A whole host of Belfast bands will descend on County Down at the end of the month.

16 acts based in the city are playing as part of the newly relaunched Holywood Blues and Jazz Festival, sponsored by Phoenix Gas, running from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31.

Artists including the well known city blues legend Rab McCullough will play a number of venues across the town in the biggest music event of the year.

Also on the bill are acts such as Rough Diamonds, Ricky McQuillian, Cavehill, Pogoes, The Boozehounds, Wookalily, The Ronnie Greer Duo, The 77’s, Scorpion Jack, The Half Stoned Cowboys, The Small Mercies & Ludwig & Co and Jackie Flavelle.

Headlining the festival are country blues band Alabama 3 Acoustic & Unplugged and Ska tribute Doghouse at the Holywood Rugby Club marquee on Friday and Saturday night as well as Van Morrison tribute Celtic Soul who will play Holywood Yacht Club on Sunday.

Belfast based blues-Americana two-piece Drop Circus are among the acts lined up to support Alabama 3 alongside Shock Treatment 21 and Mike Donaghy.

Local musician Mari Jackson is heading up the festival.

She said: “I decided this year that I would volunteer my time to ressurect the festival as I’m passionate about bringing more music and entertainment to the town.

“We’ve had some great support from local businesses such as Whiskin Engineering as well as other companies including Phoenix Gas, our principal sponsors, BDO and Ulster Weavers among others.

“There are some fantastic acts on the bill this year and we’ve ensured that we have put together a varied mix of music to suit everyone.

“There will be music on in most of the local pubs, clubs and eateries from approx 6pm on Friday, May 29, all day Saturday from 2pm and from 3pm on Sunday until midnight.”

Tickets for Alabama 3 (£17.50), Doghouse (£10) and Celtic Soul (£10) at the Holywood Blues & Jazz Festival running from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31 are available from Garry’s Barber Shop in Holywood or from
For more information log onto or Tweet us @BluesJazzFest

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