Belfast Telegraph

Go back to your roots at Coors Light Open House Festival

More than 20,000 music lovers from all over the world will descend on Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter in September, when one of Northern Ireland’s best loved music festivals returns – bigger than ever before.

The Coors Light Open House Festival, which takes place from Monday September 6 to Sunday September 12, celebrates the very best in roots music, from Americana to Irish traditional. This year’s headline acts include two 2010 Mercury Prize nominated artists – English nu-folksters Mumford & Sons and Dublin balladeer, Villagers – plus 2009 Brit nominee Seasick Steve, who will be sharing his hobo stories and lo-fi punk blues.

The festival, now in its 12th year, has grown from strength to strength since it started and this year is attracting fans from as far as Australia, Japan, Argentina, the USA and Europe. The seven-day event will see more than 50 acts, including established international artists and local performers, take to the stage at various venues in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

>>Video: Gary Grattan reports from the launch

Coors Light Brand Manager Jordana Busby said:

“We are incredibly proud to be the headline sponsor of the Coors Light Open House Festival once again. There is a natural friendship between the festival and Coors Light, with their strong American roots and pioneering spirit. In fact, the festival started in Northern Ireland by coincidence at the same time Coors Light first arrived on our shores.”

Coors Light Open House Festival Manager Alison Gordon said: “We are thrilled that Coors Light is back on board as our title sponsor. Last year saw us form a strong partnership and Coors Light, as a brand, fits perfectly with the identity of the Open House Festival.

“The event last year was a huge success and this year’s is shaping up to be even better. There has been such phenomenal demand for tickets for our opening night festival hoe-down with Mumford & Sons on Monday 6th September that the concert sold out within 36 hours of our first online announcement. Two thousand tickets selling in 36 hours is a Coors Light Open House Festival record!

“Tickets for all the other festival shows are selling well so we urge you to get your tickets early to avoid any disappointment,” added Alison.

This year’s festival will see Custom House Square transformed with marquees, stalls and stages. As well as the gigs and free music sessions, another highlight of the event is the infamous ChilliFest - a ‘heated’ mini-festival of fiery food, including Ireland’s only chilli pepper eating competition, soundtracked by authentic American music and washed down with ice cold Coors Light lager.

The Coors Light Open House Festival receives public funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Department of Social Development, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council and the PRS Foundation.

Maria McAlister, Traditional Arts Officer at the Arts Council, commented: “Now in its twelfth year, The Open House Festival has grown to become one of the biggest and most popular events in our cultural calendar. Annually drawing large numbers of visitors from across Belfast and beyond, the Festival provides an excellent example of the major contribution that the arts make to our social, creative and economic life.”

For more information on the Coors Light Open House Festival and to keep up to date as more acts are confirmed, people should visit www.coorsopenhousefestival.com

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