About The Gig
In the heart of Co. Antrim nestled between the major towns of Ballymena and Magherafelt lies the village of Portglenone. The village rests along the banks of the River Bann, which has been immortalised by countless artists and writers down through the years.
The ethos of the festival is to bring together musical traditions across all cultural divides and the direction pursued in recent years has been to incorporate the Ulster Scots tradition alongside Traditional Irish music. This has greatly enhanced audience participation in a diverse range of events. It has also meant that people from different sides of the community have become exposed to music, song and dance that they may not have been familiar with before.
The Festival programme for 2016 will again include the usual mix of Concerts, Traditional Music Sessions and the Bard'n the Bann competition which features local writers and now in its sixth year continues to grow as an integral part of the festival. There is also the opportunity to hear world class pipe bands at the "Pipe'n the Bann” event which is usually one of the highlights of the festival
The main festival concerts are held in "The Old Shirt Factory” a really unique venue. As the title suggests this is a disused shirt factory, which is now a listed, building due to its historical importance in the village. The factory is converted into a 500 seat capacity concert hall with a first class light and sound system. The venue has been described by Sharon Shannon a previous performer at the festival as a "Mini Point Theatre”. Indeed this stage has been graced by may fine performers from both the worlds of traditional Irish and Ulster Scots music; Altan, Danu, Kieran Goss, Cara Dillon, Flook, Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, St Laurence O Toole Pipe Band, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Bill Black Ceilidh Band to name just a few.
Each year the festival continues to grow and the organising committee strive to bring the top performers to an audience that rarely would have an opportunity to see these artists perform live. In 2012 the performers included Sharon Shannon, The Rapparees, Pipe Bands, Don Stiffe, Kask, Idyllic Dolls to name a few. On the "Ann O Brien Tribute Stage” this year we will have the "Young Band Competition providing music of the highest quality from young aspiring musicians.
The organising committee hope that the 2016 "Gig’n The Bann” Festival Programme will be even more entertaining than previous years so if you feel you would like to experience the unique welcome afforded to all visitors who spend the weekend in the village check out the rest of the website for events listings and Festival updates.
Portglenone is the place to be from the 8th - 11th September for a fun
filled action packed Festival of Music, Song and Dance from all