Sarah’s jumping to the sound of back-yard beat


A Gilford woman is turning over her ‘back yard’ to a fundraising festival she hopes is destined to become the summer music event of the year.

Sarah Champ has teamed up with Banter Quest Promotions and B2Ni to stage an event aimed at promoting local musicians while raising cash for Action Cancer.

Tickets - of which there are only 500 - for the August 23 Our Back Yard Music Festival at Gilford’s Plantation Road, went on sale on Friday.

“Since moving to Northern Ireland five years ago I’ve been considering hosting an outdoor music event on the property around our house,” said Sarah, “but I’ve never quite been bold enough to put the plan into action.

“However, after presenting the idea to my patient partner Joe and my Southern Regional College colleagues, they provided enough inspiration and enthusiasm for three festivals.”

Sarah said the festival ehtos was all about promoting local musicians and local businesses. “I am fortunate to be receiving support from a host of organisations,” she said, “including The Gilford Inn, Simply Irresistible Foods and Craigavon council.

“Additionally, B2Ni will be organising all the marketing, branding and promotional activity . . . Banterquest Promotions will be responsible for booking all performers and have already confirmed Gypsy’s Wish, The Hardchargers and No Oil Paintings.”

Action Cancer’s Lucy McCusker said: “It’s great to see this festival-style event coming to Gilford. As a local charity saving lives in the local community we are pleased to have the support of lots of businesses from the surrounding area.”

The event will feature a bar, hot food, on-site toilets and parking. “Cars can be left overnight,” said Sarah, “and local taxis will be alerted, ensuring everybody can get home safely.”

Tickets (£15, with a separate £3 parking fee) are on sale at Lurgan Action Cancer Shop, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown and The Gilford Inn during opening hours.