Big Arts Weekend 2018

4 – 7 May 2018


Preparations for the forthcoming Big Arts Weekend are now underway.   This is the sixth year of the Cushendun Building Preservation Trust (CPBT) festival and, as ever, we have a fantastic programme celebrating the rich heritage, amazing landscape, and wealth of talent that make Cushendun such a unique village. Many of our venues are small, so early booking is recommended. You can book online via the following link; tickets will also be available on Saturday 28 April from 10 am – 1 pm at Glenmona House, Cushendun.

BuyTicketsNowThe weekend begins with Singing the Glens, an evening celebrating the folksongs of Brian Connors and Glenn Simpson presented by Sean Quinn in Glenmona House on Friday evening.  Glenmona House welcomes back the Glens of Antrim Painting for Pleasure Group; members will be displaying their art from 12-5 pm Saturday – Monday with delightful homemade cakes on sale in the adjoining room from 12-4 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Calling all young performers aged 8 – 12 to attend a one-day drama workshop Play-in-a-Day, with a performance in the afternoon for friends and family on Saturday!  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned artist, take advantage of a unique opportunity to learn from one of Ireland’s leading painters, Hector McDonnell.  Hector will be hosting a one-day Painting Masterclass.   Singer, broadcaster, writer and song collector, Maurice Leydon, will present a singing lecture on the social history and songs of the linen industry in Songs of the Handloom Weavers.  Lace up your walking shoes and join us for a 90-minute walking tour around Cushendun Village and learn about its Painters, Poets and Playwrights.

Come along and Share a Poem at Randal’s, in association with Cushendall Library and Ballycastle Writers’ Group.  Your choice: read your own work, or just listen. This year, to celebrate International Women’s Year, the theme will be centred on women inspired by the local area.  Two of Ireland’s leading playwrights will be along to discuss their thirty years of play-making in Northern Ireland and their longstanding creative collaboration in A Conversation with Martin Lynch and Marie Jones.  Saturday evening is rounded off with Music at Mary’s from 10pm to late with Danny D.

Sunday is Family Fun in Cushendun.  Weather permitting, this year’s theme for the Sand Sculpture Competition is ‘Treasure Island’; a prize will be awarded for the best sculpture.  Following this, bring your own picnic to the grounds of Glenmona House and enjoy face painting, puppet show, traditional games and workshops at this great family event.  The Causeway Archers will be onsite delivering taster sessions for budding young archers. Singer and broadcaster Josephine Mulvenna will be holding a Traditional Singing Workshop.  Regina Uí Chollatáin, Associate Professor and Head of the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore at UCD, will be delivering a Talk about Glenswomen in the early twentieth-century Irish Revival movement. Sunday evening at the Big Arts Weekend would not be complete without Music for a May Evening.  This year Cavehill Community Choir will be along to entertain us with wide range of music from different times and places in St Patrick’s Church.  Music at Mary’s takes place from 9:30 pm to late with Keni.

Monday begins with a guided walk, An tSiúlóid, around Glenariff Forest.  Glenariff, ‘Queen of the Glens’, is a truly enchanting forest with every turn bringing a spectacular new vista.  For the third year now, Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market will be in the grounds of Glenmona House from 12 – 5 pm with an array of hand-crafted goods, delicious foods and local produce.  Inside Glenmona, Family Story Telling with Sharon Dickson will be a great opportunity to share and listen to stories.  Kids under 12 can take part in a Treasure Hunt at Glenmona House.  Monday concludes with Drama at Mary’s, when Lurig Drama Group will present readings on the theme of Women in Power and Politics.

Tickets are now available online at and at our pop- up ticket office in Glenmona House on Saturday 28 April, 10 am – 1 pm.  Since some events are in smaller venues, booking or registration is essential, so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.  If you would like to be involved in helping out or marshalling any of our events, your help would be greatly appreciated.  You can do express an interest by emailing or speaking with one of our members.