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Rhythm of the Bann

This is an exciting new venture for the town of Coleraine being organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. A new music and dance festival in the town which will welcome a wealth of local and international festival artists. The planning for this festival has been in the pipe line for a long time so to see it come to fruition now is incredible.

The use of the Market Yard as a venue is absolutely genius as it will provide a historic background to celebrate the towns’ heritage and culture. There have been many suggestions for the use of this space over the years and the Council feel this is a fantastic events space for hosting the likes of this festival.

The strapline for the festival ‘We’re bringing it all back home’ encapsulates the theme of the festival, the use of the Market Yard and the genre of music which ranges from traditional, Ulster Scots, Irish Traditional, Folk and much more.

Daytime Programme

The day long programme of events commences at 12 noon and will feature many local school children and up and coming artists who will be performing in cafés and bars throughout the town, the festival stage at the events space to the rear of the Town Hall. Also throughout the afternoon shoppers will be entertained by impromptu performances in the town centre.

Evening Programme

The evening programme commences with a specially arranged dance performance ‘Rhythm of the Bann’ choreographed by Dominic Graham of the Dominic Graham School of Irish Dance and Michelle Johnston of the Michelle Johnston School of Highland Dance.

Both are award winning dance schools who have travelled outside Northern Ireland to the UK and Europe to perform and compete at festivals such is the calibre of their dance. The dancers will be accompanied by an award winning piper and drummers and Spanish band Ballyrua, who are travelling to Northern Ireland specially to perform at the festival.

Comedian Tim McGarry best known as da in Give my Head Peace and The Hole in the Wall Gang will host the event alongside David Hume MBE known as ‘Thon Boy Hume’, an Ulster Scots historian and broadcaster. Both men are well established figures in their specific lines of work and are looking forward to hosting the event and bringing some light hearted cultural comedy and craic to the evening.

Local artist Hanna McPhillimy from Coleraine has just been confirmed in the festival line-up. This very competent multi-instrumentalist with beguiling vocal talents will add another great attraction to the festival programme of events.

Headline act for the 2017 festival is Peatbog Faeries who will be travelling all the way from the Isle of Skye. Described as the figurehead trailblazers of the Scots Celtic fusion dance music scene, they have just returned to the touring arena following the release of their latest album Blackhouse.

Hailed for their musical arrangement of traditional jigs and reels through jazz, hip hop, reggae and more, they have taken traditional Scottish music and brought it fresh-faced into the 21st Century. The band have toured the world taking their inventive and unique brand of music and light show to audiences far and wide, never failing to fill the floor and delight the crowd. Be prepared for high octane Scots Celtic music as you’ve never heard it before.

History of the Market Yard

The Market Yard is a historic building which was built in 1829. At this time this would’ve been slightly outside the town surrounded by green fields. The building itself was fairly substantial in size. It was prestigious building which shows that Coleraine prized itself on its role as a market town.

The market was a place where trading of butter, potatoes, corn, flax, salt and then later cows, pigs and sheep. Farmers and their families came into town from all over the borough to trade their wares. The animals were herded through the town and brought in through the gate lodge.

The Irish Society School came to being around 1860, at this time Coleraine would also have had a workhouse up the Mountsandel Road where the old hospital was.

The cattle market ceased in early 1980s and the walls have been listed which means they cannot be knocked down or altered.

It’s difficult to imagine now but this would have been a bustling hive of activity. This was not only a market place but a place of social interaction. It was a meeting place to catch up and have a gossip!


Adults £10
Children 16 years and under £5

Tickets are available through Eventbrite www.eventbrite.co.uk (booking fee applies) or through Coleraine Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall, Coleraine.

Door open on Saturday evening at 6pm at the main Lime Market Street entrance. This event is accessible by ticket only.



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