Wake the Giant this weekend


Tomorrow is the day for the giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill, centerpiece of Visit Morne’s Wake the Giant festival, to return to Warrenpoint, where legend has it a giant sleeps in the Cooley Mountains on the remote shore of Carlingford Lough, overlooking the city.

Brian Kennedy.
Brian Kennedy.

The highly anticipated festival will bring the best of local and global food and music, with three music stages offering over 40 free shows and over 60 local and global food outlets.

Visit Morne have once again commissioned world-renowned artist and sculptor Francis Morgan to create a new, even grander Fionn for this year’s Wake the Giant festival on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August. His imaginative new approach to telling the myths and legends of the region will keep local folklore alive and keep visitors coming back.

Giant Ladder Fionn will put on a show as he heads into town at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday August 20th with his assistants, the Point Man and the Eco Queen, accompanied by his seventeen Elementalists from Elementary School of Saint Dallan.

Entering the town via Newry Street, the procession will travel up Church Street where Fionn, ably aided by the Point Man, will entertain the crowds along the route, which will continue to the riverbank before arriving at Mary Street – the venue Fionn’s rest for the afternoon. Here the sleeping giant will take forty winks, waking up at 8pm before heading to Queen Street for his evening show, Myth & Time.

Myth & Time is a gripping story that will be entertained by Fionn, on his travels around the world and through time. There too, to help tell the story, there will be Point Man, Eco Queen and the Elementalists.

On Sunday Fionn will have a second story to tell and at 2pm you will find the sleeping giant at Warrenpoint Pier where he will wake up to share The Story of Cahir Linn – The Pool Town – a town hidden beneath the waves of Carlingford Lough based on Michael G. Crawford, The Legendary Stories of Carlingford Lough.

Newry, Morne and Down District Council Chairman Councilor Michael Savage said. “This brilliantly created and designed event is the perfect way for families to end their summer holidays in Newry, Morne and Down.

“It has everything you could want – giants, stories, theater, musical performances, lots of family activities and delicious food. It will be a gigantic feast for the senses, so pick your spot along the procession route and find a spot in front of the bandstand to soak up all the wonderful things this festival has to offer.

During the festival, Warrenpoint City Park will be transformed into The Land of Giants with Giant Family Activities, Giant’s Feast Food Village, Giant Play Zone and Giant Craft Village. While you’re here, you won’t want to miss the fantastic lineup of musicians featured throughout the two days on the park bandstand stage. Incredible music from Catherine McGrath, Odrahan Murphy and the headliner, Belfast’s own Brian Kennedy, is sure to add to the festival atmosphere.

On Saturday, Cora Kelly kicks off the music lineup with her signature pop-blues style. Singer-songwriter from Killough Co Down, she has released three EPs to date, one of which was launched at the Belfast Nashville Festival in 2015.

Bringing a traditional vibe to the park, Irish folk singer-songwriter and seasoned veteran of the folk scene, Luka Bloom, will captivate audiences with his passion, lyricism and respect for tradition, during the Saturday lunchtime slot. As a solo acoustic actor with a big voice and intense guitar styling, he has become one of Ireland’s most respected contemporary folk artists, famous for songs such as ‘Sunny Sailor Boy’ and ‘Delirious’. .

Catherine McGrath, daughter of Rostrevor and popular country music singer-songwriter.
Catherine McGrath, daughter of Rostrevor and popular country music singer-songwriter.

During the afternoon, fans of local Rostrevor girl and popular country music singer-songwriter, Catherine McGrath, will be treated to what is sure to be an incredible mix of her best-known hits and new works. Catherine, who regularly travels to Nashville for songwriting and studio sessions, is known for hits such as “Wild” and “Don’t Let Me Forget,” featuring Hunter Hayes.

The honor of closing out this incredible line-up on Saturday goes to Armagh man Odhrán Murphy, whose new single, ‘Stars’, was recently featured on popular TV show Love Island. Odhran has made a name for himself in the local music scene with his mix of pop and folk and with viral videos //www.tiktok.com/@odhranmusic_?lang=en”>TikTok and a publishing contract to his active, it has been rising for a year.

These are the bands that will liven up the Sunday session with folk, country and gospel sounds courtesy of Wookalily, The Mons Wheeler Band and The Unholy Gospel Band. However, the headliner for the day will be one of Ireland’s most inspired soloists, musician Brian Kennedy.

Kicking off the bandstand at 11:30 a.m. – Wookalily – five women performing impressive four-part harmonies, playing ten instruments, including a low-bowed double bass, flutes, trumpet, banjo and more, will create a masterful and sweeping tapestry of sound that will leave the audience wanting more.

The Mons Wheeler Band will follow with their mix of classic Rock’n’Roll, Bluegrass, Roots sounds before multi-platinum artist Brian Kennedy headlines at 3pm. Brian is not only a prolific songwriter, but also a master performer of lyrics, and audiences around the world continue to praise his exceptional vocal talents.

Ending the Sunday session on a high, the Unholy Gospel Band will provide authentic American gospel music live and straight from the soul. With songs from Mahalia Jackson, The Staple Singers, James Brown and more, The Unholy Gospel Band, as the name suggests, “isn’t holy but the music is gospel” and is guaranteed to get your feet tapping. and clap your hands.

With so many offers throughout the weekend, Visit Morne encourages visitors to take a break and explore more of what the destination has to offer.

For the full festival lineup and further information on where to stay, eat and even more things to do while you are here at Visit Mourne, please go to visitmournemountains.co.uk

Wake the Giant Festival is part of Visit Morne’s Summer of Giant Adventures, including the new Eats and Beats Festival on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September in Newcastle, Co Down.

The popular Footsteps in the Forest festival will also make a welcome return to Slieve Gullion Forest Park from Thursday 27th to Monday 31st October. Having grown in popularity with families since 2016, this year’s festival will celebrate ancient traditions that mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.

In addition to the Giant Adventures festivals, there will be an exciting program of summer events that will also celebrate the neighborhood’s culture and heritage. These events will add to the fantastic offer already in place for locals and visitors enjoying their summer at Visit Morne.


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