It’s ‘Moscow calling’ for Red Sails Festival!

Innova's stars will perform during the Red Sails Festival.
Innova's stars will perform during the Red Sails Festival.

From Russia to...the Red Sails Festival! For the first time ever the organisers of the Portstewart community Festival will welcome a band from the Soviet Union - fronted by Tony Watkins, who is originally from Dungiven, but has been living in Moscow for 17 years.

Shortly after his arrival in 1986 Tony formed the rock n roll band Smokebreakers completed six albums, numerous video-clips, Russian and European tours, several corporate music projects, a book and even a musical.

Tony will travel back to the Province perform a 60 years of rock’n’roll show with the Smokebreakers.

This year’s Red Sails will kick off on Sunday, July 20 and conclude with the now traditional fireworks display on Saturday, July 26.

Among the mainy outstanding highlights this year will be a much-awaited performance by Portstewart’s Britain’s Got Talent stars The Innova Irish Dance Company, this year’s Irish Youth Music Awards “ Best Band” winners, The Left Backs, “Best Song” winner Gemma Bradley, rising star of the country scene Ritchie Remo and an outside broadcast of Radio Ulster’s Hugo Duncan Show.

There will also be a number of tribute acts performing during the week including homages to Status Quo, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, Ska, and Gareth Brooks. Of course there will be a number of artistes performing in cafes and plenty of entertainment in the local bars and night clubs during the Festival.

In addition, Big Telly Theatre Company have organised a couple of workshops. One is called “ Game of Phones”, described as a unique piece of “adventure theatre” for the public. For age group 14+ it is Interactive theatre meets smart phones, meets a treasure hunt, meets a mystery tour!

The other workshop is called Drama Box and includes drama, stories and impro.

The popular Burger Club Man/Woman v Food challenge takes place on Wednesday, July 23 at 4.30pm. The competition is free to enter so if you are interested in taking part e-mail

There is also a Print Workshop in Portstewart Minor Town Hall on Friday, July 25 at 3pm. The workshop is free, provided by Oyster Press and funded by the Coleraine Borough Arts Committee.

The aim is to demonstrate what people of all ages and abilities, can achieve creatively and to encourage, stimulate and support participants to explore their creativity in a safe and comfortable environment. Places are limited and those interested should email 

Portstewart Library has organised an intergenerational Workshop and Storytelling Session featuring Randall Stephen Hall. His workshops are a mixture of short funny poems, interactive singing, drawing demonstrations, his own projected imagery, a main story and just good old craic.

It all ends with a wonderful fireworks display, from O’Hara’s castle at 10.30pm on Saturday, July 26.

The full programme and lots more information can be viewed at