New ‘Causeway Dulcimer Festival’ for Co. Antrim, N Ireland – 2005

Posted by Ptarmigan on 2004/11/28 23:03:23

Hello there,
I thought you might be interested to learn that I, with the help of a small & dedicated team of advisors, which incidently includes friends of the C W A, Christie Burns & Jenny Coxon, am working on a new Hammer Dulcimer Festival for Ireland.
This new festival, which will be called the ‘Causeway Dulcimer Festival’, (- same initials as Cork!) will attempt to carry on the good work started by Christie Burns & her very successful Cork D. F. (-a hard act to follow!)

This new festival will also hope to try & help preserve the memory of Ireland’s most famous H D player, John Rae, being set as it is in John’s home county of Antrim, and each year we plan to run a concert & sessions in John’s home village of Glenarm, as part of the event.
The new C D F, with it’s new organiser & new home, will also have a new direction & will hope to link in with it’s new surroundings by reflecting the popular traditional music of the area, which is very much a blend of 50% Irish Music & 50% Scottish Music.
We will therefore be hoping to establish strong links with Scottish Dulcimer players, right from the word go.
This new persona, & direction, will also be reflected in our choice of guest & their instruments, so for example rather than focus on the H D as a solo instrument, we will be actively portraying the instrument in duet form with various sets of locally popular Bagpipes, like the Irish Uilleann Pipes, Scottish Smallpipes & Northumbrian Pipes.
We feel this is necessary both to give the festival a real sense of place, and also to try & help dispel the popularly held belief here in Ireland, that the H D doesn’t fit into Irish Music sessions.
This new location, the Causeway Coast of North Antrim, has much to interest any first time visitors to the area, including the world famous Giants Causeway, the world popular Bushmills Whiskey Distillery (-even though they can’t even spell Whisky properly, i.e. the Scottish way!!)the beautiful Glens of Antrim, where John Rae lived, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Rathlin Island etc.etc.
A trip to will demonstrate just how beautiful & interesting this area really is.
The most likely dates for the new C. D. F., as I write, are the 9th, 10th & 11th of September 2005. However, these are not set in stone, yet, so anyone who is seriously interested in the idea of coming to this festival, should contact me, to be kept in the loop, via my website

Posted: 2004/12/4 11:37

Hello, here is an update on the ‘Causeway Dulcimer Festival’, Bushmills, Co. Antrim.
The dates are now fixed for June 10th, 11th & 12th.
The festival will be launched on the Friday evening in Glenarm (venue t b a). I am delighted to announce that the C D F has a Patron, none other than Hector MacDonnell of Glenarm Castle, who is a noted historian and a painter with an international reputation. He is a very busy man but we hope that he will be available to do the honours at the launch in John Rea’s home village of Glenarm.
The festival will then move on up the coast to Bushmills for the weekend, where we will be based in the Education Centre in Bushmills. Accommodation is available in both the Ed. Centre & in the new International Hostel, 5 mins walk from the Ed. Centre.
Each has Hostel style accommodation, but the Ed. Centre has a strict ‘No Alcohol’ Policy, while the Hostel is a little more flexible.
Confirmed performers for this event, so far, include: Jenny Coxon, Christie Burns & Butch Ross, Rick Davis, Scad the Beggars, Setanta (Jack Bethel, Colin McAllister and Dave Munro), Nat Magee, Barry & Niall Carroll, Charlie Gillen, The Glasgow (Hammer Dulcimer) Group, and more!
Confirmed Workshops: “New Beginner Hammer Dulcimer”, “From Ulster to Appalachia” (Old-Time Tunes with Ulster connections)& “Music of Co. Antrim”, and more!
Workshops: One workshop (Saturday or Sunday) £30, All day Saturday £55, Saturday and Sunday £70;
Concert Saturday £6.50


European Contact is Dick Glasgow via

Stateside Contact is Rick Davis via email:


Posted: 2004/12/9 15:44

Re: New ‘Causeway Dulcimer Festival’ for Co. Antri
I am delighted to be able to announce that the Causeway Dulcimer Festival now has a Patron – none other than Hector MacDonnell of Glenarm Castle. Hector is a great lover of the Arts & is in fact a wonderful Artist himself.
This really seals the festival’s link with John Rea’s home village of Glenarm, Co. Antrim.
We are also being sponsored by The National Trust @ the Giants Causeway.