Buncrana Music Festival 2011

I often blog about music and gigs I have attended here, so I couldn’t exactly not right about the amazing festival that took place in my home town at the weekend.

Every summer, the week long music festival was a highlight in our town, and people travelled from all parts of the country to be there. It was mostly country and western music which I disliked, but the atmosphere in the town was amazing. The festival lay dormant for a number of years, and a new festival was revived by a committee of young people in Buncrana last year. The

Buncrana music and arts festival

is the largest non-profit festival in Ireland, and hopefully after the success of last weekend, it will continue to take place every year.

On Thursday evening I went to town to have dinner with my parents and our Spanish student before he went home. I met a couple of friends and we watched the

Studio47

dancers opening the festival. This was followed by performances from Derry band

Furlo

and Offally songwriter

Mundy</a

who were both brilliant! I went to the pub for an hour with my cousin to get heatened up before the night’s indoor gig in

the Plaza.

We watched

Mick Flannery

play a great set to a small but appreciative crowd. He would be among my top three favourite Irish singer/songwriters, so it was a very enjoyable gig for me.

We returned to the town’s main street on Friday night, where we only saw a small bit of

The Stunning’s performance

but they sounded great. The pubs were packed and there was lots of music, and it was difficult to know where to go, even more difficult when you decide to take your mum and aunt on a night out! It was definitely a night with a difference, but the downside was that I missed

The 4 Of Us,

which I regretted the next day because everybody told me that they were amazing.

O.J made his only appearance at the festival on Saturday afternoon, when I walked to town after taking him to the beach for a run. The street was buzzing and there were plenty of distractions, but he made a decent attempt at guiding me past everything. The strangers around town, as well as the warm weather meant that lots of people wanted to stop and talk to the dog. One of the stewards who was working at the door of a wrestling event kept asking me if O.J would come in for a match every time we walked past him.

That night my friends and I went to a friend’s engagement party, and then to the town for the end of the Knites of Leon, who always get a huge crowd when they regularly play in Buncrana. This was their first time to play on the street and the atmosphere was electric. Then I escaped to a small pub called Ruddens to hear a bit of

Mojo GoGo.

A friend offered to bring me because he heard they were good and thought I’d like them, and he was right. After a couple of drinks in another pub with my sister and her friends, we went to watch a U2 tribute band.

The Buncrana festival is known for its spectacular fireworks display at the beach on the closing night, and this year was no exception. Proceedded by music from

Balkan Alien Sound

and

TKO,

everyone said that the fireworks were fantastic. What was fantastic about them for me was that they were accompanied by none other than Toto’s

Bobby Kimball!

He had been on tour with a young Irish band called

Shadowplay,

who’s guitarist is from Inishowen. They played their own material, as well as some covers and Toto classics. Bobby Kimball might have had a few decades more experience than the Shadowplay boys, but they obviously impressed him, and it wasn’t hard to see why. They were more than capable of the job, and I know they will go on to do great things in the future. When the final fireworks went off, as the festival closed with the crowd singing along to ‘hold the line’, it was a proud moment for the people of Buncrana.

As with any festival, it is almost impossible to attend all the events that I would have liked too. I missed a few of the main bands, as well as many bands who played in the pubs and in one of the cafes which hosted live music during the four days. So, just because I didn’t mention a band doesn’t mean that they weren’t good! It was a great opportunity to spend time with friends, and meet people I haven’t seen in a while. It was fantastic to have my cousin around for the whole thing, because we like the same music so she wanted to come with me.

The festival committee must be congradulated for such hard work during the year, and for organising such a brilliant weekend. Everything went great and the events were on time. The committee brought the community spirit that Buncrana is known for back to the town, and hopefully this feel-good factor will continue, even though we have to wait until July 2012 for the next festival.

Bring it on!! 😀

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4 thoughts on “Buncrana Music Festival 2011

  1. Since we've decided I'm coming to visit, I will make sure I'm there next year. LOLSeriously though, it sounds awesome. I think I would loved it.And I think you're right-we have quite a bit in common…and I don't think I'm a weirdo…I don't think. 😉

  2. Yeah Beth, it features a mix now, mostly alternative music from local Irish artists, with the exception of Bobby Kimball! That was an unplanned bonus, because his tour happened to be during the same week. We weren't complaining though 🙂

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