Record ticket sales as Bluegrass Omagh celebrates 30th anniversary

World class line-up of performers played across three stages as thousands of people gathered across the two-day event at Ulster American Folk Park

1 June 2022: Ulster American Folk Park welcomed fans back to the legendary Bluegrass Omagh music festival to mark its 30th anniversary. The two-day event took place on 28 and 29 May after it had been postponed for two years because of the pandemic. Crowds of almost 4,500 people gathered over the weekend, with pre-event tickets sales surpassing previous years.  

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Multi-award-winning acts from both sides of the Atlantic performed across three stages. International acts such as; The Slocan Ramblers; Seth Mulder & Midnight Run; Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno; and Aaron Jonah Lewis performed alongside local musicians including Cup O’Joe and No Oil Paintings making their Bluegrass Omagh debut.

John-Paul Coyle, Visitor Services Manager at Ulster American Folk Park, said: “The 30th anniversary of Bluegrass Omagh was a huge success. It was very special to welcome almost 4,500 visitors and, of course, many outstanding acts back to Ulster American Folk Park to join in the festivities after a two-year break.

“Ulster American Folk Park provides such a unique and immersive backdrop for a festival of this kind, which has helped it become one of the largest bluegrass events outside of North America over the past three decades.”

Bluegrass Omagh has previously been nominated for ‘Bluegrass Event of the Year’ by the International Bluegrass Music Association and over its 30-year legacy has become part of the fabric of Omagh that delivers for the local economy with international visitors enjoying the town’s hospitality offerings and other tourism hotspots in the region.

The two-day festival was sponsored by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, said: “It was great to see so many people join us here in Omagh to welcome the festival back to Ulster American Folk Park.

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is delighted to have been able to sponsor the festival on its 30th anniversary. The event has evolved to become truly world class and is always significant for the district and a real boost to the local economy, in particular the tourism and hospitality sector. 

“It really helps the council to deliver on our commitment to ensuring that the district is an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Carolyn Mathers, Director at Snow Water, the company behind the programming of the festival, said: “It was a pleasure to programme the 30th anniversary of Bluegrass Omagh. The event was a tremendous success and saw huge crowds from across the country, and indeed the globe, come together to celebrate the genre. Bluegrass Omagh is iconic, and we are proud to have curated a line-up that has attracted not only bluegrass purists but also new audiences.”

Festivalgoers were able to pay homage to the heritage and legacy of the Appalachian settlers through music, and were also able to enjoy traditional food, musical workshops and artisan craftwork.

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Pictured are National Museums NI colleagues and local council representatives at a special 30th anniversary evening to officially kick-off the festival weekend in Omagh.