Friends Goodwill Music Festival returns to Larne this weekend

The countdown is on to the Friends Goodwill Music Festival as it makes a return to Larne this weekend.
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Taking place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, the festival will feature US jazz singer Curtis Stigers, whose eponymous debut album sold 1.5 million copies.

Also taking to the stage for the toe-tapping event will be Brian Kennedy and Mary Coughlan.

The trio will be supported by Coach, a collective of talented music tutors form Larne’s award-winning Music Yard.

Friends Goodwill Music Festival takes place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.Friends Goodwill Music Festival takes place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.
Friends Goodwill Music Festival takes place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

The festival was launched to commemorate the anniversary of the voyage of the ship Friends Goodwill.

It is believed to be the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century.

Last year, Dublin rock band Hothouse Flowers topped the bill as the festival returned to its live format following a virtual production in 2021.

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

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

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “The Friends Goodwill Music Festival is a wonderful celebration of music and much more and I would encourage everyone to come along and join us in celebrating the legacy of this ship’s voyage.

"The event - now in its sixth year - has been organised with a packed programme of live music, dancing and children’s activities. It’s for all ages so come along and enjoy the fun.”

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The programme is as follows:

Saturday May 20

A mini festival will be held in Broadway from 12-3pm, with performances from talented local acts, The Music Yard, Daisie Conway and the Castaways.

There will also be fun activities for the kids to enjoy, from face painting to arts and crafts (no admission fee).

At 6pm, the gates will open for an evening of entertainment at The Market Yard.

A fantastic line up will take to the stage on the Saturday evening with Curtis Stigers, Brian Kennedy and Mary Coughlan set to wow the audience in the historic venue.

Tickets are available to purchase for this event and cost £18 + booking fee.

There will be tasty food wagons and a bar on site.

Sunday May 21

To close the jam-packed weekend, Curran Park will host a family fun afternoon from 2-5pm with music from Martello Jazz.

With a petting farm, circus skills workshop, sensory messy play, games, face painting and much more, there is plenty of fun for the whole family to enjoy.

The full programme, along with parking information is available on the council’s website at:

Meanwhile, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is gearing up to celebrate the borough’s industrial history.

The local government authority has planned a number of events in Larne, Glenarm, Carnlough and Whitehead to mark Industrial Heritage Week, which runs from June 4-10.

For more information, visit

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