at what to do, it really would be worth listening to Trevor Robertson telling of his extreme adventures, never mind watching the Viking battle or having a Big Lunch!”

For further information about the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, log on to or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre on 028 2076 2024 or email