Two-day festival will mark emigrant voyage from Larne

Students from The Music Yard Jai, Scarlett, Callee and Slaine helping to launch the revamped programme.
Students from The Music Yard Jai, Scarlett, Callee and Slaine helping to launch the revamped programme.

A revamped Friends Goodwill Music Festival will take place in Larne on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday 13.

The free event, now in its second year, features live music, dancing, a petting farm, children’s activities, drumming workshop, an exhibition, street theatre, food heritage demonstrations, a ceilidh and magic.

The festival was launched to commemorate the anniversary of the voyage of the Friends Goodwill - believed to be the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century.

The main venue is the restored Market Yard on Station Road, which will host lively sets from The Logues, Booka Brass, Pilgrim St, Runabay, Paul Casey, Stonewall, Pure Blarney, the Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band, Eilidh Patterson and Lee Lawson.

The music line up has been carefully selected to provide a variety of contemporary folk music. The Logues are gathering a huge, young audience throughout Ireland. The Booka Brass stage show is a dynamic and contemporary interpretation of big band brass and jazz. Pilgrim St will be making their first visit to Larne and bring with them a reputation for creating a warm and lively atmosphere.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the festival again in Larne. We want to encourage everyone to come along and join us in celebrating the legacy of this ship’s voyage. There really is something for everyone to enjoy and the intimate venue really does offer the opportunity for a fun day out for all the family.”

Broadway will be buzzing 11am - 3pm on the Saturday with live performances from The Music Yard and the Transatlantic Hillbilly Band. The Market Yard activities will run 3pm - 10pm on May 12 and 2pm - 6pm the next day. There is no admission charge, though capacity will be limited to 1,000 people. A remembrance service will be held at the Friends Goodwill statue at Curran Park from 1.45pm on May 13. Full programme: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/FriendsGoodwill