Blues on the Bay brings back Van!

The 16th International Guinness Blues on the Bay festival will showcase some of the world’s leading blues and jazz performers from 21 – 26 May 2014 at the picturesque town of Warrenpoint, County Down.

With an outstanding line-up of artists from Belfast to Mississippi, the Guinness Blues on the Bay festival will play host to local blues and jazz icon Van Morrison who will return to the stage in Warrenpoint after seven years since his last performances in 2006 and 2007. Van will perform a special blues set list in Warrenpoint Town Hall on Sunday 25 May and proceeds of the concert will be donated to Southern Area Hospice Services.

The festival will also play host to Baton Rouge Louisiana, authentic blues artist Larry Garner who will provide a big slice of Chicago blues with a side order of Mississippi Delta stomps.

Paul Callan, Diageo Northern Ireland, said “This is a fantastic event for Warrenpoint and is one of the most exciting music festivals to be hosted in Northern Ireland. It is an honour that our iconic Guinness brand will play such an important role ensuring visitors have a unique and authentic experience.

“Diageo will continue to invest in and support the tourism sector, a vibrant and expanding part of our economy and we are really looking forward to the diverse artists and performances at the annual Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival.”

Commenting on the programme, Event Director, Ian Sands said, “Our festival has become the one of the main blues and jazz festivals in Europe due to the exceptional high calibre of performers. Van Morrison’s return to our festival is icing on the cake. There are back-to-back gigs all over the Spring Bank Holiday, plus family fun events and a food festival too. If you love the ‘craic’ and enjoy the buzz of festivals, our blues festival ticks all the boxes – don’t miss it.”

Sarah Colgan from Southern Area Hospice Services added, ‘’Van Morrison’s concerts in Warrenpoint will be a great boost both to raising the profile of The Hospice and raising essential funds for the community.’’

One of the main features of the six-day festival weekend will be the famous Guinness Bay Blues Pub Trail, which will feature over 90 free gigs and 35 performers. Audiences will be treated to a host of internationally acclaimed performers including Mama’s Boys, Pat McManus, Texan Carvin Jones, Californian Shawn Jones and the amazing Hungarian blues, The Matyas Pribojszki Band. Other local blues giants performing at the festival will include Dana Masters Crowbar Blues Band, Cup O’Joe, Linley Hamilton, Rab McCullough, and The Bluez Katz Blues Band.

Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster will host a live show with a special appearance by main-stage headliner Larry Garner and there will also be family entertainment in the ‘Bluesberry’ Town Park, continental food stalls, music workshops and “The Blue Mile” charity run for the Southern Area Hospice will take place on Friday 23 May 2014.

Festival poster programmes are available from Newry and Mourne’s Tourist Offices, local shops and festival venues in addition to Belfast Welcome Centre.

The 16th International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival is supported by; Diageo Northern Ireland, Newry and Mourne District Council, The Quays Newry, WBR Chamber of Commerce, P&O Irish Sea, The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Tayto and Warrenpoint Harbour Authority.

Visit www.bluesonthebay.com or call the ticket hotline 02890246609 for further details (regular updates are also on Facebook and Twitter).

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Post Author: Belfast Times

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