Gospel Fest returns this summer

Live Issue will perform at this year's Gospel Fest
Live Issue will perform at this year's Gospel Fest

THE organisers of Gospel Fest 2012 have been amazed by the outpouring of support for this Gospel Music festival due to take place just off the main road between Waringstown and Banbridge from Friday August 17 to Sunday August 19.

Letters, emails and texts expressing good wishes and support have been sent from all over Ireland, the UK and America. Gospel Fest organisers have also been surprised and delighted that so many of our elected representatives, from all political persuasions, have been in contact wishing the event every success and offering their help if required.

Gospel Fest has been the vision of Roy Dreaning and Sam Armstong, who are members of the popular Gospel band Live Issue. The event takes place on Roy’s land on the Old Bann Road outside Banbridge and requires months of preparation and organisation from the small Gospel Fest team to bring everything together for the weekend.

Sam explained, “We have been really encouraged by the messages of support from right across our community. Music unites people from all backgrounds and traditions making Gospel Fest an event that everyone feels part of. We are very much looking forward to the weekend and feel we have a super line up of artists each evening.

“I think that despite the many difficulties we have had over the years in Northern Ireland, we have thankfully always maintained a strong Christian ethos throughout our country. This has often been expressed through our love for Gospel music whether that be worship groups in church, musical evenings, coffee bars, large events in the Odyssey or even just singing hymns round a piano in our front rooms.

Hopefully Gospel Fest brings all these elements together under one roof...or tent! It is a very professional set up and yet at the same time is very intimate and that’s what people enjoy.”

This year Gospel Fest will take place from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August and will be hosted by top Country / Gospel band, Live Issue. One of the highlights of the festival this year will be an afternoon with one of Britain’s best loved comedians and television personalities, Syd Little. Syd, who was one half of the “Little and Large” comedy duo for over three decades, will be sharing his faith and how God changed his life. This event will take place on the afternoon of Sunday August 19 and will then be followed by a barbecue prior to the evening concert.

Live Issue, “An Afternoon with Syd Little”
Doors will open each evening from 6.45pm and the programme will start at 7.45pm. On Sunday afternoon the doors open at 2:30pm and the programme begins at 3.00pm.

Admission is free to all concerts throughout the weekend with a donation taken up each evening towards expenses. Free car parking facilities will also be located on the Gospel Fest site on the Old Bann Road between Banbridge and Waringstown.

For directions and further information please visit www.liveissuemusic.com/gospelfest or www.facebook.com/gospelfest3.