Now in its 20th year, The ‘International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival’ started out with only 20 gigs and has now progressed into one of the World’s most popular blues festivals boasting over 90 gigs.

The Big Dog's gonna rock the Bay!

Picturesque Warrenpoint is once again set to play host to some of the world’s leading blues and jazz performers who are heading to the Co. Down town for the 20th International Guinness® Blues on the Bay Festival from 23-28 May 2018.  Sponsored by Diageo, the festival attracts thousands of music loving locals and tourists with many coming from across the globe to visit the renowned festival.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the International Guinness® Blues on the Bay Festival guarantees six days of over 100 free blues and jazz gigs, music workshops and jamming sessions featuring artists from across the globe and closer to home, as well as a wide range of specialist cuisine.

Headlining this year’s event is shall be James Bay band members Andy Cortes and Gerry Morgan under the showcase title ‘The TransAtlantic Blues Club’!  Joining this showcase showstopper are Californian original artist; Shawn Jones and Sam Bolle (Philip Sayce Band).   Blues fans will also  be treated to a musical extravaganza with live legends such as Chicago’s guitar blazer, Big Dog Mercer and Hungarian harmonica maestro, Jumpin’ Matt Pribojszki Other highlights include showcases for emerging musicians on the Bluesberry Fringe and a wealth of established pros in the international blues festival circuit including Pat McManus, Rab McCullough, Ronnie Greer, Linley Hamilton, Mirenda Rosenberg, Rev Doc, Crow Black Chicken, Ralph McLean, Green Tangerines and The Bluez Katz Blues Band.

Paul Callan, Diageo Northern Ireland, said; “The International Guinness® Blues on the Bay Festival is an annual highlight for thousands of visitors each year both from across Ireland and overseas. Guinness has been supporting the festival for the last 20 years and it is a great fit for our brand with talent, passion and fun always on show.

At Diageo we are committed to playing our part in helping to expand Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality offering and The International Guinness® Blues on the Bay Festival plays a key role in doing exactly that.  We take great delight in seeing how the festival continues to evolve year after year and a special thank you must go to the bars, restaurants and hotels in Warrenpoint and the surrounding area for their help and continued support of Diageo and this event.”

Commenting on the programme, Event Director, Ian Sands added; “There is something for everyone at the International Guinness® ‘Blues on the Bay Festival, we are bringing together top class international jazz and blues performers and teaming this with our world renowned food and hospitality.  Tourists coming to the event will be truly spoiled for choice, quality and good times.”

The 20th International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival is supported by Diageo Northern Ireland; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; The Quays Newry; WBR Chamber of Commerce; Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Tourism NI.

The festival organiser’s have always stuck to the principal of it being a ‘musicians festival’ and it is the music that has always been its key to success. Similarly, as the event is a not-for-profit, voluntary project, costs to festival goers has always been great value-for-money.

Over the years, artists like Van Morrison, Peter Green, Paul Jones and Dr Feelgood have appeared in small intimate venues.

Many of the headliners have came back several times, simply because of the warm and friendly atmosphere during festival weekend.

There is something for everyone at the Warrenpoint ‘Blues on the Bay’ festival and because there is plenty of great restaurants and bars hosting fantastic top class international blues performers; tourists coming to the event will be truly spoiled for choice and quality! Don’t forget we have family fun and food at

‘BLUESBERRY IN CHURCH GARDENS’ too – continental food, 80-piece orchestra, gospel, youth entertainment…phew! So much to enjoy : 23rd to 28th May 2018 – A blistering 6-day bank holiday belter!

Ian Sands – Bay Blues Project

Festival Artists
20th May 2018


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A Special Thank You To This Years Festival Artist

Special thanks and praise to Desy (Desy Redd Studio Design) for this amazing painting which will take pride of place in this year’s official poster program.

We wish her future successes and look forward to seeing more fantastic creations.

All this came to reality last year during the blues festival when we first discovered she was an artist and the idea was hatched!

“I am very flattered to be asked to create the art piece for the 20th Anniversary “Guinness Blues On The Bay’ Festival, Warrenpoint. I hope you like it and I am looking forward to seeing you at this year’s Festival.”