Causeway Coast to be awash with music for Atlantic Sessions

Over 50 artists are set for intimate performances across Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae as the annual event nears a decade in business

Following the sell-out success of Atlantic Sessions in 2016 and its 2017 NI Tourism Award, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council will be bringing the event back to the Causeway Coast for its ninth year from November 16 - 19. 

Over 50 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians will perform live in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, music venues and bars across the four days. Visitors will have an opportunity to see high profile artists in an intimate setting, with the stunning Atlantic as a backdrop. Each artist will play their own music for one hour, forming a music trail across the resorts of Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae.

Artists announced this week include PORTS with the Arco String Quartet, Iain Archer, Ryan Vail Laser Show at the Arcadia, Joshua Burnside, the Holy Innocents, Anthony Toner, Eilidh Patterson, Brand New Friend, Mandy Bingham, Neil Martin, Amanda St John, Amy Montgomery, Michael Mormecha, Emer Maguire, Simon Murphy, Gerry Norman, Rory Nellis, Paddy Nash, Malojian, plus DJ sets from Joe Lindsay and Phil Taggart.

Joshua Burnside

Now firmly established in the music calendar, Atlantic Sessions, which this year is working in partnership with Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Tourism Ireland, has emerged as a permanent feature and has gathered a reputation both among performers and music lovers. 

Live music ranges from traditional, bluegrass and Americana to electronic, indie and acoustic singer-songwriters. It offers a platform for emerging talent as well as established artists from across Northern Ireland an opportunity to bring their music beyond urban hubs.

Welcoming the return of the much anticipated music festival, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: 'Following on from the event’s success at the NI Tourism Awards earlier this year, we are delighted to welcome two new sponsors, Tourism Ireland and Bushmills Irish Whiskey. Our awards success, coupled with this high profile support, makes it a very exciting time for the event. 

'Atlantic Sessions enjoys a much-deserved reputation as a fabulous live music event, offering intimate gigs with an unrivalled line-up of performers, and it is fully deserving of this recognition. I’m delighted that this year’s festival coincides with Causeway Coast and Glens Restaurant Week which runs from November 11 – 19, so there has never been a better time to visit. We look forward to welcoming you all to what will be one of the highlights of our autumn offering.'

Eilidh Patterson

With a rise in the number, and quality, of musicians and bands making headlines and enjoying success in the international marketplace, and new and innovative music businesses based here, Atlantic Sessions has a significant role to play in developing music tourism, appreciating the ongoing success stories and showcasing this on the global stage.

Programming is by Snow Water, in association with Third Bar, and its Director Carolyn Mathers, commented: 'Northern Ireland is extraordinary in the richness of its artistic talent and Atlantic Sessions is a perfect opportunity to showcase our creative energy to international audiences. This year we will feature a series of new collaborations and 'In the Round' concerts exclusively for the festival, six of the NI Music Prize 2017 nominees, plus EP and single launches. Audiences will have an opportunity to witness our finest singer-songwriters partner together in intimate environments. We’re very grateful for the support of our new partners, the hospitality sector and delighted that interest in Northern Ireland’s music scene is stronger than ever.'

For biographies, venues, map and trail times, visit and follow @atlanticsess. Tickets and a performance timetable are both to be announced this week.