As 2015 gets underway, Open House Festival hits the road running with the announcement of a regional tour.
Over five nights, from Saturday 28th February to Wednesday 4th March, three festival acts will visit five unusual and intimate venues, including a brewery, a recording studio and a yacht club.
Headlining the stellar line-up is the talented guitarist, singer and songwriter, John Smith. John, who hails from Devon, has quietly become one of the most exciting voices on the new British folk scene. A former Young Acoustic Guitarist of the Year, he has worked with a host of iconic folk musicians, including John Martyn, Seth Lakeman, David Gray and Cara Dillon.
Supporting John are Derry indie folk band, PØRTS, and Dublin electro-acoustic classical group, Prima String Quartet. PØRTS, who were formerly known as Little Bear, are currently being championed by Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music. And Prima String Quartet have collaborated with acts as diverse as Lady Gaga, Pink, Belle and Sebastian and Best Boy Grip.
“Having staged live music events in Belfast for the last 17 years, and held our month-long festival in Bangor over the past two summers, we thought it was about time we also went on the road,” says Open House Director, Kieran Gilmore. “Our audiences come from all over Northern Ireland and beyond. We wanted to bring some of our trademark quality acts to them, and introduce fantastic live music to some unusual and bespoke venues around the country. It’s not a province-wide tour, but we’ll be travelling from Portrush to Holywood, via Lisburn, Bangor and Rathfriland.”
The tour has received support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, whose Traditional Music Officer, Maria McAlister, says: “for 17 years, Open House Festival has entertained, uplifted and united audiences in their mutual love of great music. Through our Music Touring Programme, they can now bring their pioneering spirit to the road. We are delighted to be able to support them with this latest venture, as they continue to widen their audience base, reaching out to music lovers across Northern Ireland.”
Saturday 28th February at Portrush Town Hall
Sunday 1st March – Hilden Brewery, Lisburn
Monday 2nd March – SERC Studio Theatre, Bangor
Tuesday 3rd March – Analogue Catalogue Recording Studio, Drumdreenagh, Rathfriland
Wednesday 4th March -Holywood Yacht Club
The Hilden Brewery event sold out within hours of the tour announcement on the Open House website. However tickets are still available for all of the other nights.