Tuesday, June 25, 2024


DOWNPATRICK alternative rock band Ash plan to play a unique gig in August to celebrate their 30th anniversary, while at the same time supporting the arts in County Down. The band have recorded seven studio albums, three live albums and were the youngest band to perform at Glastonbury when they did so in 1997, headlining the Other stage. That achievement has inspired many local bands ever since and they are hoping to support their local community when they will headline the Down Time Summerfest in Downpatrick later this summer. Philip Campbell is the project officer for Down Community Arts, and is involved in organising the festival. He told the Mourne Observer: “The prospect of having Ash play the festival is really exciting. “I think it shows the talent that we have in this place. There is a great pool of talent here. “Ash performing here will encourage young people that they too can be successful.” Ash were formed in Downpatrick in 1992 by Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray. The band agreed to take part in the festival following a chance meeting of Tim Wheeler and Ciaran Black, a well-known local artist who works at Down Community Arts along with Philip Campbell. In March Ciaran was overseeing graffiti artist Frizz, real name Marian Noone, during her creation of a mural as part of the Church Street revitalisation scheme. Tim Wheeler saw the mural and got talking to Ciaran. During that meeting Ciaran suggested the possibility of Ash playing the Down Time Summerfest. Tim agreed that the August date of the summer festival could work, and now the band have signed up to headline the Sunday night of the event. The Down Time Summerfest is a festival of racing, music and culture.

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