Ards International Guitar Festival 2017

Book your tickets for the guitar event of the year

useful info

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9181 0803


Tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone at Ards Arts Centre withy credit cards, cash and cheques. Tickets can also be purchased from any of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Visitor Information Centres, and North Down Museum.

Or you can book online here

Please note that tickets cannot be held without payment and are non-refundable. There will be a £1 postage charge on all tickets posted out.

There are a number of car parks in Newtownards, in close proximity to festival venues. If directions are required, please contact Ards Arts Centre.

Access arrangements vary according to venue. Please contact Ards Arts to discuss, prior to booking tickets.

Contact Ards and North Down Visitor Information Centre, Regent Street, Newtownards for information on accommodation in the area.
Telephone: +44 (0)28 9182 6846

Lifetime Achievement Award

Every year Ards International Guitar Festival will choose someone to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their work with the guitar. The very first award was presented in 1999.

The recipients to date are:

  • 1999 – Norman Watson
  • 2000 – Davey Graham
  • 2001 – Henry McCullough
  • 2002 – John Renbourn
  • 2003 – Louis Stewart
  • 2004 – John Martyn
  • 2005 – Arty McGlynn
  • 2006 – Martin Simpson
  • 2007 – Eric Bell
  • 2008 – Gordon Giltrap
  • 2009 – Pat McManus
  • 2010 – Gerry Donahue
  • 2011 – Carlos Bonell
  • 2012 – Martin Taylor
  • 2013 – Preston Reed
  • 2014 – Pierre Bensusan
  • 2016 – Martin Carthy

So who will receive the award this year???

Special Thanks to Anthony Toner as guest programmer and to Marty Coney and all at the Ivy Bar, Ernie McMillen and the team at Avalon Guitars and to Paul McMordie, Paul O’Neill, Darren Porter, George Lowden and the team at Lowden Guitars and Andrew Cooke.