Friends’ Goodwill Music Festival 2018

Friends’ Goodwill Music Festival 2018

Friends' Goodwill Music Festival 2018 banner

The Friends’ Goodwill Music Festival will take place in Larne on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May at the Market Yard, Broadway and Curran Park.

Festival Programme


Friends’ Goodwill Music Festival returns to Larne for a second year on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May 2018.

The free event has been revamped and relocated yet will again have a packed programme of live music, dancing, family entertainment, children’s activities, an exhibition, street theatre, food heritage demonstrations, a ceilidh and a bit of magic.

The main venue is the restored Market Yard on Station Road which will host lively sets from The Logues, Runabay Booka Brass, Pilgrim Street, Paul Casey, Stonewall, Pure Blarney, the Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band, Eilidh Patterson and Lee Lawson.

The rest of the Yard will be busy with street theatre shows, walkabout characters, a petting farm, a puppet show, a magic show, food heritage demonstrations, a ceilidh for everyone to join in, food wagons, story telling, children’s craft workshop, a drumming workshop, facepainting and balloon modelling, small fairground rides and an exhibition telling the story of the departure of Friends’ Goodwill from Larne harbour 300 years ago.

The Friends’ Goodwill voyage is significant in Irish history as it is believed to have been the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century. Naturally the musical theme of the two day festival covers Americana, Ulster Scots, Irish, Scots and Bluegrass.

Show times are 3pm to 10pm on Saturday and 2pm to 6pm on Sunday. Capacity will be limited to 1000 people.

Main Street in Larne will be a buzz of music and dance from 11am to 3pm on Saturday will live performances from Larne Music Yard and the Transatlantic Hillbilly Band on the live stage at Broadway.

A remembrance service will be held at the Friends’ Goodwill monument at Curran Park from 1.45pm on Sunday.

Festival Programme

Saturday: Broadway, Town Centre

11am - 11.45am Transatlantic Hillbilly Band

Playing fiddle tunes and sing songs inspired by the musical and cultural crossover between Ulster-Scotch and the Scotch-Irish of North America.  Band members will be John Trotter, Davy Angus, Derek Montgomery and David McClean.

12noon - 1pm Larne Music Yard Larne Music Yard provides music tuition and workshops. Students will perform live and show the musical talent being nurtured in Larne.
1pm - 3pm Espresso Jazz Espresso Jazz aims to please a general audience as well as jazz enthusiasts. 

Saturday: Market Yard

3pm - 6pm Family fun Market Yard, Auction House There will be plenty of free activities with something for everyone to enjoy, including: Street theatre, storytelling by Bridget Ann McNeill, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon modelling, small fairground ride, petting farm and walkabout characters.
3pm - 6pm Irish Heritage Food Demonstrations Market Yard By Emmett McCourt, author of the globally acclaimed book: Feast or Famine, A Cultural Food Journey of the North West of Ireland.
3pm - 6pm Traditional Rope Makers NI Main Shed Demonstrating how rope was produced in the 18th century for the many sailing ships that navigated the oceans, telling the story and demonstrating the methods used, using a rope jack and traveller. Rope making is brought back to life by costumed demonstrators.
3pm Stonewall Main Stage Stonewall started as a folk group playing at various concerts, church events,etc but have ventured further into the world and never looked back.
4pm Alastair Scott Ceilidh Band Main Shed

A group of energetic and fun award winning musicians with an experienced dance caller, from Counties Antrim and Tyrone. Formed in 2004, the band have years of gigging experience behind them and have performed at a wide range of events from the smallest of functions to the more elaborate of corporate events, starred in a Hallmark movie 'The Cabin' and even played at the 40th birthday of a rock legend!

4.15pm  Paul Casey Main Stage Irish songwriter, guitarist and singer Paul Casey is being talked of among Ireland’s new music followers as 'the new cool'. His songwriting, guitar playing and distinctive voice are set to cause quite a stir both sides of the Atlantic. 
5.15pm Runabay Main stage

Originally coming from a couple of small rural villages in the Glens of Antrim and Belfast runabay are six musicians who through their passion for harmony and melody have been writing and recording since late December 2013. Runabay are at the forefront of fresh, new music in Northern Ireland, a sound which has undeniably been shaped by the beautiful coastline which surrounds the Glens of Antrim and is felt through the swooping melodies and poignant lyrics.

6.45pm Pilgrim St Main Stage

Strongly influenced by Bluegrass, Old Time Country and Folk Music, and fusing this style with traditional folk songs from this side of the Atlantic, Pilgrim St bring a warm and lively atmosphere to venues around the country with their concerts. With a setlist made up of covers and their own original songs they have played some high profile gigs including Electric Picnic and Vicar street (with Declan O Rourke).

8.30pm The Logues Main Stage It has been described as ‘psycho ceilidh’, ‘whiskey-soaked folk’ and just plain old ‘partying music’ – whatever it is, The Logues have made the genre their own. From their humble beginnings in a sleepy County Tyrone village, they have become one of Ireland’s most sought-after live bands.

Sunday: Market Yard

2pm - 6pm Family fun Market Yard, Auction House

There will be plenty of free activities with something for everyone to enjoy, including: Street theatre, storytelling by Bridget Ann McNeill, magic show, fairground games, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon modelling, small fairground ride, petting farm and walkabout characters.

2pm - 6pm

Irish Heritage Food Demonstrations  Market Yard  By Emmett McCourt, author of the globally acclaimed book: Feast or Famine, A Cultural Food Journey of the North West of Ireland.
2pm Pure Blarney Main Stage Pure Blarney is a live 5 piece group who perform lively uplifting music that appeals to all tastes. The Band has a large repertoire, as well as their own material they also cover the sounds of Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Pogues, Saw Doctors, Rod Stewart, Water Boys and many more. They also perform country, waltzs, jigs and reels that are sure to keep people in the party mood. Pure Blarney have in the past performed in New York, France, Germany and at festivals all over Ireland.
3pm Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band Main Stage The band, which is made up of children aged between 9 and 15, was created by the Ulster-Scots Agency in August of 2012 and has seen the children move from absolute beginners to novice musicians in a very short space of time.
3pm & 5pm The Outlaws Main Shed

New innovative ceilidh band. Combining foot-stomping traditional music with popular party tunes.

3.30pm Eilidh Patterson Main Stage Eilidh is a warm, engaging performer of startling clarity. With songs that cut straight to the heart, delightfully accurate guitar playing and her signature pure vocals, Eilidh immediately connects with audiences everywhere. In recent years, she has performed in the States, the UK and in Europe. Eilidh is set to release her third studio album in the autumn.
4.15pm Lee Lawson Main Stage Born in Lisburn and now living in Annaghanoon near Waringstown, County Down, Lee has been drumming since she was given her first actual snare drum as a Christmas present when she was only two years old! She is now widely regarded as one of the top pipe band and rudimental drummers in the world.
4.30pm Booka Brass Main Stage In late 2012 the group of students were drawn together by their classical background and desire to experiment musically. Since then their trajectory has been constantly on the rise, from the success of their critically acclaimed debut EP BBB, a sold-out nationwide tour alongside collaborations and live performances with Irish music heavyweights including; The Frames, Lisa Hannigan, Jape and James Vincent McMorrow.

We look forward to seeing you at there!

For further details on the Festival, you can email our Events Team, E: