Mount Stewart announces Festival of Conversations

Published : 11 Aug 2016

Mount Stewart has announced an unmissable festival weekend of debate, ideas, storytelling, art and music on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September 2016.

Guests at the first ever Mount Stewart Conversations festival organised by the National Trust will include world class speakers, the best of Northern Irish music and a selection of artistic surprises around the world famous gardens.

Already confirmed are David Aaronovitch, journalist, broadcaster, and author; Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair; Anne Applebaum, Pullitzer Prize winning author…. and much more.

Musicians will include Iain Archer on Saturday 17 September. Iain is an Ivor Novello Award Winning songwriter from Bangor, County Down.  Meanwhile Sunday 18 September will finish off with Ursula Burns, a musician and comedian who is described as ‘the most dangerous harpist in the world’. Lords of Strut, winner of the 2013 Street Performers World Championship, will also be bringing their own unique brand of entertainment to the shores of Strangford Lough.

Commenting on the weekend, Jon Kerr, National Trust Manager at Mount Stewart said; ‘Mount Stewart is no ordinary country estate. For hundreds of years, this has been Ireland’s secret retreat for royals, leaders of state, influencers and aristocracy. For generations this has been a powerhouse of great thinking, art, music, talks and deliberation, and this energy lives on today.

‘The idea is that we will bring an eclectic range of people together for conversations on a central topic. This year we have chosen to focus on Europe, so there will certainly be plenty of topical debates. We are also keen that visitors get really involved in those conversations, so that will be central to the ethos of the weekend.

‘This is a truly unique festival weekend that brings Mount Stewart’s history to life in a completely new way. We will have a huge menu of debates, stories, music and arts to select from as well as great local food and drink. On each night we will also have a headline musical performance to finish the day off in style.’

The lawns at Mount Stewart will be brought to life by a range of street performers including The Campervan of Dreams, The Journeymen Printers, the sounds of local musicians and plenty of surprises to make you smile.

A food village and bar will also provide snacks and refreshments throughout the weekend, with plenty of spaces to relax and think over that interesting conversation you just had.

Tickets are on sale now for this inspiring, mind-expanding, one of a kind weekend at Mount Stewart.

Festival day passes are £30, or a festival weekend pass is available for £50. Concession discounts are also available.

Visit our website for more information. More announcements will be made in the coming weeks.