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Top names from music and comedy are Bangor bound this summer

BRIT Award-winning Beth Orton will perform at Bangor Castle's Walled Garden this August

BETH Orton, Martha Wainwright, Paul Brady, Eddi Reader, Villagers, Duke Special and the Hothouse Flowers are amongst the first headline acts to be confirmed for this summer's Open House Festival.

Returning to the stunning setting of Bangor Castle Walled Garden from August 11-29, the festival promises an exciting mix of music, comedy, theatre, classic film and spoken word events.

Comedy acts that will brighten up your summer include Paddy Raff, Shane Todd, Mickey Bartlett and Nuala McKeever.

Another highlight is Laura Bates, the feminist writer and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project. Laura will discuss the systemic prejudices at the heart of our key institutions, and how too often, we blame women: for walking home alone at night; for not overcoming the odds that are stacked against them.

Drama comes in the form of A Room of One's Own, a 21st century take on Virginia Woolf's celebrated pre-TED talk feminist essays, taking a wry trip through the history of literature, feminism, and gender. Meet Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, and Shakespeare's sister – Judith.

Festival favourites returning include Celtic Soul, Ronnie Greer and soul artist Manukahunney.

Specially commissioned events include Berts To Bangor, recreating the amazing jazz music performed at Berts Jazz Bar in the Merchant Hotel, Belfast. This year's Classic Film screenings include Thelma and Louise and Chicago.

The fully seated events will take place on the Walled Garden lawn under a beautifully lit stretch tent, providing an outdoor garden experience but with protection from the elements.

“The Walled Garden worked really well for us last year in what was still an uneasy time with Covid restrictions. And our audiences loved it,” explains Open House director, Kieran Gilmore.

“We're also working on an extended programme of events outside of the garden, including a return to Music in the Park for July and August, Folk on a Boat, Island Picnic, and a series of food and drink events, which have always been enormously popular."

The current Walled Garden programme can be viewed at Openhousefestival.com with tickets on sale now. Look out on the website and social media for further announcement on acts and events over the coming weeks.

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