Hillsborough – 5th-7th August 2016
Sunflowerfest is back again this Friday, for another weekend packed full of arts and music and it looks set to be another big year. Northern Ireland’s only three day festival with camping, Sunflowerfest looks set to be the highlight of another festival season.
Once again the focus is very much on family, with the return of the KidsZone and a range of free family activities including arts and crafts workshops, circus skills and more. The festival’s Enchanted Glade will host interactive performances of Beauty & the Beast, an outdoor cinema will be showing children’s films and there will be plenty of opportunity for children’s or laughter yoga.
Music wise it is another packed out festival, with Northern Irish music is represented in every corner of the line-up from Friday to Sunday. Friday and Saturday sees Irish headliners in Le Galaxie and The Strypes on the main stage, with CoCo and the Butterfields returning again for the Sunday night slot. Locally, take your pick from the likes of Malojian, Amanda St John, Trucker Diablo and many more.
This year also sees the addition of a brand new stage with the focus very much on electronic music. The new venue, ELECTROMOOT, hosts a line-up that ranges from Twitch Belfast to Extended Play to Warriors of the Dystotheque.
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Saturday night sees young Cavan blues-rockers The Strypes take to the headlining slot on the festival’s main stage. The band are known for their raucous performances and a busy, late slot on Saturday should be the perfect setting for their live show. One not to be missed.
More local acts include R51 and Loris on Friday evening, while live favourites the Emerald Armada will help bring the weekend to a close on Sunday with what will surely be a typically huge set.
Dawson’s Campfire Stage
The famed Campfire stage is so packed with local talent this year, it’s difficult to pick out just one or two. Our former Kickstart winner and ukulele songbird Lauren Bird opens the stage’s Saturday afternoon slot while Malojian, set for a big year and gearing up for the release of their Steve Albini recorded album, close it down again on Saturday night.
Talented bluegrass collective No Oil Paintings will be worth a watch on Friday and a double whammy of versatile songwriting in Peter J Mcauley and Ursula Burns will be a fitting end on Sunday night.
At first glance The Barn throws up a bit of a blues rock conundrum but thankfully the organisers have it sorted. Lisburn’s The Bonnevilles, fresh from a new album released this year will be ready to rip up the Barn Stage at 10pm on Saturday night. Their set should end with just enough time for the blues rock afficianados to make their way to the main stage for The Strypes.
Tickets for the festival are still available, with full weekend and day tickets on offer. A shuttle bus to the festival is available from both Belfast and Lisburn. For more information on the festival, or to purchase a ticket click on the link below.