Open House Festival

Belfast music festival celebrates its 10th birthday

The Coors Light Open House Festival is celebrating a decade of live Irish and American roots music in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, which for the first time features a marquee venue in Custom House Square.

The launch of this year's festival was held in McHughs Bar and featured live music from several festival O'Deathacts including punk-rock blues band the Bonnevilles and Irish roots supergroup Four Men and a Dog. 

Known for its down-to-earth feel and musical eclecticism, the Open House Festival is one of Belfast's most exciting festivals, attracting people to new music and unconventional settings year-on-year.

Around fifty events will take place during the Open House Festival, which runs during the last weekend of September from the 24-28 in venues throughout the Cathedral Quarter and beyond. Music includes bluegrass, Cajun, Irish traditional, punk-blues, flamenco and gypsy jazz.

Festival director Kieran Gilmore looks forward to this year's 10th birthday celebrations.

'The Coors Light Open House Festival is ten years old, but most of the music is brand new to Belfast and represents the most cutting edge artists on either side of the atlantic.

'Many of these American bluegrass bands have never been to Europe before, never mind Ireland, and we are as excited about this year’s programme as we were about the first.'

David HolmesHighlights of the 10th Open House festival include gothic urban jug band O’Death from Brooklyn, New York; Heavy Trash, the new project from Jon Spencer of the legendary Blues Explosion; Hillbilly Hell, a redneck riot featuring top bluegrass bands the Wilders and Prison Love in the festival marquee.

The festival also sees the return of ChilliFest, a celebration of all things spicy, but bigger, better and hotter than hell, with three days of red hot American food, music and ice cold beer. 

Well-known Belfast DJ, producer and film soundtrack composer David Holmes will also appear on the bill along with artists Bob Long III and O'Death.

Nearly half of events are completely free, including many Irish and American roots music sessions throughout the festival.

Tickets can be booked on-line at the Open House Festival website or from the festival box office at the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609.

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