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Excitement in Larne with ‘in-person’ return for Friends Goodwill Music Festival

The countdown is on as the Friends Goodwill Music Festival returns in-person to the historic Larne Market Yard from Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8.

Following on from a successful virtual event held in 2021, the programme features the critically acclaimed Hothouse Flowers and Eddi Reader.

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

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The musical theme reflects this journey and covers many genres including Americana, Ulster-Scots, Irish, Scots and bluegrass.

Left to right: Daisie Conway, Evie Addis, Ella Johnston, Lewis Rennie, Ruby Mills and Johnny Hero warming up for the festival.

Main Street in Larne will be buzzing with a variety of musical performances lined up for the three-day event, with each act carefully selected to provide a variety of contemporary folk music.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “I want to encourage everyone to come along and join us in celebrating the legacy of this ship’s voyage.

“The event, now in its fifth year, has been organised with a packed programme of live music, dancing, children’s activities, chocolate workshop, street theatre, food demonstrations and even guided walks. It’s for all ages so come along and enjoy the fun.”

The main street activities will run from 12 noon to 3pm on Saturday and from 2pm to 8pm on Sunday in the Market Yard. The programme of events is as follows:

Friday, May 6 - Afternoon performances from musicians and storytellers in Larne town centre.

Saturday, May 7 - From 12noon to 3pm, a mini-festival at Broadway in the town centre featuring live performances from The Music Yard and local singers, children’s crafts and activities will take place (no admission fee).

At 6pm, the gates will open for an evening of entertainment at The Market Yard. Scottish songstress Eddi Reader, famed for her hit singles ‘Perfect’ and ‘Find My Love’ with her former band Fairground Attraction, will take to the stage, with Dublin rock band Hothouse Flowers topping the bill and performing their much-loved hits including ‘Don’t Go’ and ‘I Can See’.

Also on the bill is local singer, Daisie Conway, whose list of impressive appearances grows by the month.

This is a seated event with bar and food wagons on site. Advance tickets are discounted to £12 plus booking fee, available to buy at: Eventbrite: https://fgmf2022.eventbrite.co.uk

Sunday 8 May - An all age’s event will run from 2pm to 8pm with no admission fee hosted by radio DJ, Johnny Hero.

The packed open-air festival will include live music by Little Mix tribute LMX and Ed Sheeran tribute Rick Moorhouse flying in from England, Cup O’Joe, Coach, Raise the Roof Choir and This is Me Dementia Friendly choir, food wagons, jambalaya tasting, family entertainment, children’s activities, Aunt Sandra’s Chocolate Workshop, guided walking tours and street theatre.

The Cookery Theatre features broadcaster Paula McIntyre and three professional chefs demonstrating their favourite Co Antrim recipes and sharing out samples. There will be tasty food wagons and a bar on-site for the duration of the festival.

For further information visit www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/FriendsGoodwill

The full programme of events is available at:

www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/FriendsGoodwill

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