Spring is in the air and that means the long-anticipated annual Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle in Co Antrim is brightening our days with the announcement of this year’s programme highlights.
As Ireland’s most popular family festival, attracting over 30,000 visitors each year, Dalriada is again presenting a cornucopia of delights including music, food, sport and children’s events sure to delight everyone. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Glenarm Castle, visitors from near and far flock in their thousands each year to enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment of this magical festival which continues to go from strength-to-strength.
The Camlin Group is once again the titled sponsor and for the first time ever, the official Peppa Pig characters will meet and greet the kids on July 15 and 16.  This children’s favourite is set to equal the phenomenal success of last year’s meet and greet with Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol which attracted thousands of fans to the event. Dalriada Festival also welcomes the return of the annual County Antrim Pipe Band Championships, The Nation’s Strongman Championships and an exciting addition to the festival - Northern Ireland’s first ever Wife Carrying Championships.  Another ‘first’ for Dalriada and indeed Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland’s first ever Mussel Eating Competition, sponsored by The Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy!
Due to popular demand, this year’s festival kicks off on July 14, a day earlier than previous years, with the return of Ireland’s favourite country star, Nathan Carter, sponsored by The Sitting Room Hairdressing in Ballymena. Donna Taggart, whose single ‘Jealous of the Angels’ has received Global success and has now reached 85 million views on Facebook, will be making her Dalriada debut. The Fureys and Dublin City Ramblers are just some more of the festival’s music offerings on 15th and 16th July.
The community of Glenarm will take up the baton from July 17, hosting an action-packed programme of sporting events and other entertainment including a duathlon, triathlon, super-endurocross, rowing regatta and mountain bike enduro race. The festival will culminate with a street fair, carnival and fireworks finale on July 22.
John Cunningham from Camlin says;
 “Although we are a global engineering company, we endeavour to support local community initiatives and events. The Dalriada Festival of Sport, Music and Food is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest cultural family events and The Camlin Group is honoured to be once again the titled sponsor of such a fantastic festival. This event certainly helps to boost the economy and indeed tourism for the entire Antrim Coast and we wish all the team continued success for 2017.”
Cool FM and Downtown Radio, as well as The Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life are the media partners.
Mark Mahaffy, MD of Cool FM and Downtown Radio says;
“Cool FM and Downtown are excited about our first ever partnership with Dalriada and the festival’s eclectic mix of music and cultural offerings are a perfect fit for our listeners across the province.”
Martin Breen, editor of The Sunday Life says;
The Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life had no hesitation in once again supporting Dalriada Festival for the second consecutive year and giving it the extensive publicity it deserves. This Festival is a unique visitor and participant experience and the success is testament to the sheer hard work and dedication of the festival organisers.”
Nigel Campbell, Events and Marketing Manager for Glenarm Castle, unveiled the varied programme on offer at this year’s summer festival earlier today. He added;
“When people hear that Dalriada Festival is launching, they know summer is on its way! There’s already a great buzz about our festival locally and further afield.”
“Having the official Peppa Pig characters for the first time in County Antrim is a real coup and there’s so much more to enjoy with the eight music stages and comedy house.
“We haven’t forgotton our good food- loving visitors as the fine food courtyard will be serving up our own short-horn beef, which is farmed at Glenarm and recently won supreme overall champion at the prestigious Great Taste Awards in London. 
“There’s certainly something for all the family with lots more entertainment for the children, crafts and shopping, live wrestling and our ever popular sheep fashion shows and companion dog competition.
“As ever, we are indebted to all our sponsors for their continued support, especially The Camlin Group & Mid & East Antrim Council.  Without their financial commitment to our festival, we just wouldn’t be able to offer this top class entertainment. 
“We are particularly grateful to our media partners The Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life, Cool FM and Downtown Radio for their priceless support and publicity too.”
Day Passes & Camping Packages for July 15 and 16 are on sale from 9am on Friday 10th March via a whopping 33% Discount on Day Passes purchased before 31st March. Concert Tickets for both concerts are also on sale via