The Ballina Chamber have helped organise a recession busting free music festival weekend featuring the internationally famous Sharon Shannon and her big band and the Hothouse Flowers.
Hothouse Flowers will headline the opening night of the festival at a special open air concert on Friday August 12 in the centre of Ballina, while Sharon Shannon will headline on Saturday August 13. Top local bands Gorilla Radio and the O’Donnell Family will be providing the support.
Two lucky bands will be selected from the world busking competition which takes place in the town during the festival to share the stage in front of 10,000 music fans.
A fringe festival is to be staged in the towns numerous pubs, clubs, arts centre and hotels which will feature 30 bands, and with late licenses granted, the free music festival party will continue until the early hours.
Sandra Cribben the CEO at the Chamber said: “We are really excited about the music festival, it is just one of a number of events which are being staged in Ballina during the summer to attract tourists to the area. The event is being sponsored by the chamber, the council and local traders, it has also been given support from the Manchester Irish Festival www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk .It comes just four weeks after the internationally famous 10 day Salmon Arts Festival. We are bidding to stage the Fleadh in 2014, which we last staged in 1997. With this in mind, we have decided to stage the festival the weekend before this year’s Fleadh so that the musicians competing in the competition can fine tune their performances at our festival before they go to Cavan. The family friendly festival has something for all ages and promises to be a real celebration of the areas culture and heritage.”
An estimated 10,000 visitors and bands from all over the world will descend upon the town. The town’s hotels will be also be offering special discounted rates for visitors.
Anyone wanting to join in with the busking competition needs to register their interest with the Ballina Chamber by contacting them through facebook at Ballina Music Festival, or visit the festival website www.ballina.ie/twitter at www.twitter.com/ballina
August 12 and August 13 gates open at 6.30pm at Scoil Padraig, Market Road, Balllina Town Centre. Music begins at 7.30pm.