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September 3rd - 7th, 2008

In the heart of Co. Antrim nestled between the major towns of Ballymena and Magherafelt lies the village of Portglenone. The village rests along the banks of the River Bann, which has been immortalised by countless artists and writers down through the years.

It is here in this idyllic setting that the 9th “Gig’n The Bann” Cross Community Music and Dance Festival will take place from the 3rd–7th September 2008. This festival has become one of the major events on the Summer Festival Calendar having built a reputation for offering a most impressive line-up of top performers spanning Traditional, Scottish and Folk Music circles.

The ethos of the festival is to bring together musical traditions across all cultural divides and the direction pursued in recent years has been to incorporate the Ulster Scots tradition alongside Traditional Irish music. This has greatly enhanced audience participation in a diverse range of events. It has also meant that people from different sides of the community have become exposed to music, song and dance that they may not have been familiar with before.

The Festival programme for 2008 will again include the usual mix of Concerts, featuring artists such as The red Hot Chilli Pipers and Teada.Traditional Music Sessions with some of Irelands finest musicians, musical cruises along the River Bann, a family fun day and the Bard N` The Bann competition which features local writers in an evening of humorous verse.

There is also the opportunity to hear world class pipe bands at the “Pipe`N The Bann” event which is usually one of the highlights of the festival.

The main festival concerts are held in “The Old Shirt Factory” a really unique venue. As the title suggests this is a disused shirt factory, which is now a listed, building due to its historical importance in the village. The factory is converted into a 600 seat capacity concert hall with a first class light and sound system. The venue has been described by Sharon Shannon a previous performer at the festival as a “Mini Point Theatre”. Indeed this stage has been graced by may fine performers from both the worlds of traditional Irish and Ulster Scots music; Altan, Danu, Kieran Goss, Cara Dillon, Flook, Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band and St Laurence O Toole Pipe Band to name just a few.

Each year the festival continues to grow and the organising committee strive to bring the top performers to an audience that rarely would have an opportunity to see these artists perform live.

The organising committee hope that the 2008 “Gig’n The Bann” Festival Programme will be even more entertaining than previous years so if you feel you would like to experience the unique welcome afforded to all visitors who spend the weekend in the village check out our website for events listings and Festival updates. Portglenone is the place to be on the first week-end in September for a fun filled action packed Festival of Music, Song and Dance from all traditions.

Permalink - Posted: May 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm