The long range weather forecast is looking good for the final weekend of this month, the line up is once again amazing – for my annual trip to Bundoran for Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival 2014 is a go for June 27th to 29th.
Mixed Blessings - Kevin Blessing
For anyone that has never attended this event, it is one I can heartily recommend. And for anyone who wants to see how a community can work together and put together a massive international event here in the north west, it’s a must.
This is the seventh year of Sea Sessions, and I have attended almost them all. It’s amazing to see how this event has grown and developed over the years. They started off with a beach party that got out of hand, and have ended up with what Hot Press has called “the runaway success of the Irish Festival scene”.
And for those hard pressed in the pocket, the festival organisers some how manage to keep it a very affordable affair. Tickets are only €99 this year for a full three day weekend pass or €109 for a weekend pass with camping - no doubt the Ballinamore gang will be tenting it again this year. This is always a great weekend for festival goers from Manorhamilton, Fenagh, Kinlough, Carrick On Shannon, Ballinaglera, Bornacoola, Dromahair, Mohill, Rossinver, Carrigallen, Glenfarne, Jamestown, Glencar or my hometown of Drumshanbo - there always seems to be a great gathering of Leitrim bodies at this event.
Every year, Sea Sessions has chosen a charity to assist. Over the years they have helped build houses in Haiti, given support to men with depression and helped take children with Autism surfing. As mentioned last week in this column, the guys at Sea Sessions have decided to work with our great local charity, Billy’s World, this year. The charity is a vision by the family of young Billy Byrne who passed away last year. The family want to build a holiday park outside Carrick on Shannon for families of children with mobility and other needs where the whole family can go together and enjoy holidays.
And another thing I love about Sea Sessions, you know Summer has well and truly landed once the annual countdown to Ireland’s biggest beach party commences.
The Quicksilver Expression Session will once again be the biggest cash prize in Irish Surfing with Australian Noah Lane expected to ruffle the feathers of last year’s winner William Alioti from the Reunion Islands. These guys are almost as good if not better on the board as the guy that featured in Guinness ad on TV in the early eighties, which Christy Moore sang about in Delerium Tremens.
“It’s a very spectator friendly format, so even if you aren’t that big into your surfing you can appreciate the skills these guys have. The Quicksilver Expression Session is the only surf event in Ireland to be sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals Europe. It’s a great event and a real focal point for Irish surfing”, said Pete Craig another of the organisers.
After a record level of entries in the Unsigned Band Sessions this year, the shortlist of ten acts have been chosen. It was a hard task to get it down to just ten acts, picking four to perform over the weekend is going to be very difficult” said festival booker Ray O’Donoghue.
The excitement was really building in Bundoran this week with the arrival and construction of the Sea Sessions half Pipe ramp for skaters and BMX’ers. The specially commissioned ramp is going to be located on the promenade overlooking the beach. There will also be the Vodafone stage overlooking the beach which will see the likes of Ella Eyre, the Minutes and loads more acts pack out the stage which is always over brimming with beach party atmosphere.
The Main Stage as always will be the main attraction. And with acts like The Dandy Warhols, Cavan lads The Strypes, Leftfield, Kelis and many more taking to the stage it’s easy to see the attraction.
“We really are looking forward to the event this year. It’s hard to believe that this will be our seventh year. We have learned a lot over the years and we are looking forward to having the best party we have ever thrown. We know we need to keep innovating and keeping the festival fresh and good value”, said Aidan Browne. If you’re looking for further details on the weekend events you can check out the official website on Seasessions.com
So if your heading to Sea Sessions this weekend don’t forget the sun factor cream and I will probably see you there!