Top things to do at the summer Sunflower Festival

Top things to do at Sunflowerfest 2017

Summer can only mean one thing – festival season is upon us! Sunflowerfest takes place at Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough from 28th-30th July, featuring a packed programme of music, food, exhibits and overall entertainment for the whole family. Headliners Rubberbandits will top the extensive bill of performers which also includes Le Galaxie, Electric Swing Circus, King Kong Company and many many more. Organisers have opted for a futuristic theme for this year’s event, called A Parallel Universe. Revellers heading to Northern Ireland’s only 3-day festival of music and art will be able to transcend science fiction across 6 stages of music, interactive arts and sample some of the finest food NI has to offer!

Sunflower Fest 

So, journey through space and time and follow our go-to guide for the festival, encompassing all that is great about Sunflowerfest!
Embrace this year’s theme of 'A Parallel Universe' by partaking in the plethora of art and science related activities and events over the course of the three days. Sunflowerfest 2017 is teaming up with the NI Science Festival who will be bringing W5 to the festival along with lots of out of this world sci-fi treats. Enjoy installations across the farm demonstrating an innovative fusion of the world of art and science, celebrating Northern Ireland’s technological and creative heritage. Entwined with the music there will also be the 'magic' of poetry and comedy, storytelling, interactive theatre in the Enchanted Glade of Mystery and Surprises and pop up performances and treasure hunts around the 10 acre site.

An appealing element of Sunflowerfest is that it is an ‘all-inclusive’ festival which embraces families coming to enjoy the festival fun. In keeping with this year’s theme there will be science projects, interactive arts, and educational workshops for kids and parents alike. Charity partners RSPB and The Eden Project Communities will be helping organisers to deliver these exciting activities, enabling young people to get hands-on and creative whilst learning about the world of science and art.

For those worried about the typically questionable food offering at festivals, there is nothing to fear here. Sunflowerfest have teamed up with hugely popular and local favourite Boojum! Festival goers will have the pleasure of indulging in the best burritos in the country from the aptly named ‘Boojmobile’. Boojum will also be rolling out a stretch marquee to create a chilled out, funky and happening environment – resulting in an unbeatable street food experience for attendees to experience.

Chill out and blow the cares of the world away this summer with the largest range of complementary therapies, treatments and workshops to be showcased at a festival in Northern Ireland. Tonic Health and Wellness are set to deliver a holistic micro-festival in the Bliss Area offering essential chill out time to festival-goers, promoting a healthy way of life to individuals, groups and families who can try new activities, explore healthier choices and discover a life lived differently. Yoga, Meditation, Massage, Reiki, and all sorts of other holistic treats will be an offer for those wanting to relax, reconnect and reenergise against the gorgeous backdrop of Tubby’s Farm.

Celebrate local up-and coming talent by supporting Sunflowerfest: The Roots. The Roots is a grass roots music program which gives young musicians and bands a platform to develop and showcase their talents and the opportunity to play at the festival. The Roots currently has two strands, a Battle of the Bands and a School of Rock. The talented winners are given the unbeatable prize of being able to open the Main stage at Sunflowerfest. The programmes see these young musicians and bands paired with industry experts to gain advice and training to help achieve their musical dreams. Get behind local talent by putting it into your festival itinerary to check out the winning performances!

For those obsessed with futuristic sounds and synths, the ‘ElectroMoot’ venue will hit the sonic sweet spot for you! The festival’s dedicated venue for dance and electronica will see a headline set from OR:LA alongside JIKA JIKA!, Ponyhawke and Brién at the controls with many more to be announced. The Sunflowerfest team has curated the best in local electronic scene. CM88, ClockWork and Subject will be among the well-established crews that are bringing their sounds to the festival. The ever popular ‘Silent Disco’ will also make a welcomed return to the festival, much to the delight of Sunflowerfest veterans.


Have an alternative camping experience at the festival! Sunflowerfest are passionate about their family friendly festival having an eco-friendly ethos, which is why they have partnered with Dutch firm KarTent. KarTents are 100% recyclable, cardboard tents. The company have produced a tent that's not only easily recyclable but also water-resistant, so there is no need to be concerned about the risk of the infamous Northern Irish weather dampening spirits. The tents fit two people, measure at a comfy 2.2 x 1.5 metres and weigh a sturdy sixteen kilograms (so you won't have to worry about your accommodation blowing away).This year, Sunflowerfest have also partnered with Yippee Tents to provide a luxury alternative to traditional camping with a new Glamping Village this year!


Those attending Sunflowerfest this year will be spoiled for choice on the music front. For 2017, the festival has an incredibly diverse and unique line-up for a home-grown Northern Ireland festival, celebrating its 8th year. Headliners Rubberbandits will be bringing their unique brand of social satire and hip-hop to Hillsborough alongside stomping six-piece Electric Swing Circus and sultry singer/songwriter Ryan Vail. Other additions to the bill include Too Many T’s, Beans on Toast, Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer, new Dublin noisemakers Farah Elle, Damola and Glasgow pop-rockers Single By Sunday. Not forgetting local favourites Le Galaxie , King Kong Company , Malojian and R51 will be bringing their explosive sounds back on stage.

This is the 8th Sunflowerfest and as always will feature a packed line-up of entertainment including music, poetry, comedy, film, dance and family orientated fun spread across three days on Tubby’s Farm in picturesque Hillsborough. There is something to suit all tastes and as always, the music line up covers all genres with a wide range of local and international acts confirmed for the festival’s diverse stages

Get yourself down to Tubby’s Farm to revel in some of Ireland’s leading musical talent and celebrate ‘A Parrell Universe’ in an atmosphere of peace, fun and free-spiritedness at Sunflowerfest! Tickets are available now online at

Post Author: Belfast Times

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