Music

Snow Patrol to play Bangor seafront as frontman Gary Lightbody gets borough's freedom

Johnny McDaid, Gary Lightbody and Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol
Rebecca Black, PA

Snow Patrol are set to play Bangor seafront next month to celebrate their frontman Gary Lightbody being awarded freedom of the borough.

Lightbody, described as the city of Bangor’s most famous son, will be awarded the freedom of Ards and North Down at a ceremony on August 30.

To celebrate, he is bringing the band home for a one-off acoustic concert on Bangor seafront on August 31.

Lightbody grew up in Bangor, a Co Down town which was recently awarded city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

He went to university in Dundee where he formed Snow Patrol.

The seafront gig will be part of the Open House Festival with profits to go towards the re-development of the old Bangor Court House into a non-profit music venue.

Lightbody thanked for the council for the honour.

“I was born and grew up in the Borough, and though I may have wandered for a few years, I made my home back in Bangor again,” he said.

“Johnny, Nathan and myself are really looking forward to playing on Bangor seafront for the very first time.

“It’ll be great craic.

“This town, indeed newly minted city, has always been a part of me and always will be. I do still mourn Paul’s chippy on the seafront though.”

Ards and North Down Mayor, Karen Douglas nominated Lightbody for the honour last October for his contribution as a musician of international standing, philanthropist, and a champion of local charitable causes.

“Gary Lightbody is an international name, but he is most loved and appreciated by the people of Bangor and the wider Borough and I’m sure they will join me in extending heartfelt congratulations on receiving this award and grateful thanks for everything he does for our local community,” she said.

“The Snow Patrol acoustic concert on Bangor seafront to mark this auspicious occasion will no doubt become one of the standout events in our city’s musical history and we are grateful to Gary and the other members of the band for working it into their immensely busy schedule.”

Kieran Gilmore, director of Open House, added: “It will be an honour to host Snow Patrol acoustic on our seafront and help Gary Lightbody mark this rare and exceptional honour.”

This is the third time the Freedom of the Borough has been extended since the establishment of Ards and North Down Borough Council in 2015, and the first time it has been awarded to an individual.

It follows the conferment upon Health and Social Care staff in 2018, and the Irish Guards in June of this year.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale at 10am on Friday July 8.

They cost £22.50, including booking fee and charges.

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