The Blues are back in town

Tuesday 31 May 2022 9:18

THE buzz was back in Warrenpoint for the big return of the International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival!

It was the 23rd anniversary of the festival and six sunshine filled days filled with 60 free blues and jazz gigs, music and jamming sessions. This featured some of the most talented local and international blues musicians.

The pubs and restaurants were in full swing, and the spirits were high. Music lovers came from near and far to bask in the sun and listen to the beautiful blues. The last Blues Festival took place 22nd - 27th May 2019 and they have been missed!

I spoke with owner of Raymie's Seafood Bar Grill Neil Boylan, who very pleased to have the Blues back on the Bay:

"I feel amazing about the Blues coming back, we had 120 booked for food on Friday.

"Every town needs festivals, especially after being locked up for too long. To watch the Blues this weekend was brilliant, it just felt like life was back to normal. It’s great for businesses too, especially for hospitality. Hospitality has been on its knees, so it's just amazing."

A spokesperson for 'Ye Old Ship Inn' also was very happy to see the return of the Blues Festival:

"We were happy to participate this year in the Blues. For people and tourists, it was a good festival and we saw a lot of people excited to be back out listening to this music."

Warrenpoint was full of very happy locals who have been missing the having a pint and enjoying the amazing live music in the sunshine.

Warrenpoint woman Megan (21) thoroughly enjoyed the Blues and getting to socialise in her favourite pubs with her favourite people again, “It was great having the blues back, the atmosphere was class and after the past two years we have had it’s brilliant to be out celebrating with friends and family.”

One owner of The No7 Duke Street Bar and Restaurant Chris Fletcher was very pleased to see the “buzz back in Warrenpoint.”

"It’s great to have the Blues back after its three-year hiatus, anyone I have spoken to has been delighted that its back in the town, it's all been very positive. It’s great to see the buzz back in Warrenpoint. It’s great to see people out enjoying themselves, back mixing with friends and family.

“The best blues bands across Ireland have been performing this week and for me it's the best festival in Ireland.

“There was definitely a lot of relief from bars and restaurants in the area as many of them rely on the Blues, it’s a good kickstart for the summer and showcases the town, the accommodations, the restaurants and helps the tourism for the town. It sort of puts Warrenpoint on the map for one week a year."

The festival included music from some of the best musicians in NI such as , Mirenda Rosenberg, Pat McManus, Dom Martin, Reverend Doc.

It was definitely a week thoroughly enjoyed by all and I think we can agree we are excited to do it all again next year!

SEE PAGES 32-33 FOR MORE BLUES PICTURES

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