posted on July 29th, 2019

Open House Festival

Katie Rose Gilmore and Candice Cathers, get ready for a month of festival events throughout Bangor and Donaghadee.

The seaside town of Bangor Co. Down is getting ready for the hottest month on its calendar when the seventh annual Open House Festival begins on Thursday 1st August.

Throughout the 31 days of August, Open House – the only month-long festival in Ireland – will host 163 music, literary, food & drink, theatre, film and art events in and around the town. Among the 40 different venues used for this year’s festival is the Old Auction Rooms on Gray’s Hill which has been gifted to Open House for the duration of the Festival.

On Sunday 25thAugust, the McKee Clock Arena on Bangor Seafront will host 70s ska icons The Specials, support by The Skallions and The Vibes, with a host of free after-show gigs and DJ sets taking place across the town. Other headline guests appearing throughout the month include King of the chat show sofa, Sir Michael Parkinson, former Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson, leading forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes, former Newcastle United football protégée, Paul Ferris, and BBC Radio 6 Music’s poet-in-residence Murray Lachlan Young.

“Aside from all the household names coming to Bangor this year, there is a really strong local connection running through the programme,” said Festival Director, Kieran Gilmore. “It’s a celebration of Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage and particularly embraces Bangor’s vibrant creative scene.

More than one third of this year’s events are free, including Bluegrass Picnic in Ward Park, and resident gigs by local artists. Over 50 of all events in the programme finish in time to get the last train back to Belfast.

For more information and tickets, visit

The 7th annual Open House Festival begins on Thursday 1st August.