Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival

Three one hour 'free to view' programmes set to replace annual north coast musical jamboree

Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival

Local man Anthony Toner, one of a number of artists appearing at the Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival.

By Damian Mullan


By Damian Mullan


THIS weekend, Causeway Coast and Glens Council - in association with Snow Water - will be bringing the Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival to your homes!

Artists have been filmed in stunning locations across Portstewart and Portrush during the last weeks, and we have three one hour ‘free to view’ programmes with exclusive performances, conversations, plus messages and videos from festival family and friends.

Artists featured include Anthony Toner, Conor Mason, Joel Harkin, Malojian, New Pagans, Peter O’Kane, Ports, Roe, Sasha Samara, The Darkling Air, Tour Alaska and the programmes are presented by Joe Lindsay.

The programmes feature six of the NI Music Prize 2020 nominees, local performers, plus tell the story of the rich musical heritage of the area, all filmed by the incredible Atlantic Ocean.

Last year saw the largest and most successful Atlantic Sessions to date with over 7,000 people descending on Portstewart and Portrush to see over 100 musicians.

Audiences travelled from right across Ireland to hear musicians play throughout the four days.

Restaurants, hotels, pubs, coffee shops, music venues and the Town Hall were packed, with the festival providing new customers for them.

Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody is also a big fan.

“Atlantic Sessions is an award-winning four day festival with an incredible reputation for its passionate support of local talent," he said.

However, this year, in keeping with so many other events, the Atlantic Sessions has been affected by coronavirus.

But that hasn't stopped organisers coming up with an innovative plan.

Atlantic Sessions has been working in partnership with Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland to showcase local talent to a global audience and now, for the first time, this weekend's festival will be viewed across the world.

"Our events programme has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and it is very disappointing that we are unable to bring you Atlantic Sessions in its usual format this year," explained the mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding.

"However, we are delighted to launch our Virtual Festival featuring some of the finest musicians in the country, performing at some of our most stunning outdoor locations, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

"I hope that our virtual festival will still, in some, way bring people together and instill some joy at this difficult and uncertain time.

"I would also like to thank all our host venues and festival goers for their support over the years and for your understanding at this time," he added.

Presenter Joe Lindsay agreed that a virtual festival was the 'next best thing' to the annual musical celebration.

“We’ll miss seeing you this year and we miss live music as much as you do, but we thought we’d do the next best thing and bring Atlantic Sessions to your homes!" he said.

"We wanted us all to be together and we wanted to experience the power and beauty of music. Together. As we’ve always done. And we will do again.

"Until then, keep supporting local music and venues in any way you can.”

Snow Water Director Carolyn Mathers paid tribute to the 'dedicated audiences and venues' for their support over the past years.

"We are excited that this year we can showcase Atlantic Sessions to viewers across the globe," said Carolyn.

"You can continue to support your favourite local bands, singers, songwriters and musicians by buying their music and merchandise directly from their websites. Our creative community is precious and here’s to celebrating live music with you on the other side.”

And, if that wasn't enough, a number of the fabulous Taste Causeway providers have teamed up with Atlantic Sessions to offer some delicious treats.

Check them out at

* Atlantic Sessions is free to view on Friday November 13, Saturday November 14 and Sunday November 15 November at 7pm to 8pm at

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