Goodwill Festival packs them in

Larne was buzzing at the weekend as the Friends Goodwill Music Festival returned to the Market Yard from Friday to Sunday bringing with it acts such as Hothouse Flowers and Eddi Reader.

The event, now in its fifth year, was organised with a packed programme of live music, dancing, children’s activities, chocolate workshop, street theatre, food demonstrations and even guided walks.

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

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The festival’s musical theme reflects this journey and covers many genres including Americana, Ulster-Scots, Irish, Scots and Bluegrass.

Festival goers were kept well entertained with acts such as Hothouse Flowers and Eddi Reader taking to the stage

Main Street in Larne was packed with Festival goers as 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 main street activities ran from 12 noon to 3pm on Saturday and from 2pm-8pm on Sunday in the Market Yard.

Saturday afternoon also saw a free mini-festival held at Broadway in the town centre featuring live performances from The Music Yard and local singers, children’s crafts and activities will take place prior to the gates opening for an evening of entertainment at The Market Yard from 6pm.

Scottish songstress Eddi Reader, famed for her hit singles ‘Perfect’ and ‘Find My Love’ with her former band Fairground Attraction took 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’.

Getting into the swing at the Friends Goodwill Music Festival

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

A highlight on Sunday was a free ‘all age’s’ event from 2pm to 8pm hosted by radio DJ, Johnny Hero.

Among the other entertainment enjoyed over the three day Festival by the many people who attended from near and far was live music by Little Mix tribute LMX and Ed Sheeran tribute Rick Moorhouse 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.

There was also a Cookery Theatre featuring well known local broadcaster, Paula McIntyre, and three professional chefs who demonstrated their favourite County Antrim recipes with Festival goers and shared out samples of their delicious fare.

Acts such as Hothouse Flowers and Eddi Reader were warmly welcomed to the stage by Goodwill Festival goers
These youngsters enjoyed the music and fun at this year's Friends Goodwill Festival
Larne Market Yard was packed for The Friends Goodwill Music Festival
Some of the happy Festival goers enjoying its return to Larne
Plenty to smile about at the Friends Goodwill Festival
All ready for the Friends Goodwill Festival
Having a great time at the Larne Market Yard during the Festival weekend