By Colm Hendry
B.O.TS. 10 had to be a very special event in order to be a fitting legacy to the nine wonderful years of Band on the Strand and we are happy to report that it did not disappoint.
The B.O.T.S. 10 team were delighted that months of hard work handsomely paid off following a spectacular showcase event on Lacken Strand on July 7 2018.
This was B.O.T.S. on its grandest scale ever, with two stages, wonderful effects and some of Ireland’s top festival acts. But then this was always the ambition of the wonderfully dedicated B.O.T.S. 10 team. B.O.T.S. 10 simply had to be the best ever in order to celebrate ten wonderful years of the event. So did they carry it off? Most definitely YES! Feedback suggests it was a resounding success. Members described it as being “a brilliant night”, leaders commented on the quality of the show, acts involved were in awe of the unique setting and were highly complementary of the organisation, the professionalism of the event team and the exceptionally well-behaved audience. Invited guests from Foróige head office praised the organisers on the positive impact of the show. All were there to have a good night, and all left positively energised, very impressed and definitely buzzing.
On analysing it is clear to see why B.O.T.S. 10 lived up to all the hype. The conditions were perfect – who wouldn’t want to be in the heavenly setting of Lacken Strand in glorious sunny weather amongst friends? The acts were top class, the sound and lighting was top-spec and the added attractions were plentiful.
The action on the side stage kicked off at 7.00pm with the all-action modern dance group “Danceworld” entertaining the crowd with their carefully choreographed energetic routine. The main stage then featured two of the most popular acts from this year’s “Ireland’s Got Talent” show. “Atlantic Rhythm” gave a captivating cultural performance of lively Sean-nós and Irish dancing backed-up by a wonderfully talented group of traditional musicians and they were followed on stage by rapper Aaron J whose show illustrated clearly why he was a finalist in the show and is regarded as Ireland’s top rap artist.
Those seeking a little nostalgia were catered for with the rejuvenated “Frank and Walters” who are now reaching a whole new audience, following the use of their song, “After All” on “The Young Offenders”. Their catchy hit singles with their sing -along choruses proved popular with both the young and older members of the audience. Ashley, the band’s lead singer was most impressed with the concept of the show, the great reception they received and the Mayo Foróige foresight in coming up with such an event.
Band on the Strand has always had a knack of featuring an act that goes on to be highly successful such as “The Academic”, “Walking on Cars”,” Kodaline”, “Bressie” and “Keywest” in past years. In this category this year we had “Wild Youth” This young act is currently gaining much attention and radio play and their performance at B.O.T.S. 10 went down a treat, especially when they played their current single, ”Can’t Move On”. Based on this performance we can safely say that great things lie ahead for “Wild Youth”.
One touching moment from the night was the presentation of flowers to event founders, Nonie McGee and Ann Marie Thompson in appreciation for the vision shown and effort given to bring Band on the Strand to attain the status it currently enjoys in Foróige circles.
When darkness falls Band on the Strand always takes on a unique atmosphere. Now the powerful new stage lighting and the addition of a new L.E.D. stage covering the entirety of the back wall of the main stage added that extra dimension to the quality of the show. On the side stage “Inferno” gave an eye-catchingly awesome display of fire juggling and pyrotechnical wizardly that had their audience enraptured and made for some spectacular photographs across their two performances.
A visually-stunning fireworks display from “Rocket Pyrotechnics” against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and a starry sky was an unexpected highlight for many in attendance. This captivating display is one that will provide many fond memories for all present when they recall their memories of B.O.T.S. 10
This was the perfect lead-in to Ireland’s leading dance act Le Galaxie who gave a powerhouse performance befitting their reputation as Ireland’s number one live act. The band worked their audience wonderfully well, even to the point of inviting twenty Foróige members up on stage to join in with a dance routine for one of their songs. A statement from the band recorded that they all really enjoyed their experiences at B.O.T.S. and how they revelled in playing in such a unique setting to such a wonderful audience.
Back by popular demand 98Fm D.J. Steven Cooper had the beach bouncing to his energetic set of top tunes. Wristbands flashed a rainbow of bright colours as an effervescent audience danced into the early hours of the morning before the show came to a climactic ending.
As the audience departed, on the beach a team was busy tidying up and restoring the beach to its former natural splendour. Then all that remained was for audiences to embark on the bus journey home, one that was shortened by pleasant memories and lots of tales about the highlights of B.O.T.S. for each of the club members. Questions would abound: Who shifted who? What was your favourite part of a wonderful evening?, younger members enquired from their older counterparts as to what the older members area was like with its magician, mocktails and ambient atmosphere, who were the crazy leaders with the bubbles and squirt guns? Etc.
So what will they come up with next to top B.O.T.S. 10 – only the future will tell.
We will just have to wait and see. Here’s to B.O.T.S. 11 ………………………