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7 Hills Blues Festival

Armagh’s iconic 7 Hills Blues Fest returns for an eighth summer, bringing world-class talent to more than 20 venues and locations across the celebrated Cathedral City.

Firmly established as one of the great blues and roots music events in the UK and Ireland and set to be the jewel in the crown of a series of wonderful summer events across the region. This year’s line-up promises another unmissable weekend of music and entertainment for all ages.

Attracting locals and visitors in their thousands from far and wide each year, the programme will complement a packed schedule of fringe events designed to suit everyone. Whether visiting the city to shop, eat, drink or to see the sights, those bluesy tones won’t be far away.

So get out and about and let’s get some blistering summer blues : best served chilled!!

Festival Programme
Who's Playing
Running Order
Picnic in the Palace Park

As always at the 7 Hills Blues Festival we are announcing the bands on the bill but not when or where they are playing. The full programme will be announced at Viva Bar, Lower English Street, Armagh on Thursday 26th July 2018 at 7.30pm, be sure to join our mailing list to be the first to hear our news.

If you have issues viewing the programme below click here to view PDF.

2ND DRAWER DOWN

Formed in 2016, 2nd Drawer Down are a group of singers and musicians from Armagh City that specialise in acoustic music. Unusual versions of classic rock and pop songs mixed up with blues, folk and country covers and originals. Mick McCool hates the word ‘genre’ … ‘we just play the music we know and like’!!!

4 SHUCK MEN

Local band 4 Shuck Men return to the 7 Hills with a mix of blues standards and original material all with their own twist. The cocktail of flavours rendered include harmonica and fiddle, adding sweet fizz to the pumping lead, rhythm, bass and drums. With rasping vocals and seventh heaven harmonies get ready to enjoy.

ALAN MCKELVEY

‘A band not to be missed, Alan’s guitar skills are second to none, and his voice is the gem of the local scene’, Empire Music Hall. Alan has notched up a well-received series of gigs all over the country and the UK, leaving behind only satisfied music lovers. Whether it’s an intimate acoustic performance or soulful R&B experience, he’s got the tee shirt.

ALLISON MCGRATH AND SOULANTICS

Singer songwriter from Warrenpoint, creates in her own songs a soulful blend of blues/jazz/folk/funk. Allison will perform some standard covers and songs from her latest album ‘At Long Last’ recently released, alongside songs from her Debut Album ‘Overboard’ which received cracking reviews and a MRU award for Best Soul/ Jazz/Funk band in 2012.

BACKBONE BLUES

These lads have been playing together for over 35 years and are made up of the talented Karl Hughes on drums, Raymond McEvoy on vocals, Gareth Hughes on guitar and Ritchie McEvoy on bass. The permanent foursome is augmented by Steven Clarke on tenor saxophone as well as a variety of exceptional keyboard players. Many of the bands’ songs come from the pen of Ritchie.

BEN REEL BAND

Since his debut album `This Is The Movie’ back in 1999, Ben has reinvented himself from album to album, influenced by different styles of music from rock, soul, blues, alt folk/Americana, country & reggae, which fuses all these genres into a melting pot to create a great sound which has become his own and has seen him recently release his new album ‘Land of Escape’.

BLACKWOOD

Blackwood Blues rock band is a dynamic power trio featuring the inimitable styles of Sam Davidson lead guitarist and vocals, Lyn Mc Mullan on drums and Albert Mills on bass. Together they bring an exciting edge to classic blues, early taste numbers and Sam’s own originals. The guys have played in the UK and Europe having performed in Italy, France, England, and Northern and Southern Ireland.

THE BLUEZ KATZ BLUES BAND

Fronted by lead singer and harmonica player Ian Sands, alongside his son James Sands on electric guitar and daughter Sarah Sands on saxophone. They are joined onstage by Laurence Dugan on bass guitar. Throughout their exciting career, The Katz have had the pleasure of supporting many famous acts including Van Morrison, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) and have also served as backing bands to some great musicians such as Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy), Jimmy Burns, and Jack Moore.

CLARA ROSE

A powerful voice that has been known to send shivers down spines and bring tears to the eye. Clara’s voice has been described as sounding like ‘an opera star running through her scales’ (Eamon Carr, In Dublin Magazine). Her recent album ‘The Offering’, is a collection that brings the listener on a journey through folk rock, blues, funk, soul and contemporary folk.

COLD PORTER

Featuring the amazing voice of Eilish McCaffrey, Cold Porter deliver a wide range of music spanning the decades and genres and their show is guaranteed to include something for all tastes. Expect anything from 60’s soul to 70’s funk blended with more contemporary pop and rock classics. The band have been playing pubs, clubs, weddings and festivals for over a decade now and a have a strong local following.

COURTNAY AND THE DUKES

With influences including Etta James & Amy Winehouse, her vocals are enchanting. Courtnay’s performances range from intimate solo appearances to a funky soul and blues 3-piece band! They play a range from Marvin Gaye to a soulful take on more modern artists such as Beyoncé and Foo Fighters.

DANI AND KUNOKINI

In 2017 singer-songwriter and folk artist Dani travelled to Indonesia to work with instrumentalists KunoKini. KunoKini’s exploration of Indonesia’s traditional instruments, in a contemporary style, with DANI’s song writing enable a powerful musical partnership. DANI and KunoKini will perform collaborative material throughout Northern Ireland as part of a unique one-month residency programme.

DD & THE DELTA BOYS

DD & the Delta Boys come from deep down in the misty swamplands of the Donegal delta. They are on a mission to touch, move and inspire audiences with their distinctive brand of Rhythm & Blues. Each of the musicians brings with them a love and passion for their instrument and when you put all of that together it cooks up to a damn fine foot-stomping brew that plays easy on the ear and is a thrill to experience live.

FREEDOM 35’S

A 4 piece organ driven instrumental funk/soul outfit from Co. Armagh. They have supported Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Graham Day and The Gaolers, The Strypes and Booker T. Jones. 2018 will see the release of their debut album. Catch their explosive live show this August!

GRAINNE DUFFY

Grainne Duffy is a contemporary blues based artist hailing from Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. Described by The Sunday Times as ‘a blues singer of real integrity’, she is a pioneer of her own style while also paying sincere homage to her roots – soul, blues and rock traditions. She is a seasoned artist and has been spending the last number of years touring in Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and beyond.

JACKIE MCAULEY

Formerly of the famous ‘THEM’, alongside Van Morrison, Jackie’s musical career blossomed having performed with Lonnie Donegan, Fairport Convention and Rick Wakeman. This is an outstanding blues band of the highest calibre!

LITTLE WILGAR & THE CRACKPOT PREACHERS

Playing harmonica from the age of nine Mike (Little) Wilgar has been blasting out blues tunes ever since. Well known on the local and International blues scene Mike and the guys have played across the world as far afield as Indonesia where they headlined at the Jakarta International Blues Festival. The band’s 2006 album ‘Swimming With Sharks’ is still a regular on the playlists of blues radio shows all over the world.

LUDWIG & CO

Ludwig & Co are a seasoned professional two piece equally comfortable in any genre. Journeymen in the realms of folk, rock and blues, they litter their repertoire with songs that are a little different from other blues acts. For a duo with no backing tracks, hats or gimmicks these guys really ‘fill-out’ the sound.

MARK BLACK TRIO

This 3-piece band is far from your traditional rock based outfit, featuring amplified 12 string acoustic guitars, lap steel and didjireedoo, alongside pumping driving roots rhythms and grooves. These guys are one of the hottest and dynamic live acts around. A really funky tight 3 piece like you’ve never seen. Rock influences such as Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix and the Jam Band influences of The Grateful Dead and Phish can be heard throughout the set.

MARK BRAIDNER BLUES TRIO

A competent slide and finger style guitarist influenced primarily by the pre-war blues of the 1920s and 1930s the Mark Braidner Blues Trio offer a mix of everything from Ragtime and Houkum styles through to down home Delta blues. Their driving beats and infectious rhythms get toes tapping wherever they play.

MIKE BROOKFIELD

Mike honed his craft while playing in a number of musical shows in London’s West End back in the 1990s. Three years ago he released his debut album Love Breaks the Fall which attracted glowing reviews from the music press. In 2017 Mike released a second album to more rave reviews simply entitled Brookfield. He is now hitting the road again after taking a year out and is pushing the boundaries of modern blues even harder than before.

MIRENDA ROSENBERG

Some singers own the stage, but Mirenda Rosenberg is famous for owning the stage, the dance floor, and sometimes the audiences personal space when she performs. Mirenda shares her personal history of Black American Music through raw, viceral songs. Her musical expedition spans the decades, including the music of Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, & Curtis Mayfield as well as her vivacious original tunes.

NITE HAWKS

Stompin’ brass based blues, soul and rock to knock your socks off. This tasty six piece are back doing what they love best. So ‘do the brow beatin’ heavy leather Armagh Blues shuffle’ and get yourself down to the Armagh City Hotel on Friday night to check out the fabulous Nitehawks.

OBSIDIAN

Obsidian are a local 4 piece classic rock/blues band who offer a wide range of smouldering bluesy originals and cover bands such as Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Fleetwood Mac. Obsidian have recently spent time in the studio recording their debut album ‘Black Glass’. The basis of their diverse sound as a band, is the product of a wide variety of influences within their band which allows them to explore many different avenues of sounds.

ONE HORSE PONY

One Horse Pony have already played with and received plaudits from legends like Blind Boys of Alabama. In a short space of time they have racked up festival appearances at Electric Picnic, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Independence, Kilkenny Roots Festival and more. Their debut single ‘Muddy Waters’ taken from an EP, Hot One, is due out later this year. In the meantime, enjoy the sounds of Ireland’s freshest, yet simultaneously dirtiest, no-good, shack-in-the-swamps trio that go by the name of One Horse Pony.

PAT MCMANUS

Former Mama’s Boys, Celtus guitarist and violin virtuoso, along with band members Paul Faloon and Marty McDermott are currently on their 11th year of international touring, playing their own special brand of blues rock infused with a touch of the Celtic. This year sees the band release their 6th studio album ‘Tattooed in Blue’ and with a touring schedule packed to the max, they are ready to rock.

PAUL SHERRY

Paul Sherry has played all over Ireland on the festival & gig circuit with his trio. His up tempo blues rock shows were a mix of guitar driven licks, rust & dust sounding vocals from top to bottom. His new album ‘Songstone’ turned a new corner to a more songbased side with great melodies and a funky pop rock rhythm section. This highlighted not only with his power trio but also acoustic which brings it right down to husky vocals and guitar.

PREACHER CASEY’S

Bringing a new sound to the local music scene; blues meets folk via a journey around the rootsy country of the Deep South and beyond! It’s good time music with an edge, with influences ranging from Rory Gallagher, Andy Irvine, Woody Guthrie and the Old Crow Medicine Show.

RAB McCULLOUGH

Rab McCullough was an active contributor in the 60’s & 70’s when the blues baby came of age, sharing stages with his peers who went on to be Rock & Blues legends including Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. Rab inspires generations with his electrifying live shows, always thrilling crowds with unstoppable energy and conviction.

RILEY & THE MOONROCKERS

Riley & the Moonrockers are a 3 piece rockabilly/ rock n’ roll band (father and son) from Cavan. With an energetic live show that has been entertaining audiences all over Europe playing with legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, the bands enthusiasm for what they do shines through in every performance.

RONNIE GREER BLUES BAND

Blues guitar legend Ronnie Greer has been at the centre of the Irish blues scene for over forty years and has shared the stage with some of the leading figures in the genre. His band, featuring some of the finest musicians in the country, operate on a level which must be heard to be appreciated.

ROY FULTON EXPERIENCE

Roy Fulton Experience is fronted by the world-renowned guitar player, whose YouTube channel has over 4 million views! The experienced guitarist has worked and toured with many world class acts and brings with him, to the festival, a top quality band of musicians who play a mixture of blues standards and some surprises thrown in for good measure!

RUSTY JACKS

Rusty Jacks are a formidable Southern Blues Band with years of experience. They have built up a reputation as one of the best live Blues band in the country having played the leading Blues festivals in Ireland and Britain. They have released two albums which have been highly acclaimed by the industry. ‘This is Blues With Bite’ – Blues Matters Magazine.

SARAH AND THE SANDCASTLES

Bringing a youthful, unique blend of energetic rock and blues to the next generation. Having performed at establishments such as Blues On The Bay, Crumlin Road Gaol and Titanic Quarter, they’ve been to the Crossroads more times than seasoned players twice their age.

SEAN TAYLOR

Sean Taylor is one of the most exciting and hardworking names on the international roots and blues circuit. His new album ‘Flood & Burn’ was recorded in Austin, Texas with legendary producer Mark Hallman. Sean has toured all over the UK, Europe and Australia and has supported many artists including John Fogerty, Neville Brothers, Robert Cray, to name a few. ‘’An absolutely superb guitarist … reminiscent of John Martyn’ (Bob Harris, BBC Radio).

SHORT FUSE BLUES

For twenty years these guys have honed their skills playing gigs and festivals all around the country. From the word go, a powerful engine-room of bass and drums drives a blistering harmonica and guitar driven force, often leading to a battle of reeds and strings that stands out. Driven blues delivered with intent!

SOULSHINE BLUE

SoulShine Blue are a 6 piece soul/blues band. This set up consists of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, saxophone and two female vocals. They include a number of genres such as blues, rock and soul from artists such as Imelda May, Joe Bonamassa, Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton.

STONECOLD HOBOS

Stonecold Hobos are a Drogheda based blues band consisting of drums, bass, harmonica slide guitar and vocals. Amongst their catalogue of original material, expect to hear the likes of Muddy, Elmore, Little Walter, Freddie King and more. Their live show is noted for its energy and authenticity.

TAILPIECE

Stalwarts of the Monaghan blues rock scene, Tailpiece are a three piece known for their energetic renditions of rarely played classics. With a scintillating set drawn from such influences as 70s Glam, Punk Rock, Chicago and Southern Blues, and all points between. An evening with Tailpiece promises to deliver maximum musical stimulation.

THE BROWN NOTES

If you’re looking for a tasty mix of blues guitar, reggae, rock and soulful saxophone that will uplift anyone’s mood, then check out The Brown Notes. The lads have spent the last 10 years creating an awesome set of Blues, Rock and Reggae tunes.

THE CASINO DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND

A 6 piece band specialising in New Orleans style Dixieland Jazz. These guys have been playing music for a life-time. The energy and feel good factor that they create to audiences young and old alike with their unique sound and style is breathtaking, making them one of the most sought after Dixieland Jazz Bands in the area.

THE CATFISH BLUES ORCHESTRA

Ireland’s definitive Blues Big Band ‘The Catfish Blues Orchestra’ is a truly unique musical experience. With an octane show featuring blistering guitar, creamy bass, steam train like percussion, melodic vocal work, succulent sax and true blues harp. A truly powerful sound is produced by this 8 piece big band that must be experienced live.

THE DAVE MCHUGH BAND

Award winning Blues guitarist Dave McHugh & his Band have toured The Irish & European Blues scene for well over 20 years. Dave’s unique style always delivers memorable performances. Dave is accompanied by legendary Bassist John Quearney & Alan O’Keeffe on Drums. The Dave McHugh Band is synonymous with the Blues!

THE DON BAKER AND ROB STRONG BAND

Two of Ireland’s best ever blues/soul musicians, Don Baker and Rob Strong, have collaborated to record a brand new album and tour many of Ireland’s finest venues in 2018. Already the band have sold out their first three concerts in Dublin.

THE JOE BLOW BLUES BAND

Formed over 10 years ago, this band have enjoyed widespread success and popularity, right across Ireland and further afield. Following their recent sell-out gigs at Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival and appearances on BBC NI, the band are now touring their brand of classic blues rock influenced by the likes of Rory Gallagher, The Stones, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore and Bad Company – a lively, up-tempo experience, perfect for a great night out.

THE JOHNNY D FOX BAND (AKA THIN AS LIZZY) Johnny, the founding member of Thin as Lizzy, has had his deep rasping voice described by The Sunday Independent ‘as close to the real thing as any singer has come’. Johnny has been obsessed with music from a young age. His brain was a melting pot of ideas and it was soaking in everything around him. He felt alive through music and couldn’t wait for every day to begin and this is truly apparent in his explosive performances on stage.

THE MIGHTY QUINN

Manchester based duo assembled in the back of a Dijon Irish bar in 2005, have taken their unique brand of blues and folk across Europe, but never veering far from the rainy city in the North West of England. Armagh’s own Mark Quinn is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and Van Morrison with his roots firmly in Irish music. In contrast, Leicester’s John Mahon brings a unique guitar style with a voice harking back to the old American blues singers of the early 20th Century. Together, they are a tight unit with bags of energy and spark. A gig not to be missed…

THE SOUNDBITES BAND

The ‘Soundbites’ from way back in the Monaghan Delta, are a four piece ‘Electric Blues Band’. Their passion for this music is obvious every time they take to the stage, with their lively guitar & biting harmonica sound. Their ever expanding repertoire of songs, includes standards by Muddy Waters, B.B. King & who knows maybe even a little Chuck Berry when things liven up.

THE WATERY HILL BOYS

The Watery Hill Boys have earned a reputation for their live performances as one of the best in Old Timey and Early Bluegrass Music. They continue to perform all over Ireland and Europe. For their visit to Armagh, Donal & Jim will present some Old- Time Bluesy songs & tunes from the early 20th century with close duet harmonies.

TWO TIME POLKA

Award winning Irish Group ‘Two Time Polka’ play a fiery mixture of Cajun, Bluegrass and rock ’n roll music. They are not unknown to spice up their live performances with flavours such as tangos, east European tunes.

THURSDAY 09 AUGUST

COURTNAY & THE DUKES Armagh County Museum 6.00pm
DON BAKER & ROB STRONG BAND Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre 8.00pm
TAIL PIECE Station Bar 9.00pm
SOUL SHINE BLUE Viva 10.00pm

FRIDAY 10 AUGUST

MD RAFFERTY MUSIC SCHOOL The Shambles Yard 11.30am
SEAN TAYLOR Rumour Coffee 7.00pm
DON BAKER & ROB STRONG BAND Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre 8.00pm
PREACHER CASEY’S Hole in the Wall 8.30pm
MARK BRAIDNER BLUES TRIO Station Bar 8.30pm
SOULSHINE BLUES The Northern Bar 9.00pm
BACKBONE BLUES BAND Red Neds 9.00pm
2ND DRAWER DOWN Uluru Bar & Grill 9.00pm
CLARA ROSE BAND Charlemont Arms Hotel 9.30pm
COLD PORTER McKenna’s Bar 9.30pm
NITE HAWKS Callan Lounge @ Armagh City Hotel 10.00pm
FREEDOM 35’S Devlin’s Bar 10.00pm
JACKIE MCAULEY Keegan’s Bar & Restaurant 10.00pm
MARK BLACK TRIO Kelly’s Bar 10.00pm
BLUE KATZ Rafferty’s-Cuchulainn Bar 10.00pm
BLACKWOOD Victoria Bar 10.00pm
THE BROWN NOTES Viva 10.00pm
PAT MCMANUS Market Place Bistro Bar 10.30pm
RUSTY JACKS Railway Bar 10.30pm

SATURDAY 11 AUGUST

2ND DRAWER DOWN Picnic in the Palace Park 12.00noon
SEAN TAYLOR Uluru Bar & Grill 1.30pm
DANI & KUNOKINI Picnic in the Palace Park 1.45pm
THE CATFISH BLUES ORCHESTRA Band Stand @ Market Square 3.30pm
BEN REEL Hole in the Wall 5.00pm
STONECOLD HOBOS Turner’s Bar 5.00pm
THE BROWN NOTES Market Place Bistro Bar 7.00pm
PREACHER CASEY’S Station Bar 7.30pm
THE MIGHTY QUINN Armagh Theatre Group 8.00pm
MARK BLACK TRIO Spires Bar @ Armagh City Hotel 8.00pm
LITTLE WILGAR & THE CRACKPOT PREACHERS Rafferty’s-Cuchulainn Bar 8.00pm
ALLISON MCGRATH & SOULANTICS The Northern Bar 9.00pm
RONNIE GREER BLUES BAND Red Neds 9.00pm
ONE HORSE PONY Toby Jug 9.00pm
MARK BRAIDNER Uluru Bar & Grill 9.00pm
JACKIE MCAULEY Callan Lounge @ Armagh City Hotel 10.00pm
TWO TIME POLKA Charlemont Arms Hotel 10.00pm
MIKE BROOKFIELD Keegan’s Bar & Restaurant 10.00pm
RAB MCCULLAGH McKenna’s Bar 10.00pm
JOE BLOW BLUES BAND Victoria Bar 10.00pm
THE SOUNDBITES Viva 10.00pm
RILEY & THE MOONROCKERS Devlin’s Bar 10.30pm
THE JOHNNY D FOX BLUES BAND Kelly’s Bar 10.30pm
BLUES KATZ Railway Bar 10.30pm

SUNDAY 12 AUGUST

LUDWIG & CO Rainbow Restaurant 12.00noon
COURTNAY & THE DUKES The Shambles Yard 1.00pm
GRAINNE DUFFY Callan Lounge @ Armagh City Hotel 3.00pm
THE WATERYHILL BOYS The Shambles Yard 3.15pm
THE MIGHTY QUINN Hole in the Wall 4.00pm
4 SHUCK MEN Station Bar 5.00pm
MIRENDA ROSENBERG Toby Jug 5.00pm
SARAH & THE SANDCASTLES Viva 5.00pm
OBSIDIAN Rafferty’s-Cuchulainn Bar 6.00pm
STONECOLD HOBOS Railway Bar 6.00pm
BEN REEL Red Neds 6.00pm
ONE HORSE PONY Spires Bar @ Armagh City Hotel 6.00pm
DD & THE DELTA BOYS Turner’s Bar 6.00pm
SHORT FUSE BLUES Devlin’s Bar 7.00pm
MIKE BROOKFIELD The Northern Bar 7.00pm
TWO TIME POLKA Callan Lounge @ Armagh City Hotel 9.00pm
PAUL SHERRY Keegan’s Bar & Restaurant 9.00pm
ALAN MCKELVEY McKenna’s Bar 10.00pm
ROY FULTON EXPERIENCE Kelly’s Bar 10.30pm

This year The Market Place Theatre are giving you the opportunity, not once , but twice to experience two of Ireland’s best ever blues/soul musicians – guaranteed to sell out fast.

The Don Baker & Rob Strong Band
Thursday, 9th & Friday, 10th August @ 8pm | Tickets £15.00

Two Irish legends celebrating 50 years on the road!

Two of Ireland’s best ever blues/soul musicians, Don Baker and Rob Strong, have collaborated to record a brand new album and tour many of Ireland’s finest venues in 2018. Already the band have sold out their first three concerts in Dublin.

Don Baker has proven to be a prolific singer/songwriter/musician for more than 50 years, with a huge number one single, ‘Winner in You’ and was rated by Bono of U2 as ” the best harmonica player in the world” As an actor, Don starred ‘In the Name of the Father’ alongside Daniel Day Lewis.

The legendary Rob Strong, from Derry, on bass guitar and lead vocals, famous with The Plattermen turned down the opportunity to join Deep Purple! His son Andrew, starred as lead singer Deco in ‘The Commitments.

On keys the sensational Salvatore Urbano from Naples, on drums Hugh O’ Neill who has played with Jerry Lee Lewis and Van Morrison!
This event takes place in our Studio Theatre with an unreserved, cabaret style seating layout.

Book Now

Tickets can also be purchased in The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Market Street, Armagh, BT61 7BW and by telephone, 028 3752 1821.

MUSIC ON THE BANDSTAND

Market Street

Dine Al Fresco in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the Georgian heart of the city. With live music on the bandstand you can sit back, relax and inhale Armagh whilst browsing through the 7 Hills Blues Festival programme, and plan your week ahead when the festival kicks off on Thursday, 9th August.

Sat 4th Aug | From 3-5pm   Casino Dixieland Jazz Band

Sat 11th Aug | From 3.30-5.30pm  The Catfish Blues Orchestra

Picnic in the Palace Park
Sat 11th Aug | 12 noon – 3.00pm | The Palace Demesne

Back by popular demand this fun filled blues family picnic in The Palace Park will welcome local band, 2nd Drawer Down and Dani & Kunokini to set the scene with some foot tappin’ blues tunes. There’ll be fun and games for the family with light refreshments, but don’t forget to pack your picnic and a comfortable seat or blanket.

Walking History Tours of the Palace Demesne | 12.15pm | 1.15pm | 2.15pm
History Tours will take place in the impressive Primate’s Palace, formerly the home of Archbishops of the Church of Ireland from 1770 until the 1970s. These tours will tell you the story of the Palace, the Demesne and how the history and architecture of Armagh was influenced by Archbishop Richard Robinson.

Armagh and the surrounding area has been benchmarked as the Food Heartland of Northern Ireland due to the significance of food and drink production and high quality places to eat and drink in the area. Take this opportunity to taste some of our delicious produce at one of the bespoke food events hosted especially during the festival.

Blues Food & Drink Walking Tour

Sat 11 Aug | 3.00pm-5.30pm| £30

New to the annual  “7 Hills Blues Fest” is a Food & Drink Tour which will begin at the Marketplace Theatre Armagh @ 3pm with a Blue Lagoon Cocktail, Hilden Beer or a McIvor’s Cider from the heart of the Orchard County. After your refreshments you will be treated to a 90-minute guided walk through the atmospheric streets of Armagh, the narrative will be a mixture of historical and current facts on this city peppered with humorous stories and information on notable buildings. After walking up an appetite the tour will culminate with a “Simply Blues” platter served in the Charlemont Arms Hotel which includes selection of – hot & spicy wings, loaded potato skins, BBQ ribs, slow cooked pork shoulder, Ragin Cajun chicken, hand cut fries and mini burgers all served with tastings of local craft Cider. This is an opportunity not to be missed so book yourself on this fun filled tour which will guarantee your seat at the end of the tour in Turner’s Bar for the live music.

Tickets available online here

Allen’s of Armagh | Thurs 9th – Sat 11th Aug | 9.00am-5.30pm

Special 7 Hills Blues Festival themed menu with dishes inspired by the Deep South.

Armagh City Hotel | Thurs 9th – Sun 12th Aug

Enjoy our BBQ & Blues themed menu  during the festival in  The Callan Lounge;  complimented by the best craft beers, locally produced ciders, American bourbon and local whiskeys.  And come along and enjoy our local craft cider and cocktail tasting on Sunday 12th August from 3-5pm in the Callan Lounge.

Charlemont Arms Hotel  | Thurs 9th – Sun 12th Aug

Charlemont Arms Hotel will be serving a selection of mouth-watering ‘Simply Blues” platters which includes selection of – hot & spicy wings, loaded potato skins, BBQ ribs, slow cooked pork shoulder, Ragin Cajun chicken, hand cut fries and mini burgers all served with tastings of local craft Cider.

Market Place Theatre Bar | Thurs 9th – Sat 11th Aug

The Market Place Theatre Bar will be offering 2 bottles of the locally produced McIvors Cider for £6 and a Signature Blue Lagoon Cocktail for £5.00 throughout the duration of the 7 Hills Blues Festival. They will also be offering a range of Premium Gin & Tonic Mixers. 

 

SHAMBLES YARD

Street Food Market

Shambles Yard | Fri 10 Aug | 11.30am-2.30pm

Straight from the producer, shoppers can purchase some of Armagh’s finest grown ingredients in the historic Shambles Yard. With street food, ice cream and great blues music provided by the students from MD Rafferty Music School, where else would you want to be? 

BBQ N’ Blues

The Shambles Yard | Sun 12 Aug | 1.00pm – 5.00pm

This family fun, BBQ & local cider event will be filled with good food, great craic and blistering summer blues. Music by Armagh’s own Courtnay & the Dukes and Dublin’s The Watery Hill Boys.  For you budding blues stars (aged 7+years), there’ll be an opportunity to pick up an instrument and play with the talented musicians from MD Rafferty Music School at the blues jam session.

 

FRINGE EVENTS

BLUES MOVIE

Abbey Lane Theatre | Fri 10 Aug | 8pm FREE

The Amma Centre will showcase a short bespoke animation, created by the young people attending their Summer Workshop Programme. The animation will be based around a piece of music and will be the perfect introduction to the Blues Brothers movie screening which will be shown at 8pm at Abbey Lane Theatre, Armagh.

MUSIC WORKSHOPS

The Shambles Yard | Sun 12 Aug | 1.30pm; 2.30pm; 3.30pm

Whilst parents sit back and enjoy good food, great craic and blistering summer blues their budding young blues stars (aged 7+ years), will be given an opportunity to pick up an instrument and play with the talented musicians and school students from MD Rafferty Music School at the blues jam session.  Tutors and music school students will interact with the audience, demonstrating and encouraging as many novices to participate either through vocals, movements, percussion or to learn blues progression on guitars and ukuleles.

If you have any questions or need further assistance do not hesitate to contact us:

Telephone: 028 3752 1800

Email: vic@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk