Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May
BREAKING NEWS … Two of Northern Ireland’s top bands, The Ingram Brothers and Rory Conway with the Convicts, will perform live at the launch night of the 2016 Cushendun Big Arts Weekend, transforming Knocknacarry Hall into a party venue for the evening of Friday 29 April!
The finest way to welcome in the month of May has to be at the Big Arts Weekend in the beautiful seaside village of Cushendun. The weekend-long festival has a ‘bringing it all back home’ theme this year, not to mention a touch of stardust. Harpist and singer Amy McAllister, who grew up in the Glens of Antrim and now performs all over the world, will give a concert in St Patrick’s Church, supported by Cushendun Folk Choir, and there will be exciting contemporary theatre by Rasharkin-born actress/writer Mary-Frances Doherty, in a double bill with Cushendall-based Lurig Drama Group – as well as talks, walks, exhibitions and outdoor fun for children and families.
This will be the fourth Big Arts Weekend and once again there will be many free events in a programme that offers something for everyone and draws on Cushendun’s history as a place beloved of creative people. There will be talks by contemporary writers including Roisin McAuley, Anne-Marie Fyfe and Damian Gorman, all closely associated with the area, as well as a unique look at the life of the enigmatic Roger Casement – diplomat, poet and rebel, executed for his role in the events of 1916 – who was a regular visitor to Cushendun.
Established favourites like Share a Poem, as well as family fun, including the popular sandcastle competition and face-painting, will all be back, alongside some brand new events. Play in a Day, a fun children’s drama project culminating in a performance, is scheduled for Saturday, and Naturally North Coast and Glens artisan market will bring their hand-crafted goods and food to Cushendun for the first time on Bank Holiday Monday.
Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend is organised by Cushendun Building Preservation Trust (CBPT) in support of the Old Church Project. The Old Church itself will be open all weekend, hosting a magical moths-and-butterflies art installation, and resounding on the Sunday afternoon to the sweet strings of Cushendun-based musician Glenn Simpson. There will be story-telling with Liz Weir, and more art on show at the open exhibition in Glenmona House, where you’ll also find delicious treats at the pop-up tea shop.
CBPT thanks the Cushendun community, as well as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the National Trust, Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, McBride’s Bar and McCollam’s pub, Cushendall and Glenmona House Trust for all their support.
Tickets will also be on sale in the Corner House Tea Rooms, Cushendun on the weekends of 16-17 and 23-24 April, 10am to 3pm. Early booking is recommended.