Ards and North Down Borough Council is delighted to announce the welcome return of Ards International Guitar Festival; back with an eclectic lineup to suit every taste and celebrating the best of local talent with a mix of international artists.

From the 6th – 10th April, Newtownards will be alive with the sound of blues, folk and flamenco. Whether a guitarist or just a music fan there will be something there for you. Check out the festival programme for full details.

Highlights this year include Martin Carthy, Antoine Dufour, Wiktoria Szubelak, No Oil Paintings, Grainne Duffy and The Emerald Armada to name a few.

This is a real opportunity to hear world renowned musicians such as Antoine Dufour. The Montreal guitarist combines jaw-dropping guitar playing skills and artistic soul to craft instrumental compositions that reflect ambient and progressive music that transcends global cultures.

Martin Carthy has for more than 40 years been one of folk music’s greatest innovators. He is a ballad singer and a ground-breaking guitarist. Most significantly, his settings of traditional songs have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon

Wiktoria Szubelak is one of Poland’s most talented young classical guitarists. She has performed throughout Europe to outstanding reviews. Her concert repertoire contains solo works by Bach, Giuliani, Barrios, Lobos and others.

Tours of the Avalon guitar factory will provide visitors with an insight into the production line of the handcrafted guitar, while guitar clinics will allow the visitor to learn guitar techniques and also the practical skill of building a pedal. A fantastic opportunity to get hands-on with industry professionals.

There are a number of free events for you to come along and enjoy such as Belfast Guitar Orchestra with Colin Reid.

Ards International Guitar Festival is a must for the guitar enthusiast. Check outthe Ards International Guitar Festival website for full line-up information and ticket prices.