Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

International guitar festival set to rock Newtownards

Young Andreas Varady shows off his skills on the fretboard
Young Andreas Varady shows off his skills on the fretboard

Ards will be filled with the sound of music when it celebrates it annual International Guitar Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday September 29 and runs to October 3.

Now in its 14th year, the festival promises to stimulate music-lovers senses, with a wide range of gigs, workshops, and events to appeal to all tastes.

Festival co-ordinator Emily Walsh says they expect over 1,000 visitors to this year’s event.

“The turnout every year has been consistent.People always enjoy their time at the event.”

International and local artists will be present at the event, including Andreas Varady, John Smith, Richard Smith, Erik Mongrain, Brooks Williams, Vicki Genfan and Jerry Donahue and Doug Morter , being run in association with Downtown Radio.

The Classical Guitar Society will showcase with multiple |award winner Dinitris Dekavallas.

A number of fringe events will take place at Ards Arts Centre, and Molly Browns Kitchen and Bar will host a number of acts including Ellis Phillips, Sara Dylan, Sannah, Mike Donaghy and Mark Braidner.

The Ivy Bar will also play host to Louisiana Joyride, The Bush Turkeys, Janet Holmes, Declan Dogherty , The Tennessee Hennesssees and the event finale, Weekend Wind Down.

Music workshops will also be on offer via the Ossia School of Music, including a Skateboard Guitar Workshop, Percussive Techniques with Vicki Genfan, and an Introduction to Blues Guitar with Brooks Williams.

An exhibition showcasing the last 13 years of the Ards |International Guitar Festival |will be on display at Ards Arts Centre, while singer- songwriters can also enter the Festival’s ‘Spotlight’ competition for a chance to win an Avalon Guitar and perform in a Botanic Inns venue.

The competition is open to all singer/songwriters under the |age of 30, and all compositions must be performed on, or accompanied by, an acoustic guitar.

Heats for the competition will be held in Molly Brown’s Kitchen and Bar the week beginning the 20th September, with the grand final taking place in Molly Browns on Wednesday, September 29.

To enter the Spotlight |competition or for further information, artists should contact Ards Arts Centre on 028 91810803.

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