Singer-songwriter sensation Lee Matthews and his big band will headline the last night of Big Marquee Weekend II on Sunday 1 May as the curtain comes down on the three-day festival with a stirring line-up of country music in the grounds of Mary Pat’s Bar, Macosquin.

They will be supported on another hugely impressive bill by rising local star Ben Currie, also making his debut appearance in the village, and JD Country who won rave reviews after playing at last year’s inaugural event.

27-year-old Lee has already achieved eight Irish country download number one singles, penning four of them himself including ‘That Country Girl’ and ‘There's Irish In Our Eyes.’ 

He is currently enjoying commercial success with his second number one album, ‘It’s A Great Day To Be Alive,’ featuring his re-worked version of 'Cotton Eye Joe' which also reached top spot in the singles charts.

  IRISH IN HIS EYES: Lee Matthews will top Sunday's eye-catching bill at Big Marquee Weekend II

IRISH IN HIS EYES: Lee Matthews will top Sunday's eye-catching bill at Big Marquee Weekend II

Lee said the Big Marquee was an ideal venue for his full big band show.

“I love taking my music to new places and playing in front of big, knowledgeable crowds,” he commented.  

“I understand the marquee was packed to the rafters throughout the weekend in 2015 and there’s already a big demand for tickets this year. 

“It promises to be a terrific three days of singing and dancing, and it’ll be wonderful for me to close the event with a taste of country on the Sunday night.”   

Drew Hutchinson - who is organising the event in partnership with Robert Todd, Elizabeth Todd and Hughie Hamiliton – said Big Marquee Weekend II was set for a memorable finale.

“We knew it would be a challenge to put together a Sunday afternoon and evening line-up as good as last year’s, but we’ve topped it,” he said.

“Lee Matthews is the man of the moment on the Irish country music scene.  He’s playing to sell-out crowds wherever he goes and recently picked up the award for Best Album at the 2016 Sunday World Country Music Awards.

“We’re also thrilled to have Ben Currie coming to Macosquin, a brilliant young talent who has already built up a loyal following of his own and is winning new fans all the time as more people get to hear his music. 

“And having JD Country back – this time with their big band – will ensure that the day gets off to a perfect start.”

  SUNDAY NIGHT CURRIE: Magherafelt country star Ben on his way to Mary Pat's

SUNDAY NIGHT CURRIE: Magherafelt country star Ben on his way to Mary Pat's

Drew, aka DJ Steady, will keep the crowd entertained between live performances with a selection of classic country favourites.

Last month it was announced that Scotland’s number one DJ Mallorca Lee will open Big Marquee Weekend II on Friday 29 April with a spectacular dance night, also featuring Craig Dalzell.

And the following day, Macosquin will be transformed into Madchester as Glasgow-based Stone Roses tribute band Resurrection and Belfast’s Oasis copycats Roll With It top the bill with support from Coleraine’s ever-popular Cellar Door.

Tickets for Big Marquee Weekend II go on sale on Friday 18 March from Mary Pat’s Bar, Card Land in Coleraine, Lou’s Boutique in Ballymoney, Jingles of Portrush or by calling Tel: 028 7034 4659.

Day tickets are priced at £10 for Friday, and £15 for Saturday and Sunday.   A two-day pass is also available priced at £25.