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Una Healy the Ultimate Goodwill Friend

This weekend saw the arrival of the 300th anniversary of the departure of the Friends’ Goodwill ship from Larne to America back in 1717, so what better way to celebrate than a 4 day festival with a fantastic line-up of artists and bands performing a wide range of music including country, Ulster-Scots, bluegrass and dance, with former Saturdays star Una Healy at the helm headlining the stage last night with a performance of tracks from her debut album “The Waiting Game.”

The Friends’ Goodwill voyage is significant as it is believed to have been the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century. Back in May 1717, Friends’ Goodwill left the Quay Docks in Larne carrying 52 people to travel from Ulster for America. While life was initially hard for the first settlers, in time many of their descendants forged paths for themselves as politicians, businesspeople, scientists and cultural icons. A sculpture in Curran Park, Larne, commemorates Friends’ Goodwill, it depicts a family ready to leave for America.

Friends of the magazine @TheFancyFoxNI were among the many amazing caterers to choose from in the field and provided my friend and I with some much needed warmth with delicious hot coffee and baked goods, rumour has it they even provided Una with Suki Belfast Green tea to warm her vocals up on what was a bit of a cold evening before the gig.

Una touched down in Larne having wowed audiences in the capital of American country music, Nashville, earlier this week in the now world famous Bluebird Cafe. Though the weather earlier in the day wasn’t on the side of the festival, Una wowed the audience with her amazing live vocals, 3 piece band and her guitar picking skills to perform beautiful country inspired tracks from her album like “Stay my love” and “staring at the moon” along with a few well-chosen covers like “Fields of gold” and 90’s hit “What If God Was One Of Us” before closing the show with her current single “Battlelines.”

The audience was a mix of young and old, seated, standing and even line dancing to some of Una’s tunes. Here’s hoping this celebration will grow year on year and become a permenant fixture in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council diary.

Keep an eye out for our interview with Una Healy in the next issue of GNI Magazine.

Pictures supplied by PressEye

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