ON THE BILL Aslan are among the big-name acts performing at Ballinrobe Festival.
Music, films, fireworks, family fun and more
The silver screen, international acts and country stars are just some of what you can expect at Ballinrobe Festival 2019. Building on last year’s sell-out success, the town is gearing up to host a jam-packed six-day festival schedule for all the family, starting today (Tuesday), July 23, and running all the way through to Sunday, July 28.
Music acts will include legendary Dublin group, Aslan, country-singing sensation Cliona Hagan and cult act The Riptide Movement, who will take the stage at the Credit Union Barn at Abbey Street.
Speaking ahead of the official opening of the festival, the event’s chairperson, Monica Horan, was excited about securing big-name acts again this year, while the festival’s expansion from three days to six was also cause for celebration.
“Last year was such a success with the community of Ballinrobe and surrounding areas really supporting it that we wanted to really pull out all the stops this year,” she said. “The festival has something for everyone, we’ve Cliona for the jivers, some nostalgia with Aslan and a great act that’s doing phenomenally well with The Riptide Movement. Not to mention a host of other events we’ve added. And all this would not be possible without our sponsors who we depend on and really appreciate each year.”
Word has been spreading too, and demand for festival tickets has been brisk. “We can’t believe the ticket sales to be honest,” said committee member, Pat Donnellan. “It goes to show that if you put quality entertainment on for people they will support it. It looks like it will be a sell-out definitely, so people really should get their tickets now.”
Events added to the list include a cinema day tomorrow (Wednesday), July 24, where for one day only the cinema will once again make a return to the town. There will be four screenings, throughout the day and into the evening – ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘ET’, ‘The Greatest Showman’ and ‘A Star is Born’.
Making another return to the town is the Race Day Dance (sponsored by JJ Burke Car Sales) after Ballinrobe Races today (Tuesday) where Cliona Hagan will take the stage, supported by Stuart Moyles.
Friday will see a Teddy Bear’s Picnic and an Afternoon Tea Dance at the barn. Watch out for other kids’ events too, including a Make and Bake and a Slime Lab, along with a pizza-making workshop at Supermac’s.
Each day throughout the festival there will also be Lunch Time Wellness thanks to Ballinrobe Physiotherapy Clinic. Online fitness and trainer Brian Keane, creator of Ireland and the UK’s top-rated health podcasts, will impart health and nutrition knowledge on Wednesday, while Thursday will see Mary Jackson do ‘tapping’ to help reduce headaches and stress and on Friday, Mary McHugh will run a mindfulness session.
A new introduction this year is sure to be a hit: Thursday night’s A Celebration of Ballinrobe (sponsored by AIB) will showcase the best of Ballinrobe’s award-winning talent, including Ballinrobe Musical Society, Wilde River Drama Group, Glór na Róba Folk Choir and Seán Costello.
Aslan will take to the stage on Friday night (sponsored by Supermac’s), with Ballinrobe’s own Faraway Martin playing support. Saturday night will see festival goers entertained by The Riptide Movement (sponsored by St Colman’s Credit Union), supported by local talent, Con Murphy.
It’s not just the humans who are being catered for this year either. On Sunday morning, furry friends will get in on the action at the festival ‘Bark in the Park’ at The Green at 11.30pm, followed by a Pet NCT (sponsored by Skeldale Veterinary).
Later there will be kids’ fun with RTÉ Junior’s Ciara Murray and John Sharpson, followed by the annual highlight of the festival, the Queen of the Lakes (sponsored by Ashford Castle), where MC Alan Murphy of Galway Bay FM will put the ladies through their paces.
Sky’s the limit
The stunning Ballinrobe Library plays host again to the much-anticipated ‘Live at the Library’ (sponsored by Joanne Hynes Total Health Pharmacy). Vickers Vimy will headline the intimate acoustic gig, joined by Aoife Wolf, Mark Spellman and Faraway Martin.
The festival will end on a high, with a fireworks display, thanks to Cummin’s Homevalue Hardware and Cummins SuperValu, will take place following the crowning of the 2019 Queen of the Lakes.
Other events throughout the week include a kids’ disco, Cornmarket Vintage Day and a biodiversity river walk, along with paddle boarding on the Bowers and a tour of the Harry Clarke Windows.
Tickets for various festival events are available now from www.ballinrobe.eventbrite.com or Martin Murphy’s Newsagent.