All roads led to Ballymena town centre this past weekend with the return of Midtown Sounds, organised by Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID), in association with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The event returned for its second year with even more venues and performances than before, with the crowds also returning to witness some of the outstanding musical talent from Ballymena and the surrounding areas.
Opening the event and returning for his second year was Ryan Price, who entertained the audiences in Corner Bakery, before making his way to Wellington Barbers and Harmony Hub. Dean McKay also began proceedings at Tyre Town before wowing the crowds in Chocoa and Bob and Berts.
Other performances included Erin Fullerton with her soulful voice at Houston Hair at Tower Centre and Harmony Hub; Rebecca Hall, the extremely talented singer and Harpist who soothed crowds at Wallaces, McKillens Shoes and Ultimate in Fashion and musician Jedidah Shanks who performed in Woodside Chemists.
There was no icy reception in McGroggans Ice Cream shop as Darryl Ball took to the stage before his performance in Moore Electrics, with Leah O’Kane returning to entertain the crowds in The Music Rooms.
Making their debut at Midtown Sounds were Conor McAuley and Eoin Agnew who delighted audiences in Ground Coffee, Outdoor Adventure, Follow Coffee Co and Red Star Music respectively.
The event concluded on Saturday afternoon with an open jam at Midtown Makers and the atmosphere in store was electrifying. The high level of talent shone through and those who attended were in awe of all performers.
Organisers of the event were delighted at the reception of traders and public alike who enjoyed the live musical performances in stores throughout the town centre.
Kathleen McBride, BID Manager said, “The response from our second Midtown Sounds event was fantastic. Not only did the performers and traders in the area get involved, the crowds of shoppers were toe-tapping and singing along, adding to the already vibrant atmosphere in the town.
“Once again, Midtown Sounds gave us the opportunity to showcase the high level of musical talent here in Ballymena and the surrounding areas. We would like to thank all those who performed, as well as the traders who hosted artists in their premises. With the assistance of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, it was another great event.”
Midtown Sounds kicked off on Thursday 21st February with an almost sold-out, special screening of Bohemian Rhapsody at The Braid.
The official launch took place on Friday 22nd February at Follow Coffee Co with the release of the Midtown Sounds music videos, as well as performances from Dean McKay, Erin Fullerton, Eoin Agnew and Crosshair Kid.
Joe Rocks, Arts and Events Assistant at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said, “I was absolutely delighted with the success of this year’s Midtown Sounds. We had a great turnout at both events on Thursday and Friday night and all the artists were exceptionally well received throughout the town on Saturday.
“Our partnership with the BID worked well and allowed us to highlight all that is good about the local music scene. It also allowed us to showcase the next wave of musical talent, alongside the fantastic businesses that we have locally. All the measures taken to expand the event this year worked well and we hope to continue to grow Midtown Sounds year on year.”
Midtown Sounds has been supported by The Executive Office through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme.