Garth Brooks fans urged to drown their sorrows at Big Marquee Weekend

Garth Brooks fans left broken-hearted at the US country music star’s Croke Park no-show last summer have been urged to flock to the village of Macosquin on Sunday 23 August where Jason Hughes, Ireland’s best-loved Garth Brooks tribute act, will join other big names in the local country music scene to bring the curtain down on the inaugural Big Marquee Weekend.  

The three-day music festival, which kicks off on Friday 21 August with a clubland DJ night headlined by Ultra Beat and Micky Modelle, will take place in a professionally-erected marquee in the car park of Mary Pat’s Bar.

Portadown’s renowned Bon Jovi tribute act Con Jovi and Belfast’s biggest Oasis dead ringers Roll With It will be the star attractions on Saturday in a Rock v Britpop face-off, with Cellar Door and Adam Buick providing top notch support.

And then on Sunday, hugely popular two-piece band JD County and the brilliant Ritchie Remo – whose version of Hit the Diff has now attracted more than half a million views on YouTube – will join Jason Hughes in laying on an all-day feast of country music.

Drew Hutchinson, who is organising the event with Robert Todd and the bar’s proprietor Hughie Hamilton, said he had been taken aback by the level of interest the Big Marquee Weekend has generated since being announced.

“What started off as quite a modest event when we first came up with the idea has really taken off,” said Drew.  “Kerry McLean has talked about it on her BBC Radio Ulster afternoon show and it’s been getting lots of mentions on social media.

“We’re now getting ticket enquiries from all over Northern Ireland, from across the border and from England.

“The quality and variety of the acts over the three days has been the key and no one will leave disappointed – unless, of course, we sell out before they’ve managed to get their hands on a ticket.

“The appearance of Jason Hughes on Sunday has excited a lot of people, particularly after Garth Brooks decided not to bring his big hat to Dublin last year.  

“Disappointed Garth fans have had refund money burning a hole in their pockets for a whole year now.  And at just £12 for a full day of country music, they will still have plenty left after buying a ticket.  I know some of them are still hurting after Garth’s snub, but I think a few drinks from the marquee’s fully-kitted bar will help to ease the pain.”     

Day tickets for the Big Marquee Weekend are priced at £10 for Friday and £12 on Saturday and Sunday.   A two-ticket is also available priced at £20.

Tickets can be purchased from Mary Pat’s Bar, Romaya Hair Sanctuary in Coleraine or by calling Tel: 028 7034 4659.

Jason Hughes, who will perform his critically-acclaimed Garth Brooks tribute show at the Big Marquee Weekend in Macosquin

Jason Hughes, who will perform his critically-acclaimed Garth Brooks tribute show at the Big Marquee Weekend in Macosquin