Local artists take centre stage as M&EA lights up for Christmas

A range of local artists are showcasing their talents in a new short film celebrating the festive season in Mid and East Antrim.

The video is all part of Mid and East Antrim Council’s Season to Celebrate campaign which is profiling the array of local talent from performers, to artisan producers, and not to be missed events on offer in the run up to Christmas.

The message of positivity is much welcome after a year of uncertainty and gives a platform to showcase the variety of fantastic local talent the borough has to offer.

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You can see the new video on council’s social media channels and it will also air on UTV during the run up to Christmas. Andrew Johnston and Rebecca Hall are first to appear in Ballymena. Andrew has been writing and performing songs for 15 years and is known for his tunes in the band Crosshair Kid as well as his solo project Lofty Heights. Rebecca can often be seen at the town centre busker spot with either her violin or harp in tow. With 20 years of experience, this classical performer is no stranger to weddings in her native Broughshane, and beyond.

A range of local artists are showcasing their talents in a new short film celebrating the festive season in Mid and East Antrim

Aspiring star, Ethan Kells (12) from Uplift performing arts adds his twist to the tale as part of the Carrickfergus element. The CBBC star is joined by fellow Uplift performer, 16 year-old Poppy Walker and the pair enjoy a dander through a festive looking town centre and of course, world famous castle. Murray McDowell, part of Larne’s musical fabric for almost three decades, adds his country twang to the film as it explores what the coastal town has to offer to festive shoppers this year and the town centre’s twinkling Christmas tree sets the stage for 17-year-old Molly McToal’s performance. The song was written by NI artist Lauren Bird and produced by Michael McCluskey at ZeroHour Studios, the video was created by Stephen Reid at Grafters Media. Stephen said: “My keywords for this year’s Christmas advert were joy and hope. After all that’s what Christmas is really about and after all the gloom of the pandemic we could really do with it.

It’s always very important to me to have a strong local connection in videos that are promoting local places, which is why I wanted to use singers from each of the three towns in the video.

“Thankfully we have an amazing pool of local talent across Mid and East Antrim and all our singers did an amazing job.”