16 November by Eleanor McGillie

Over the next four days The Atlantic Sessions are taking place with over 60 of our finest musicians performing live in venues in Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae. Live It Experience It has a look at what’s taking place over the next few days. 

From today through to Sunday our coffee shops, hotels, bars and restaurants will host some of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians during the ninth Atlantic Sessions.

Visitors to our coastline will have an opportunity to see high profile artists in an intimate setting with the stunning Atlantic as a backdrop.  Each artist will play their own music for one hour and this will form a music trail across the resorts of Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae including sessions in the Arcadia, Portrush on East Strand.

Ryan Vail will bring a full Laser A/V show to the Arcadia which will light up the iconic building inside and out.  It features custom built LED lighting and 3D Video Mapping to create a full audio visual experience that will be a treat for the senses. His 2016 debut album “For Every Silence” was album of the week for The Irish Times and Huw Stephens on Radio One.

Ryan Vail_will plat at The Arcadia Portrush at the Atlantic Sessions

Tickets for inside the Arcadia for Ryan Vail have sold out but the view from outside will be pretty spectacular as the laser show has been designed to work externally.

Live It Experience It member Tanya Gillen, who runs The Arcadia, said: “The Arcadia is a stunning building anyhow but these sessions will really bring it back to its musical heritage dating from the Showband days of Dave Glover when it was owned by David McWilliams of the Days of Pearly Spencer. Many iconic musicians have taken to the stage here over the years including The Stranglers, The Undertones, The Damned, Ian Dury and The Blockheads.”

The Arcadia - Tanya Gillen

The Atlantic Sessions offer a platform for emerging talent as well as established artists from across Northern Ireland an opportunity to bring their music beyond urban hubs.

This is such a cool event which is now firmly established in the music calendar and the guys at Atlantic Sessions say they are delighted to be working in partnership with Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Tourism Ireland for the first time.

Colum Egan, Master Distiller at Bushmills Irish Whiskey, said: “The Old Bushmills Distillery was granted a licence to distil over 400 years ago and since then has been richly contributing to the North Coast so this partnership with Atlantic Sessions is particularly meaningful.

“Bushmills also has a strong heritage in providing authentic and enjoyable experiences for music lovers and whiskey drinkers alike. Most recently, the #AnswerTheCall campaign, with its eclectic event series, has been celebrating and sharing the stories of local talent from musicians, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and adventurers, making this partnership with Atlantic Sessions the perfect pairing. We look forward to welcoming both festival-goers and the rostered talent in November to experience a taste of North Coast hospitality.”

Welcoming the return of the much anticipated music festival, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “Our awards success, coupled with this high profile support, makes it a very exciting time for the event. I’m delighted this year’s festival coincides with Causeway Coast and Glens Restaurant Week which runs from November 11 – 19, so there has never been a better time to visit. We look forward to welcoming you all to what will be one of the highlights of our autumn offering.”

The festival is delivered by Snow Water.

Director Carolyn Mathers said: “Northern Ireland is extraordinary in the richness of its artistic talent and Atlantic Sessions is a perfect opportunity to showcase our creative energy.  This year we will feature a series of new collaborations exclusively for the festival, six of the NI Music Prize 2017 nominees, EP and Single launches, specially curated gigs such as Ryan Vail’s Laser Show at the Arcadia and Ralph McLean’s Sunday Brunch, plus DJ sets from Joe Lindsay and Phil Taggart.

“Audiences will have an opportunity to witness our finest singer-songwriters partner together in intimate environments and we’re delighted that interest in Northern Ireland’s music scene is stronger than ever.”

For a full list of events check THIS OUT

Have a cracking few days everyone!

Live It Experience It’ is a group of tourism businesses working together to promote our region through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. If you would like to become a member business in of ‘Live It Experience It’ please submit your information through our online form –  Sign Up Here. Pitch your business and meet like minded tourism businesses who you could cluster with. #liveitexperienceit

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Eleanor McGillie

About Eleanor McGillie

Eleanor spent eight years working in the south west of England - one of the UK's most popular tourism hotspots. During her stint working with key players in the tourism sector she developed a love for all things outdoor adventure. As a journalist she got to travel to remote corners of the world to write travel features about the experiences of a particular place. Northern Ireland's story needs to be told and needs to reach new audiences. Live It Experience It aims to attract tourists from outside Ireland, people from Ireland and people who live in Northern Ireland but aren't aware of the extent of the adventures on our own doorsteps.