Strong line up for Dalriada Festival

From Andrew Strong, to the Highland Games V Strong Man Competition and an eclectic mix of entertainment for all the family in between, the Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle promises to host its strongest, biggest and best festival line-up to date on July 16-17.

Piper Alistair McCleery from the Ballydonaghy Pipe Band with Andrew Strong, Adrian Morrow (Director of Dalriada Festival), Strongman Chris McNaughton and Alderman Tommy Nicholl from Mid and East Antrim Council.

Soul sensation Andrew Strong flew in this week to launch the festival at Glenarm Castle.

The star of the epic movie The Commitments says he’s looking forward to his only Northern Irish festival date on Saturday, July 16 with his Soul Orchestra, which guarantees to be a sell-out concert.

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He said: “This is the 25th anniversary of The Commitments and I’m really looking forward to celebrating this mile-stone by performing all the movie hits and more at Dalriada Festival.

The Down and Out Blue Grass Band.

“The setting at Glenarm Castle in the heart of the Glens of Antrim is second to none, and with fabulous acoustics my concert promises to be rockin!”

The launch also unveiled the exciting programme of events to take place at the historic castle to include the world famous Highland Games and Strongman, The County Antrim Pipe Band Championships, numerous music, comedy and dance stages, fine foods, and for the little ones, the Official Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon.

The community of Glenarm will take up the baton from July 18-23 and will host an action-packed programme of sporting events and other entertainment including a duathlon, triathlon, super-endurocross, rowing regatta and mountain bike enduro race. The festival will culminate with a street fair, carnival and fireworks finale on July 23.

Nigel Campbell, Events and Marketing Manager for Glenarm Castle, said: “This is the sixth annual Dalriada Festival and year on year the event gets even bigger and better.

Andrew Strong at the Dalriada Festival launch.

“Almost 30,000 people attended our festival in 2015 and we are confident that we’re going to attract even more footfall this year, with such a strong festival line-up.

“To host Andrew Strong’s only Northern Irish date this year, as well as having Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol’s first ever appearance in the province, is a real coup.

“There’s already a great buzz about our festival in the community and further afield and we are indebted to all our sponsors for their continued support, especially The Camlin Group, Tourism NI & Mid & East Antrim Council. Without their financial commitment to our festival, we just wouldn’t be able to offer this top class entertainment.”

Eddie Rowan, from Tourism NI, added: “The Dalriada Festival of Sport, Music and Food is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest cultural family events.

The Down and Out Blue Grass Band.

“This event certainly helps to boost our economy and puts the Antrim Coast firmly on the ‘Best Tourist Attraction’ map.

“It’s encouraging that people travel to the festival from all over Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Europe, The Middle East, America and Canada to enjoy the wide range and diverse program of events on offer. Tourism NI is delighted to yet again support the Dalriada Festival and we wish the festival every success for 2016.”

Alderman Tommy Nicholl, from Mid and East Antrim Council, added: “The council is very pleased to support Dalriada Festival again this year.

“The Festival offers a really unique visitor experience and we recognise the positive social, cultural and economic impact that the event has had on the borough and indeed for Northern Ireland in recent years.

Andrew Strong at the Dalriada Festival launch.

“We’re looking forward to another packed programme of events this summer.”

Day passes for July 16 and 17 are now on sale via and with an incredible but limited 33% discount if purchased before March 22. Children Under 12 also go free.

Saturday evening concert tickets for Andrew Strong and camping packages are also on sale via the website.

Saturday night concert tickets can also be purchased at priced at £28.50.