Friends Goodwill Music Festival returns to Larne

Friends Goodwill Music Festival is set to get toes tapping again as it returns to Larne on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May 2018.

The free event, now in its second year, has been revamped with a packed programme of live music, dancing, a petting farm, children’s activities, drumming workshop, an exhibition, street theatre, food heritage demonstrations, a ceilidh and even a bit of magic.

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.

The festival’s name is a reference to the emigrant ship which sailed from Larne over 300 years ago and the musical theme covers Americana, Ulster Scots, Irish, Scots and Bluegrass.

The main venue is the restored Market Yard on Station Road, which will host lively sets from The Logues, Booka Brass, Pilgrim St, Runabay, Paul Casey, Stonewall, Pure Blarney, the Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band, Eilidh Patterson and Lee Lawson.

The music line up has been carefully selected to provide a variety of contemporary folk music.

The Logues are coming hot off an appearance on UTV Life with Pamela Ballantine and are gathering a huge, young audience throughout Ireland. Booka Brass have recently appeared on RTE TV and are gaining heavy rotation from Craig Charles on BBC Radio 2. Their stage show is a dynamic and contemporary interpretation of big band brass and jazz. Pilgrim St will be making their first visit to Larne and bring with them a reputation for creating a warm and lively atmosphere in venues around the country.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the festival again in Larne. We want to encourage everyone to come along and join us in celebrating the legacy of this ship’s voyage. There really is something for everyone to enjoy and the intimate venue really does offer the opportunity for a fun day out for all the family.”

Main Street in Larne will be buzzing with music and dance from 11am-3pm on Saturday, with live performances from The Music Yard and the Transatlantic Hillbilly Band on the live stage at Broadway.

The Market Yard activities will run from 3pm-10pm on Saturday and 2pm-6pm on Sunday. There is no admission charge, though capacity will be limited to 1000 people.

A remembrance service will be held at the Friends Goodwill statue at Curran Park from 1.45pm on Sunday. The service will commemorate the courage and legacy of all those on board the Friends Goodwill ship that left our shores bound for America.

The full programme of events is available at

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