GOSPEL Fest 2012 will take on an international dimension as artists from the UK and Europe converge on the thousand-seater marquee located between Banbridge and Donaghcloney for what is now recognised as the largest Gospel music festival in the British Isles.
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.
As well as Live Issue and Syd Little, Gospel Fest is delighted to have booked Robirohi from Estonia, who are one of Europe’s best Gospel/Bluegrass bands. Robirohi are no strangers to Northern Ireland and in recent years have been favourites at the Omagh Bluegrass Festival held each September at the Ulster American Folk Park.
Also on stage over the three nights of Gospel Fest is an array of top Gospel musical talent from Northern Ireland and the British Isles. The Michael Harcus Band will be making the journey from Orkney and the broadcaster/singer Alastair McDonald from Scotland will provide plenty of humour as well as music with a strong message.
On the local front Gospel Fest is pleased to welcome The Gardiner Family (featuring Paul and Sharon Gardiner), Simple Faith, Kathryn Mitchell (back for a second year by popular demand), Paul Irwin, Karla Gregg and Janece McCreanor.
Downtown Radio broadcaster and Country/Gospel singer Warren Smyth will also be appearing at Gospel Fest 2012. Warren has always been a great supporter of Live Issue as well as the work of Gospel Fest through his Sunday evening radio show on Downtown Radio. In addition to the music each evening, there will be exhibitions from many of our local charities and Christian organisations.
Gospel Fest 2012 is shaping up to be the largest yet with many people making the journey from England and Scotland and other parts of the world in order to be part of this wonderful weekend of top quality Gospel music. Many of our local councillors and MLAs will also be present thus showing their support to an event that has been a huge encouragement to many people throughout Northern Ireland and beyond over the past few years.
Doors will open each evening from 6.45pm and the programme will start at 7.30pm.
Admission is free to all concerts throughout the weekend with a donation taken up each evening towards expenses. Car parking facilities will 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