Host of entertainment in the Walled Garden
Open House Festival has announced its initial line-up for the 2021 August festival in Bangor, with three weeks of music, comedy, spoken word and classic cinema in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Castle Walled Garden.
Headline acts include internationally acclaimed Irish musician, Mary Coughlan, comedian, former doctor and author of the bestselling memoir This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay, and bestselling Irish author, Marian Keyes. However, the bulk of performers and artists come from Northern Ireland, with comedians Shane Todd and Paddy Raff, and musicians Duke Special and Dana Masters featured in the programme.
“If there is one thing the past year has taught us, it’s to appreciate what we have on our own doorsteps,” says Festival Director Kieran Gilmore.
The Walled Garden is just a short walk from Bangor station and the town centre, and with free parking, toilets, and a café, it makes the perfect location for this year’s festival, given all the constraints. “It’s one of our favourite venues anyway,” says Kieran. “We love it, and our audiences do too.”
The familiar Open House Festival printed programme won’t be making an appearance this year, so the organisers are encouraging people to follow updates and announcements via email, social media and the festival website – and to spread the word to friends and family who aren’t online, so they don’t miss out. There’s a new official festival bookseller this year too, with Belfast’s independent book shop No Alibis offering a 10% discount on all books featured in the programme. Books can be bought online or in person at the Botanic Avenue shop.
The ticketing system will also be different to allow for social distancing. “Ticketing has probably posed the biggest challenge for us,” says Kieran. “We need to ensure we can seat the maximum number of people in a socially distanced setting and have created a bubble system. It isn’t at all what audiences will be used to, but we would ask for their patience and co-operation – and as capacity is dramatically reduced, we advise people to book early to avoid disappointment.”
See the full line-up at www.openhousefestival.com.