Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this Weekend across NI


This Saturday 20th August, enjoy live music, a fireworks display, family entertainment and food stalls in Groomsport Harbour. Presenting Silver Dagger – the Dolly Parton Bluegrass years, Dogg Ruff String Band and Chris Keys Trio. 12noon-10pm Kiddies Funfair (charges apply). 2pm – 9pm Cockle Row Cottages open: 2pm – 4pm Jumping Clay and children’s crafts (Free).


The Market Place Theatre are delighted to present ANNIE, the world’s favourite family musical, 16th – 20th August. Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search. Prepare to sing along to the unforgettable songs ‘Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and the unforgettable ‘Tomorrow’. A show no one should miss – you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it!


Share Discovery Village have a new and exciting family event happening on Sunday 21st August ‘Fermanagh’s Fittest Family’ – a fun and competitive day out for families and friends. Compete in this fun family activity course to be crowned Fermanagh’s Fittest Family! Registration is between 9.30-10.30am and families or teams of 4/5. Includes Activity Course, BBQ lunch, prizes to be won, bouncy castle, slip N slide and more!


Castlecaulfield Show, Vintage Rally and Fun Day this Saturday 20th August, features, flowers, fruit, vegetables, home crafts, live entertainment, refreshments and fun activities. The Manor House and marquees will house all entry exhibits and over 20 craft stalls. Afternoon tea will be served in the ballroom between 1.00pm and 3.45pm. and a BBQ is also available. The House and show marquee will house 15 sections covering 176 classes and will be open from 1.30pm. Prize giving by Cecilia Daly, BBC Weather Girl. A free shuttle bus will operate within the grounds.


The NI Cruise car show returns to Mid Ulster on Saturday 20th August at the J&K Coach Yard Moneymore featuring show ‘n’ shine, live entertainment, demonstrations, trade stands, motorsport, competitions, family activities and inflatables.


Frock Around The Clock will be returning to Market Square Lisburn for the End Of Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair on Saturday 20th August and will feature from 27 stalls of vintage, handcrafted & upcycled fashion, furniture, homewares and collectables, textiles and decor, jewellery, sweet treats, art, craft, gifts, & much more!


Join HMS Caroline for some family drop-in craft activity and make your own sailor puppet this Saturday. Take inspiration from the historic settings of HMS Caroline, and the various sailor styles to design your puppet’s outfit. A quick and simple activity using recycled materials and mixed media to fuel your imagination. This is a free activity, however a standard entrance fee will apply. As this is a drop in activity, you are welcome to stay as long as you like.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Bellaghy to Remember its most Famous Son at The Poetry House 2016

The village of Bellaghy will come to life this Friday 26th August in and around Bellaghy Bawn to honour and celebrate the life of the great Seamus Heaney.

Seamus, who grew up in Bellaghy and whose work was influenced by the spaces, people and places of his childhood, is also buried in the village and this event will recall the poet on the third anniversary of his passing.

It is also 50 years ago this year that Seamus’ first collection of poems was published by Faber & Faber and that body of work, ‘Death of a Naturalist’, will be celebrated throughout the event.

Poetic Gathering

Poets from across Ireland will attend the event to both honour Seamus and to recall his seminal first collection that gave us poems such as ‘Blackberry Picking’, ‘Digging’ and ‘Mid Term Break’. Death of a Naturalist received the Cholmondeley Award, the Gregory Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

Death of a Naturalist is largely concerned with childhood experiences and the formulation of adult identities, family relationships, and rural life. It is these themes that will inspire a day long series of cultural events at the Bawn with music, dance, recital, film and broadcast.

Poets already signed up to come along are Mel McMahon, Moyrah Donaldson, Colin Dardis and Geraldine O’Kane who will be among a dozen or so established writers coming to the event. Colin Dardis will also host Bellaghy’s first ever Poetry Slam in the Bawn at 6.00p,m that evening, so if you’re a fledgling writer or have an unpublished poem you’d like to share with the world, then do join in!

The day will also feature traditional music sessions, acrylic art workshops, creative writing workshops and art exhibitions. Foodies can enjoy fresh Lough Neagh eel and pollan and delicious buffalo burgers throughout the day. Further details on The Poetry House 2016 Facebook Page.

The event will be covered by no less than three national and local TV and radio broadcasters, including two from BBC Radio 4 and one from BBC2 Northern Ireland. BBC Radio 4 will be recording a special edition of its popular Open Country series on the landscapes that inspired Seamus Heaney, while that channel will also record an edition of Poetry Please at our Evening Recital, from 7.00p.m..

The organisers are also delighted to welcome I Lár an Aonaigh, the BBC2 NI television magazine show on the Irish Language to the event this year. They will be filming in and around Seamus Heaney’s home ground talking to local gaels about the landscapes and people of Bellaghy.

Dolly Parton Tribute To Headline Groomsport Fireworks Event

Fans of Dolly Parton are in for a treat at this year’s Groomsport Music & Fireworks when tribute act Silver Dagger headline the event.

A staple on Ards and North Down Borough Council’s events programme, this year’s event takes place on Saturday 20 August from 6pm to 10.30pm.  With a fantastic entertainment line-up, this free event has all the elements for a family evening out with music, a fun fair and the spectacular fireworks finale.

At 6pm, the music, which is being programmed by Open House, will commence on the stage and local TV and radio presenter Joe Lindsay will guide the audience through the event’s performers.  Dogg Ruff String Band will get the party started with their toe-tapping, foot-stamping bluegrass music – sure to get the crowd moving!

Next up, is the Chris Keys Band. Influenced by the Nashville Country scene, Chris Keys is an award winning singer songwriter / guitarist who has developed an easy listening acoustic sound.

The superb headline act will not disappoint, taking to the stage at 8.30pm, the Dolly Parton tribute act “Silver Dagger” is the perfect end to the evening.  This fantastic finale will feature all the classic songs celebrating Dolly’s bluegrass influences and recordings – Groomsport will be rocking!

At 10pm, the spectacular fireworks display will end the evening. This year’s music theme will be musical legends who have passed in recent years and will reference greats like David Bowie and Prince.

A special late night bus service departs from Groomsport’s Main Street to take revelers back to Bangor. The shuttle bus will leave at 10.30pm and 11.00pm and is a free service.

For the children, from 12 noon – 10pm, there will be a funfair in operation and from 2pm to 4pm; there will Jumping Clay workshops and children’s crafts at Cockle Row, another great reason to visit Groomsport and make a day of it!

There is a strict no glass policy on-site, so any alcohol consumed must be within the bar area

For further information on this event please contact Bangor Visitor Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069 or email bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

Air Waves Portrush goes above, below and beyond to land its best event yet!

With a double dose of the Red Arrows to look forward to, the sky may be the limit for this year’s Air Waves Portrush event on September 3rd and 4th, as the Causeway Coast and Glens prepares to front its best airshow weekend yet.

Causeway Coast and Glen Borough Council, organisers of the biggest free airshow on the island of Ireland have also pulled out all the stops to deliver a packed programme of aerial entertainment, as well as a host of land and water based activities and events.

Visitors to Portrush can expect to fly back in time with the sights and sounds of the Battle of Britain Memorial trio of Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane.  Also hotly anticipated are the jaw-dropping manoeuvres from the Typhoon Jet and the much-loved Red Arrows flaunting their spellbinding aerobatic displays on both days of the show. As an added attraction this year, there will be a stunning new one-off pyrotechnic aerial show in Portstewart on the Saturday evening.

Meanwhile on the ground, a wide and wonderful host of activities will expand the entertainment offering to make this year’s event the best yet.

Mayor of the Causeway Coast and Glens, Alderman Maura Hickey said; “The Air Waves Portrush Airshow is set to exceed what visitors have ever experienced in previous years.

“Air Waves Portrush is one of the most anticipated diary dates and I have no doubt that visitors of all ages will leave in awe of this year’s programme, both in the air and at our designated event sites all along the Portrush shoreline.

“I’m delighted to be able to reveal that Air Waves Portrush has extended its programme this year to include a spectacular show at dusk on Saturday 3rd at Portstewart from The Aerosparx display team.  This promises to light up the sky with a kaleidoscope of colour through pyrotechnics and smooth aerial manoeuvres followed by a fireworks display.  On the ground, there will be live music and street entertainment to guarantee a true festival atmosphere.

“Although our air show programme is now one of the best in the UK and Ireland, this is certainly not just for the plane buffs. Our on-the-ground activity will perfectly combine the aviation theme with music, food and family fun, definitely something for everyone.

“On a more serious note, we have also recognised that Air Waves Portrush has an important role to play in capturing the imagination of the younger generation, inspiring them towards science, technology or engineering careers in the armed forces or in the aerospace industry, with which Northern Ireland has such a long heritage.

“Teenage school leavers aged 16-19 should not miss trying out the brand new RAF Skytech experience.  In this futuristic POD, they will take on a 90 second virtual challenge, tackling some of the most testing aspects of an aviation job in a mini-assessment, which will be uploaded onto Youtube for all to watch back and share on social media.  The most talented ones may even get a call-back!”

Elsewhere on the ground, the Ulster Aviation Society and the Ulster Gliding Club will invite visitors into a bygone era with its collection of vintage flying machines and gliding aircraft.

In this, Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, there will, of course, be plenty for those with an appetite, with the artisan foodie delights of the region at the Naturally North Coast and Glens Market.

And for a touch of refinement in the company of friends, don’t delay in booking your place in the Silver Wings hospitality chalet – the best seat in the house, with a waiter-service lunch, private bar, exclusive parking and front-row views of the weekend’s aerial spectacles.  Space each day is limited so advance booking is essential.

The Causeway Coast and Glens is getting set for what looks to be the best Air Waves Portrush Airshow yet – don’t miss it!

For information visit www.AirWavesPortrush.co.uk

Start Your Journey to Market!

Taking your first steps to promote and sell your product may seem like a daunting one, but the good news is that the highly successful ‘Journey to Market’ Programme, funded by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is now open again for applications.

Aislish Deeney seen here taking the first big step on her Journey to Market in Coleraine Town Centre with Julienne Elliott Economic Development Causeway Cost and Glens Borough Council and Lara Goodall Programme Manager and Business Consultant. The Journey to Market Programme is being funded by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to support food, arts and craft entrepreneurs in the Borough to sell their product. For Information telephone Lara Goodall 07793 388 343

This bespoke Programme is delivered by Lara Goodall Consulting Ltd in partnership with Nuala Foley & Associates and is available for all those food, arts and craft entrepreneurs. It will focus on those wishing to develop their ideas and hobbies aiming to take that vital step to selling their product mainstream.

To date, four programmes and forty-five businesses have successfully completed their Journey to Market and have taken their product into the public arena, selling to the general market. On Thursday 18th August at Council’s Civic Headquarters Cloonavin, Council will host a celebration event to toast the most recent successful participants who have completed the course and officially launch the next programme.  This will be an opportunity to hear first-hand the success of previous participants and the benefits that will set you on the right path for your ‘Journey to Market.’

Julienne Elliott, Economic Development Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said, “The ‘Journey to Market’ Programme will again be providing one to one mentoring to support each participant to develop their ideas and ensure they have the necessary skills to take them forward.

“The Programme takes the form of workshops which provides the necessary skills in business planning, product development, visual merchandising and marketing. As well as this, these new entrepreneurs will get the chance to ‘meet the buyers’ within local restaurants, retailers and distributors.

“Lara Goodall will be the Programme Manager, bringing with her a wealth of specialist advisors to provide the bespoke workshops and one to one mentoring support.”

A knowledge clinic will be part of the programme and enables each participant to meet with key stakeholders such as funders and industry specialists to help the entrepreneurs on the right path as well as support with developing business plans and best practice.

Whilst the focus for 2016 is on food products as part of NI Year of Food, the ten places on the programme are open for applications from all artisan producers in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough including the art and craft sector.

The Mayor of the Borough, Alderman Hickey will be in attendance during the celebration event to present the certificates of completion to the previous attendees. Also attending will be Lara Goodall Programme Manager and Business Consultant, along with Julienne Elliott Economic Development, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to answer any questions guests may have.

Programme Manager and Business Consultant Lara Goodall stated, “this is quite unique in terms of programme content and facilitating those with a direct interest in developing their product.  So many budding entrepreneurs are in our Borough and in Northern Ireland, but we have taken it a step forward by designing and developing this particular Programme to ensure those who are interested, get the best possible advice and support available.

“Many of those who have completed the previous programme are doing exceptionally well and will be only too happy to speak to new budding entrepreneurs during the celebration event. The next Journey to Market Programme will commence in September and run until January and I would encourage those interested in taking part to apply.”

To confirm your interest in the programme, come along to Council’s offices, Cloonavin Coleraine on 18th August at 6pm for the opportunity to source more information on the Journey to Market Programme, and ring Lara Goodall on 07793 388 343.

Blondes have more fun at the Mac!

Holly Topping from Belfast takes to the stage this month with her squad in a hilariously funny, smart, sassy and spectacular production of Legally Blonde the Musical.

Ireland’s largest theatre school, Belfast School of Performing Arts, brings a cast of 60 young people from across the province aged just 6-16 years old to the Mac on Tuesday 16th August when they will entertain their audience with an all singing all dancing production after an intensive rehearsal period of just 2 weeks!

Pictured are (l-r) Katie McCausland , aged 15 and Taylor Healy, also aged 15, both from Bangor with Holly Topping aged 15 from Jordanstown, Suzanne McNutt, aged 13 from Belfast and Abbie McGowan aged 15 from Jordanstown. Tickets on sale now at www.themaclive.com

Irish Music Legend Mary Coughlan to Sing the Blues in Limavady

Irish theatrical torch-blues legend Mary Coughlan is set to perform at Causeway Coast and Glen’s Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady on Saturday 3rd September at 8pm.

The internationally acclaimed legend, hailed as one of Ireland’s best ever singers, is set to entrance audiences in the Centre’s intimate Danny Boy auditorium. Telling her unique story in her inimitable style through the many songs she has recorded over the last 25 years, this is a performance not to be missed!

Throughout Mary’s quite extraordinary recording career she has drawn from her legendary heroes: Billie Holiday’s grievous, teary outpourings, the husky flirtations of Peggy Lee, Van Morrison’s soulful wails, the defiant chanteuse style of Edith Piaf. All are present and correct in her delivery. Even so, Mary, with her naked honesty makes every song her own; they belong to her and nobody else.

2010 was the 25th anniversary of Coughlan’s seminal album Tired and Emotional which was Ireland’s biggest selling album in the year of release and is now seven times platinum. The following year, she released the acclaimed The House of Ill Repute, hailed by Q Magazine and critics alike as a serious return to form, complimented by the publication of her bestselling auto-biography Bloody Mary. She released her latest album Scars on the Calendar in May 2015.

Performing to international venues, including a sold out show at the Sydney Opera House, Coughlan has been heralded as Ireland’s match for Tom Waits!  The Observer describes her talent as awesome, whilst New Music Express say her live performances have to be seen to be believed.

Desima Connolly, Arts & Cultural Services Officer said, “This is the second time Mary has performed here. Her first concert back in 2012 was an amazing night and she had the audience spellbound. We are delighted to welcome her back.”

To book a ticket or find out more please contact the team at Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre on 028 777 60650 or visit www.roevalleyarts.com.

Lockton presses play on Hillsborough International Oyster Festival Musical Evening

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival is cuing action for the ‘Magic of the Movies’ community concert taking place on Wednesday 31st August as part of the Festival’s 2016 programme.

Sponsored by Lockton Insurance, the musical evening will include performances from the Belfast Operatic Company and The Leading Ladies and will raise funds for the Festivals 2016 charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The score for the evening will be taken from well-known movie soundtracks. The Belfast Operatic Company is renowned for its production credits such as Beauty and the Beast and Titanic the Musical, both of which have been performed at the Grand Opera House. Meanwhile the Leading Ladies have been hailed as Northern Ireland’s premier vocal harmony quartet and are well-known for their stage versatility throughout the local music scene.

Linda Alexander from charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said: “The community concert is set to be a great event full of entertainment that will be music to your ears! We are inviting guests to come along and support our cause to raise resources to support research and clinical care for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers.”

Archie McAvoy from sponsor, Lockton Insurance, said: “The musical evening is great opportunity to connect with the local community and raise awareness of the good work the Cystic Fibrosis Trust will be able to do through its involvement with the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival.  Lockton are big believers in looking after people so we’re thrilled to come on board to support this community event.”

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival runs from Tuesday 30th August – Saturday 3rd September. To book your tickets for the musical evening and for all other Festival information visit www.hillsboroughoysterfestival.com.

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival also kindly acknowledges the support of Tourism Northern Ireland and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council in the staging of this year’s event.


Jo Petit and the Dream Band bring the boogie to Banbridge

It’s time to head uptown and get down with some Motown Funk ‘n’ Soul as Jo Petit and The Dream Band bring their high energy dance-along party to Solitude Park, Banbridge on Friday 26 August at 7.30pm.

This funktastic FREE concert will feature well-known classics such as James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’, Tina Turners ‘Proud Mary’ and Stevie Wonders ‘Superstition’ right up to present day hits such as Pharrell Williams, ‘Happy’ and  Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’.

Jo Petit & The Dream Band have been wowing audiences since 2012 and feature some of the finest musicians from across the globe who between them have accumulated  several decades in the showbiz spotlight.

Having performed in some of Europe’s most celebrated venues, from London’s O2 Arena to the prestigious five star Inter-Alpen Hotel located in the Austrian Alps, the six piece band have received rave reviews for their uncanny recreation and dynamic delivery of some of the best loved hottest hits.

So whether its old school soul, the magic of Motown or a modern day jazz funk mashup, Jo Petit and The Dream Band will be sure to have you shuffling to their stylish signature sound in Solitude Park.

For further information contact Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on 028 4066 0609, go to the council website at www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/armaghbanbridgecraigavon


Excited students across Northern Ireland are getting ready to go to university in Britain and the Irish Sea’s leading ferry company, Stena Line, has a budget busting way to get them there for FREE, when travelling by car!*

From only £79 single car and driver, usually mum, dad or another adult can take up to four students for FREE. This great offer is available on the Belfast to Cairnryan and Belfast to Liverpool routes for travel between 1 September, right up to 30 October.  Simply book by 26 September.

Plus with no baggage restrictions or charges, students can pack all the things they can’t live without including their heavy books, games consoles, clothing, guitar, even an ironing board if they’re feeling like doing a bit of housework!

Heather Gawley, Route Marketing Manager Irish Sea North, Stena Line, said:  “Students don’t need to look anywhere else when it comes to great value travel – you can’t get better value than free!”

Get online and book now at stenaline.co.uk/students

*Students travel free as additional passengers on an Economy, Flexi or Premium motorist fare when at least one other adult is driving.  Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.