Beyond Skin Announces Arts Programme for Mount Stewart Festival

 Justin Adams and Dave Randall will hold music workshops

Beyond Skin is set to bring leading musicians Dave Randall and Justin Adams to the shores of Strangford Lough, plus a host of sensory arts activities in ‘The Next Village’

Leading the Beyond Skin programme will be talks and workshops from two critically acclaimed, international musicians: Dave Randall and Justin Adams. This is the first time that either guitarist will give a talk or lead an intimate masterclass for Northern Ireland audiences.

Dave Randall, is a musician, writer and activist who has contributed to multi-million selling albums by Grammy Award winning artist Dido and toured the world playing guitar with Faithless, Sinead O’Connor, Emiliana Torrini, Roland Gift and many others.

Dave will deliver an illustrated talk about music and politics, based on his new book: ‘Sound System: The Political Power of Music.’ It's a book of raves, riots and revolution, looking at examples from Beethoven to Beyoncé and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interests of the many, rather than the few?

Dave will follow his talk with a quirky workshop called the ‘Rock ‘n’ Sausage Roll Guitar Masterclass.’ You read that right – there will of course be sausage rolls (of the vegan kind) to cater for all rock n roll wanabes.

Joining Dave at the top of the bill will be Mercury Prize-nominated Justin Adams, widely considered to be one of U.K.’s most original guitarists. Justin is known for co-writing The Robert Plant album ‘Mighty Rearranger’ and playing with Plant’s band the Strange Sensation around the world, including a gig in Belfast in 2014.

Justin will lead a talk on ‘Music in Exile’ and later treat a small group of budding guitarists to a Sahara Blues Guitar Masterclass. This is the first time that Justin has offered NI music lovers a chance to learn from the master.

The Next Village

The theme of the Beyond Skin programme for 2018 will be ‘The Next Village,’ Darren Ferguson, Founder explains: “In the half century or so since the world was first described as a ‘Global Village’ our interconnections with the rest of the planet have become easier and faster. But have we really got to know each other, have we developed a deeper sense of community as a result of these technological changes?

“At Mount Stewart Conversations Festival we are going to try to get to know our new neighbours. Awakening our senses we will creatively explore where global meets local, beginning a conversation with our global neighbours, learning from each other about our place in this shared world to try to gain insight into life in The Next Village.”

The Village Experience at Mount Stewart Conversations Festival will be focused around fluid sensory arts, facilitating natural conversation opportunities and surrounding talks. Some of the one hour experiences on offer include Jamaican Dance and Ukulele Workshops.

The wider festival

Further programme information will be revealed in the coming weeks but safe to say there will be a stellar line-up of acclaimed guests who will engage visitors in debates, performances and talks on a vast array of emotive and inspirational subjects.

Access to Mount Stewart will be free for the weekend. Selected talks will be ticketed and will be available to book in advance. Tickets will go on sale in late July 2018.