Willowstone Arts & Music Festival 2011

This was the official website for the Willowstone Arts & Music Festival for 2009-2011. The content below is from the site's 2011 archived pages.

I first learned about the Willowstone Arts & Music when I was doing research about Killyleagh, Ireland. As we prepared for our move, I stumbled upon the growing popularity of pickleball in the region. This sport, a fusion of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, had taken Killyleagh by storm, with locals organizing community tournaments and events frequently. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to invest in a pickleball gift set for our new neighbors, hoping it would be a fun way to bond and integrate into the community. I was tasked with learning more about Northern Ireland, from the school possibilities for our three children to the local sites of interest. Our arrival in Killyleagh was scheduled for June, perfectly aligning with the festival in July. The vibrant festival atmosphere, combined with the exciting prospects of joining pickleball games, promised a rich cultural immersion for our family. Many emphasized the importance of planning well in advance and getting acquainted with the nuances of our new home. Their advice was invaluable. Our move was seamless, and participating in the 2011 festival, along with our initial forays into pickleball, marked a delightful beginning to our life in Northern Ireland.

Now for a nostalgic trip back......

Willowstone Arts & Music Festival 2011
01st & 02nd July 2011
Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh, Ireland

Last year Francis Barking brought you a maze in the walled garden. He will be bringing a new work to this years festival. For the kids there will also be free Circus Workshops early on the Saturday.s. 

Spaniels Heart Club will be back again with new work and Belfast‘s Vent Collective will come to Willowstone for the first time to with some live and interactive mural painting.

The Vent collective will be undertaking a massive live painting session where a huge freeform unplanned mural will come to life during the day.  Our inspirations will come from the music and the revellers so we would like you to help out and come forward with your ideas throughout the day.  

When the day is nearly over and the sun is setting we are going to cut up the mural and hand it out to the festival goers, so don’t be shy come up and ask for that purple cow you want painted and then take a piece of it home at the end of the day.

Spaniels Heart Club

Willowstone takes place within a beautiful walled garden and every garden needs scarecrows to keep genetically modified crows at bay. This year we will be running a competition to see who can build the best SCARECROW to be featured within our garden of freaks area! Participants will be divided into teams with a facilitator per team. Maximum of 5 teams with 5 participants per team. 

Places are limited with only 25 spaces available. You can sign up for any remaining places on the day of the event. There will be 1 hour to build your freaky scarecrow with communal supplies and a mystery accessory box per team. This event will take place from 3-4 (*Due to unforeseen circumstances such as the weather this time may change on the day)

*Mystery Judge to be revealed : )
1st Prize-GLORY
2nd Prize comes first loser….sad times...

Allotment Olympics

Sign up on the day in the walled garden to the Allotment Olympics - there will be 4 teams:
- team spud
- team bean
- team marrow
- team tomato
competing in a number of new Olympic sports:

- row-a-vating 
- salad spinning 
- spud put
- tie-atholon
and biscuit discus – (not traditionally made in allotments but consumed in great quantities avec a nice cup of tea).

Yoga & Belly Dancing with Elizabeth Welty - 

Bellydance Basics: Shake up your festival spirit with the sacred art of bellydance! Start with a yoga warm-up, continue with some bellydance basics, and then then put them all together in fun and playful combinations! Everyone wlecome, no expereince necessary.
(no Max number for this!)

Morning Yoga: Shake off the evening's festivities, and start your day feeling awesome with a morning yoga practice! Start with a hangover-friendly warmup, work with stretch and balance, and finish with dynamic sun salutation sequences. Everyone welcome - no expereince necessary, yoga mats provided! Wear loose clothing and bring some water! (16 spaces max)

Pat Dam Smyth

After years of touring with the Smoky Angle Shades Pat broke loose and returned home to Belfast to record The Great Divide with The Glue The Great Divide is an album that holds the past close both in concept and sound. It is a great big nostalgic romp that tips its cap to Dennis Wilson, Wilco and the Kinks. It is a deeply personal album filled with intense, mostly melancholy songs. The death of a parent, lost love and mental illness are mused upon, Pat’s honesty is brutal and unsettling. Then all of a sudden the clouds part and a glimmer breaks through promising that tomorrow might, just might, be a better day. Pat has been known to guest appear in unusual situations and walks through walls. He continues to busk and play incognito piano on the streets and has shared the stage with Paul Weller and Mick Jones. His Father told him to “practice two hours a day and look after you teeth if you want to go to Hollywood”, and he’s managed to do both.
“‘The Great Divide’ displays a real mixed bag of influences from the Beatles and the Kinks to Eels and the Flaming Lips. But the most obvious and complementary influences for Paddy on show here have got to be Grizzly Bear and Elliott Smith: the spirit of this debut is piano-led indie-pop with added layers of complexity and experimentation”AAA Music

“What Smyth accomplished with ‘U’ at minute 1:40, when the gorgeous vocal harmonies are fading and then wake up with too many heart-warming voices carried by strings than you can bear, is what probably make this album so personal and universal at the same time.” Rock NYC
“He makes a sort of loose-limbed, country-rocking sound with moments of real beauty. A particular standout is the sad, piano –led ‘Willows Song’, which calls to mind the instrumental grandeur of Illinois –era Sufjan Stevens” The Independent

Pocket Billiards

Pocket Billiards are a Belfast-based 9-piece band that fuse ska, reggae and dub with punk rock and heavy riffs, creating an energetic and powerful sound. Having spent years on the fringes of Belfast’s ever expanding music scene, a show stopping turn at mini festival "A Little Solidarity" and supporting ASIWYFA at their album launch show in the Mandela Hall has seen their profile and popularity grow rapidly.
Pocket Billiards love music, and they also love having fun, the band are well known for inciting an infectious party atmosphere at their live performances. They recorded their debut full length album in Start Together Studios which was released in October 2009 to a sold out show in Belfast. Pocket Billiards have played alongside many great acts such as The Undertones, Neville Staples (The Specials), The Beat, The Selecter, Bad Manners, Mad Caddies and The Slackers.


In his brand new solo show MOUTHTRONICA, acclaimed British beatboxer Shlomo takes us on a one man musical mashup using nothing but his mouth, a microphone and a loop sampler. With some help from the audience, this oral magician creates breathtakingly original soundscapes ranging from experimental vocal acrobatics to jawdropping one-man renditions of classic tunes from jazz and drum n bass to latin and soul.

Shlomo is a world record holding beatboxer best known for his experimental collaborations with a range of artists such as DJ Yoda, Imogen Heap, Martha Wainwright, Hexstatic, Portico Quartet, Jarvis Cocker and his 8-piece beatbox troupe The Vocal Orchestra. Shlomo has been beatboxing since getting his first drumkit at the age of 8.  Aged 18 he joined the award-winning hip hop group Foreign Beggars on their world tour. After featuring on Bjork’s all-vocal album Medulla he performed on BBC2’s “Later with Jools Holland”. Shlomo is now Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre where he curates a collaborative concert series called Music Through Unconventional Means.



1st July 2011

Online ticket sales are now closed, though a limited number of tickets will be available on the door up until 9.00pm on Friday and Saturday night - no admittance or sales after this time.

If you have purchased a ticket online please remember your Paypal receipt is your ticket – simply print this out and bring it with you on the day.  Don’t forget the campsite now opens on the Friday night at 6.00pm.

9th June 2011

Ash frontman Tim Wheeler will perform an acoustic set alongside Emmy The Great at this years Willowstone Arts & Music Festival on the 1st & 2nd July.

The pair will perform a mix of Ash and Emmy The Great songs as well as a few covers. They will be the headline act on the newly added Acoustic Tent on the Friday night and will be a truely unique and intimate performance not to be missed by Ash and Emmy the Great fans alike, a great addtion to the Festival in Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh - just a few miles from Tim's hometown of Downpatrick.

19th May 2011
Willowstone Arts & Music Festival 
are very pleased to announce that it will be part-funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Not Squares

Not Squares formed in 2008 off the back of a drunken conversation held in a dark alleyway about how Belfast needs a party-band. They got into a practice room and began banging on drums, yelping and deflowering their synths – following intensive improvisation and a few shows later they’re releasing their debut album ‘Yeah OK’ in November 2010 on Dublin’s Richter Collective.

With the recent singles ‘Asylum’ and “Release The Bees’ already picking up favourable airtime from BBC’s finest, ‘Yeah Ok’ aims to take the body parts of Gui Boratto and Arthur Russell, clone both of them to become a mutant cyclops lovechild of Soulwax, LCD and Crystal Castles – Mix this in with some white-trash-afrobeat and disco hallucinogenics while receiving a deep-tissue massage from Fugazi and you’ve got Not Squares. Their live shows usually end up in wide-eyed dance riots so make sure you catch them on tour. As well as touring with Two Door Cinema Club in December 2010 they are aiming to play in every possible place they can in the UK and Ireland.

3rd May 2011
Willowstone Arts & Music Festival 2011 will take place on the 01st & 02nd July 2011 in Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh.

The Festival now in its third year will be a two-day live music event, with camping in the grounds of the
country park. The unique setting of The Delamont Walled Garden will be the main stage and entertainment area, and will feature Some the UK and Irelands finest acts including UK beatbox sensation SHLOMO as the main stage headliner, sharing the stage with Not Squares, Pocket Billiards, The Vals, The Minutes, More Than Conquerors, Inishowen Gospel Choir, Robyn G Shiels and many more.

The festival will also include the Walled Garden and beyond with a host of fun activities to keep people of all ages entertained, including, live art from Vent Collective & spaniels Heart Club, Kids Circus Workshops, Francis Barkings Allotment Olympics, Yoga & Bellydancing from Flow Studio Belfast and a Craftea Tent.

Willowstone Arts & Music Festival 2011 prides itself on providing an incredibly diverse span of entertainment for all ages at an affordable price.

Tickets on sale NOW from selected HMV Stores throughout Ireland and Online. 

The Minutes 

Hands up. Who likes rock and roll?
And by rock and roll we mean proper rock and roll, born in the 50′s, dragged kicking and screaming through the late 20th century, a ragged flag passed from generation to generation under the stewardship of true believers – Chuck Berry, John Lennon, Phil Lynott, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen.
This is not rock and roll as a device to sell Rimmel lipstick. This is not rock and roll as tool to suggest someone or something is “edgy”. This is visceral, bloody and urgent. Music for fighting and fucking. Music imbued with a defiant, rambunctious energy which can never die. 

Robyn G. Shiels

“Robyn G. Shiels’s new album is just breathtaking. It’s a really moving piece of work.” David Holmes
David Holmes is absolutely correct. The new recordings by Ulster artist Robyn G Shiels are stunning. One of these, ‘Hello Death…’ is set to appear on the soundtrack to a new film from Belfast, ‘Cherry Bomb’. The music has been selected by Holmes and the evocative power of Robyn’s music is set to gain many more admirers.
So far, he has recorded a Radio1 session for Huw Stephens, he has guested on a Los Angeles station Indie 1031 FM and had been playlisted in Spain and Norway. He has released a series of potent records, including the singles ‘Playing Host To Ideas’ ‘We Are Of Evil’ and ‘Two Nights In June’. His 2005 album, ‘A Lifetime Of Midnights’, was awarded an eight star review from the influential Drowned In Sound, and led to a slot at the coveted 'End of the Road' festival.

17th February 2011

Early Bird tickets now on sale!! Early Bird Camping tickets will be on sale for a limited time at last year’s prices!!  £32 for weekend camping ticket.  Full price will be £38 when full line up is announced.  Day tickets remain at £26 and remember we don’t charge a booking fee!!

16th December 2010

Willowstone has been nominated for six Irish Festival awards including Best Small Festival, Best Lineup, Family Festival Awards, and Best Toilets – please click on the link below to vote!  It’s all done on the public vote so we really need your help!  Voting ends on the 31st January.

We will be announcing some details for Willowstone 2011 early January with earlybird tickets on sale for Willowstone 2011 on the 2nd July.

2nd July 2010

On-line booking has now closed.  Day tickets and a limited number of camping tickets can be purchased on the gate.

1st June 2010

Willowstone Tickets now available to buy in person from Waterfront and Ulster Hall Box offices.

14th May 2010

Good news! The campsite will be open a day earlier from 6.00pm on Friday the 2nd - Camping tickets on sale now!

18th April
Full line up announced for 2010

We are proud to announce the only Irish date this summer for local hard rocking blues band “The Answer”, back home from a world tour with AC/DC and sell out Ulster Hall show.  Also making music are Cashier No.9, John Shelly & The Creatures, Bocs Social (Dublin), Dark Room Notes (Dublin), Katie & the Carnival, Ruby Colley, Scorpion Jack, Colenso Parade and The Red Admirals.  Have a look at all the acts on our line-up page...

11th March 2010

A limited amount of bargin “earlybird tickets” are available for sale if you have bought tickets through Paypal or are a member of our Facebook page. Tickets will go on general release at the end of the month still priced at £26 for the day and £32 with camping, but to thank you for your support last year we are offering you a chance to get in early and get camping tickets for only £27.00 or Day tickets for only £21.00 saving yourself a good fiver – think of it as a beer and a tasty snack on me! We are offering you seasoned Willowstoners this first and these early bird tickets are limited in number so get in quick.

7th March 2010

Another great collaboration to announce!  Team Charolastra will be setting up in the walled garden with their 'Little Mongolia' arena - Mongolian crafts, wrestling & loads of Charolastra related fundraising tomfoolery (full range of Team Charolastra merchandise TBA). Also, some of the team will be DJ'Ing at the main event.  this year just two weeks before they head off on a 10,000 mile race to Mongolia all in aid of CNCF.

10th Feb 2010

Willowstone 2010 has teamed up with Trans:mission this year and will be one of their opening events on the 3rd of July 2010.

4th Feb 2010

We are delighted to announce that the 2010 Willowstone Arts & Music Festival will be supported by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and DCAL.

11th June 2009

Local muscians represented at Willowstone by Downpatrick based Electro-Acoustic act Ellipsis. Please see the line-up for more info...

8th June 2009

Pre and Post Willowstone Parties announced.  To make a full weekend out of the Festival there will be Live music in the Dufferin Arms on Friday night with Jukebox Gypsy and more live music on Sunday night (TBA) again in Dufferin Arms, Killyleagh.  Friday night is Free and open to all. Sunday night will be free to those with a Willowstone Festival wristband, or £3.00 to others.
Tickets now on Sale in The Belfast Guitar Emporium, The Rusty Zip and Downpatrick St Patricks Centre.

29th May 2009

Belfast Guitar Emporium sponsor Willowstone PA. Tickets are now on sale at the Belfast Guitar Emporium as well as on-line. They have also very kindly agreed to sponsor the PA for the Event.

Final line-up announced!Now with The Continuous Battle of Order, and Ten Gallon Hat.

27th April 2009

Republic of Loose have been confirmed as headliners!!

2nd April 2009

WillowStone Sculpture is planted!!  In preparation for the festival in June, what will be the centre piece of the Walled Garden a 5 meter scale replica of the Strangford Stone has bee planted in Willow by willow sculptor Clive Lyttle of Welig Crafts www.weligcrafts.co.uk Planting now will ensure that the sculpture is green and lush come the 27th of June.

23rd February 2009

Local line-up announced!  Ed Zealous, Panama Kings, NI Soul Troop, Heliopause and Albrecht’s Pencil have all been confirmed to play the inaugural Willowstone Festival on the 27th June.