Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Omagh Festival launched

Richard Hurst, Festival organiser, with members of the Knotty Pine String Band

The 16th Annual Bluegrass Music Festival was launched on Tuesday at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. From Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September, the museum will become home to some of the biggest names in international bluegrass music as acts like the Steep Canyon Rangers, Lovell Sisters, and Malpass Brothers rub shoulders with the finest home-grown talent.

'We understand our visitors' desire for great music in great surroundings, two key ingredients that have played a crucial part in the success of this event,' commented Richard Hurst, the Folk Park’s Visitor Services Manager. 'It’s great to be able to invite back bands like Red Wine from Italy and Sunny Side from the Czech Republic, not only because they are eager to come back but because our visitors want them back.'

Representing all the musicians at the launch was local Omagh act, the Knotty Pine String Band - something of a privilege, according to the group’s fiddler, Declan O'Kane. 'We have found that bluegrass music has become very popular over the past fifteen years, in no small part to the success of events such as the fantastic Bluegrass Music Festival here at the Ulster American Folk Park. We travel across Ireland to attend all types of festivals which showcase bluegrass music and really enjoy the social scene involved as you are continually meeting up with old friends along the way. I think Ireland has really taken ownership of bluegrass music now and it’s wonderful as this is where bluegrass music has its roots.'

Tickets for the Festival are available from the hotline on +44 (0)28 8224 3292, while evening concert tickets and full festival information are also available at the festival website. Read the full release here.