Packed programme for this year’s Open House Festival in Bangor

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King of the chat show sofa, Sir Michael Parkinson, leading forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes, and BBC Radio 6 Music’s poet-in-residence Murray Lachlan Young, are among the multitude of artists and performers joining The Specials, Villagers and The Staves at this year’s Open House Festival Bangor in August.

The 2019 programme for the only month-long festival in Ireland features 163 events in 46 venues over the 31 days of August, with over 600 performers, participants and producers taking part.

The festival has become known for combining headline national and international artists with local musicians, writers, chefs and other creatives, and for curating bespoke events such as Folk on a Boat, Island Picnic and the Bangor Rocks Musical Bus Tour – a 90-minute trip that takes in the birth places and stomping grounds of some of Bangor’s most famous musical offspring, including Snow Patrol, Foy Vance and Two Door Cinema Club.

Northern Irish participants this year include three Bangor playwrights, including Carol Moore who is one of this year’s Arts Council Major Individual Artist recipients, DJs Bobby Analog and Mark Blair, Ronnie Greer with his Blues Band, and author and former Newcastle United player, Paul Ferris. Another event with a Bangor connection concerns internationally acclaimed artist and video maker Charlie Whisker who was born in the town. His former partner, Dublin author Julia Kelly, will be talking about her book, Matchstick Man, which details Charlie’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

For full details of the 2019 programme, go to www.openhousefestival.com.