Open House Festival

Open House is an independent non-profit charitable organisation that runs:-

1. Open House Festival – an annual summer festival for the month of August in the beautiful seaside town of Bangor, County Down. 2019 featured 163 events in 46 venues, over 31 consecutives days.

At the heart of the August Festival is an eclectic programme of lovingly curated bespoke events, including folk on a boat, an island picnic trip, theatre in a beautiful old walled garden, site specific cinema screenings, pop-up restaurants, whiskey, wine and gin tastings, art exhibitions, and local interest talks and tours.

2. Seaside Revival which is a free vintage festival, celebrating Bangor’s heyday as a thriving seaside town. 30,000+ people attended in 2019

3. Year round concerts & events in both Belfast and Bangor – any additional income is re-invested in free events, running costs and projects that create greater social impact

4. The Open House Festival Choir, a 60 strong community choir, with 16 seasons under its belt. They perform songs by local acts and artists that have played the Festival

Their Role in Bangor

Our mission is to transform people and places through festivals and events. We believe that music, art, culture and festival events are the regenerative force that will transform Bangor from its seafront dereliction and failed retail sector into a modern seaside town. 

Drawing on the unique assets of its coastal setting, thriving community of artists and creatives, Victorian architecture, abundance of pop-up venues and proximity to Belfast, we aim to attract more visitors to Bangor and to make local people proud of their town again. 68,858 people attended our last Festival events in 2019 generating a total economic impact of £2.3million.

The Courthouse

Open House now owns the old Bangor Court House, a Victorian listed building on Bangor seafront, and is turning it into a permanent venue. Open House acquired the building from the Courts Service via the process of Community Asset Transfer, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. With support from Heritage Lottery Fund, DfC, Garfield Weston, A&NDBC, Ulster Garden Villages and a successful crowdfunding campaign we expect the full restoration to be completed by Summer 2022.

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