Blues on the Bay brings back Van

Mark Mulholland, Diageo Northern , Gemma McCorry, Paul Callan Diageo Northern and with Event Director Ian Sands celebrate the announcement of an exciting line up for the 17th International Guinness Blues on the Bay festival which takes place 20 - 25 May 2015 at the picturesque town of Warrenpoint, County Down. Photography by  Darren Kidd   /  Press Eye
Mark Mulholland, Diageo Northern , Gemma McCorry, Paul Callan Diageo Northern and with Event Director Ian Sands celebrate the announcement of an exciting line up for the 17th International Guinness Blues on the Bay festival which takes place 20 - 25 May 2015 at the picturesque town of Warrenpoint, County Down. Photography by Darren Kidd / Press Eye

The full exciting line up has been announced at the launch of the 17th Annual International Guinness Blues on the Bay festival which will showcase some of the world’s leading blues and jazz performers, taking place from 20 – 25 May 2015 in the picturesque town of Warrenpoint.

With an outstanding line-up of performers from London to Chicago, The International Guinness Blues on the Bay festival will also play host blues and jazz icon Van Morrison who will return to the stage in Warrenpoint; making this his eighth appearance. With his new album ‘Duets’ just released, Van’s musicality continues to blossom and impress.

Van will perform two special blues sets in Warrenpoint Town Hall on Sunday May 24 and the proceeds of the concert will be donated to Southern Area Hospice Services.

Another fantastic international blues megastar coming to this year’s Blues on the Bay Festival is the eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters; Mud Morganfied! With his first appearance in Northern Ireland, Mud arrives direct to blues festival from Chicago to play both classics from his famous father as well as electric blues with attitude.

Commenting on the programme, Event Director, Ian Sands said; “Our festival has become the one of the main blues and jazz festivals in Europe due to the exceptional high calibre of performers. Van Morrison’s return to our festival is icing on the cake. There are back-to-back gigs all over the Spring Bank Holiday, plus family fun events and a food festival too. If you love the ‘craic’ and enjoy the buzz of festivals, our blues festival ticks all the boxes – don’t miss it.”

Sarah Colgan from Southern Area Hospice Services added: “We are so pleased to have Van returning to the festival and his concerts in Warrenpoint will be a great boost both to raising the profile of the Hospice and raising dearly needed funds. This year we must raise £2.38 million to continue providing our specialist palliative care services to patients and their families living in the Southern Trust area and we could not do this without the generous support of the local community. Thank you to Van and his team and to festival chairperson Ian Sands for their incredible generosity.”

One of the main features of the six-day festival weekend will be the famous Guinness Bay Blues Pub Trail, which will feature over 90 free gigs and 35 performers. Audiences will be treated to a host of internationally acclaimed performers including Mama’s Boys, Pat McManus, Dom and the Iko’s, Californian; Shawn Jones plus the amazing Crow Black Chicken. Other local blues giants performing at the festival will include Rab McCullough, Crowbar Blues Band, Cup O’Joe, Linley Hamilton Rev Doc and The Bluez Katz Blues Band.

Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster will host a live show with a special appearance by main-stage headliner Mud Morganfield and there will also be family entertainment known as ‘Bluesberry’ held in Warrenpoint Town Park, which will include continental food stalls and music.

The 17th International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival is supported by; Diageo Northern Ireland, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, The Quays Newry, WBR Chamber of Commerce and Tourism NI.

Visit www.bluesonthebay.com or call the ticket hotline 02890246609 for further details.