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 ………………………
Fahy foroige held a fun run/walk on the 25th May 2018.
The event was organised by our youth member Sarah Geraghty as part of her leadership program with all the money raised going to ‘Make a wish foundation’. Well done Sarah, a great evening was had by all involved.
BOTS 10 – What’s the fuss?
New Stage set-up
New T.Y. tent
Spectacular night-time effects using the L.E.D. wristbands
Lots of surprises.
Band on the Strand – A Brief History
Band on the Strand was the brainchild of Lacken Foróige leader’s, Nonie McGee and Anne-Marie Thompson. Ten years ago these visionary leaders decided to hold the first gig on the strand in Lacken, but little could they have imagined how popular the event would become.
How is the event organised?
Each Year a committee is formed to host the event. Some of those on the present committee have been there from the very first event and are still full of enthusiasm for this year’s show. A key factor every year is choosing a suitable date. The date is selected based on the conclusion of the state examinations in June and the tidal conditions being suitable to allow the stage and equipment to be set up. The date selected must allow for this and the tide to remain out for the duration of the show. The beautiful Lacken Strand is then zoned off and all security procedures are put in place.
How are the acts selected?
The acts are selected on the basis of their suitability, availability and popularity. Then, the long arduous task of negotiating with agents on fees and performance-related details begins, before the promotion swings into full motion.
Why do bands love to play at Band on the Strand?
The event is a very popular one with bands because of its unique setting and enthusiastic audience. The organising team also have shown a unique talent for spotting up-and coming talent. Many acts now consider, when getting the invitation to partake, that it is a positive sign of a bright future in the music business. The list of those who have appeared in the past read like who’s who of the modern Irish music scene. Acts like Kodaline (then Project 21), Walking on Cars, The Academic, Keywest and Bressie have all gone on to big international success following their appearance at Band on the Strand. Many when interviewed afterwards have recalled their fond memories of having graced the Bots stage in their formative years.
Why is it such a favourite among the attendees?
Who would not want to be on a beautiful beech amongst 3000 plus friends on a balmy July evening being entertained by some of Ireland’s most talented up-and-coming artists? Our members now realise that the event is synonymous with talent and do not want to miss out on the opportunity to be able to say; “ I was one of the first to see the band close-up, in an intimate setting before they went on to achieve international recognition,playing to packed stadia”. Of course there is also all the extra attractions which are developed and added to each year. This is truly a festival-goers paradise.
Band on the Strand 2018 – A Parent’s Guide
This is a Mayo Foróige led event. This event is on the Foróige Buddy System, so Foróige teen members can bring their non- Foróige friends so they can experience a Foróige led event.
Tickets are only 20 euro for Foróige members, 25 euro for non-members and light-up wristbands are five euro each.
A good policy to follow if bringing a ‘Plus one’ to Band On The Strand:
Your members plus one must:
- 1, Be in your own age bracket, plus or minus one year, example, if you are 14 years of age, your plus one must be aged 13, 14 or 15.
- Come in person to a club night along with his or her parent or guardian and sign a permission slip. NO “plus one” permission slips will be signed outside of club.
- Agree to pay, in advance the 25 euro for the ticket and 10 euro for the bus.
- Travel with members and be dropped off at same location, with member, coming home.
- You MUST be a secondary school student. NO NATIONAL SCHOOL STUDENTS PERMITTED.
All leaders should meet ALL plus one’s and their parent or guardian in person prior to this event. All Foróige members are responsible for their non Foróige plus one and you must make your plus one aware of Foróige rules.
Below are some frequently asked questions:
What is Band on the Strand?
Band on the Strand or ‘BOTS’ for short is an open air, youth music festival that is held every summer. It takes place on the Lacken Strand in north Mayo.
How much are Band on The Strand tickets?
20 euro for registered Foróige members and 25 euro for all plus ones.
Are bags permitted into Band On The Strand?
NO BAGS OF ANY SIZE will be permitted off the bus on arrival. Leaders are permitted to carry bags, but while permitted this is still not advised.
Will there be alcohol at this event, legal or otherwise?
This is strictly a no alcohol event. No alcohol is allowed into the venue and no alcohol will be offered for sale within the venue. All children/bags SHOULD be searched before boarding the bus at his or her starting point by their own Foróige leaders. If any child is found with or under the influence of alcohol, then a parent or guardian will be contacted to come and collect that child straight away.
On arrival event staff can request to again search the children or indeed the bus. No large bags of ruck sacks will be permitted leave the bus making it almost impossible for alcohol to enter this event.
ALL FOROIGE LEADERS ATTENDING THIS EVENT ARE PART RESPONSIBE FOR KEEPING ALCOHOL OUT.
DON’T LET YOURSELF OR YOUR CLUB DOWN. IF YOU SUSPECT A TEEN HAS CONSUMED
ALCOHOL THEN PLEASE NOTIFY THE EVENT STAFF AT ONCE.
Is smoking permitted at Band on The Strand?
This is a NO SMOKING EVENT, this applies to both adults and young people alike. Leaders are free to leave the event and return to the bus carparks if they feel the need to smoke. Again, this is not advisable as it may set a bad example to the teen members present.
Why do I have to list my “T.Y. and older members” separately when applying for tickets, are all tickets not the same?
This year the organizers of BOTS 2018 have decided to offer a little treat or special reward to all older Foróige members as a little thank you for choosing to stay on in Foróige, so this year all these older members (TY and up) will have access to a special marquee to the side of the main stage with lots of special treats just for them. This marquee may also be visited throughout the evening by some of the performing acts.
Please note, this is for ‘this years’ TY, 5th and Leaving Cert. age on or before July 1st 2017 and does not apply to this years’ 3rd year students, while this year’s 3rd years are going into TY they are effectively not in TY just yet.
What are the start and finish times for Band on the Strand?
BOTS runs from 7pm until 1am. However, gates into the event open at 6pm and will close at 7pm SHARP. You must arrive between 6pm and 7pm.
Where will Band On The Strand take place?
Band on the Strand takes place on Lacken Strand in North Mayo. The tide will be out and the strand is ring- fenced so all attending are safely secured inside a designated area of the strand.
On your GPS 54°16’27.0″N 9°15’23.6″W or you will find Google Maps directions here.
What time are the buses leaving/arriving back?
This will be based on geographical distance of the club from Lacken and will be gauged by the local leaders in your area. It is therefore necessary to get details regarding travel from your local club.
What should I wear to this event?
As with all outdoor events here in Ireland, expect the unexpected as far as the weather is concerned. Dress for the weather on the day bearing in mind it can get cool after dark also keep in mind, this strand is located in North Mayo and it isn’t unusual to get heavy evening showers at any time of the year. Some midge repellant is also a good item to have with you. This event takes place on a sandy strand so everyone is advised to wear low, flat casual footwear.
How many people will attend Band On The Strand?
2017’s event was attended by just over 3,000 young people from all over Ireland. Slightly larger numbers are expected to attend this year.
How much are the ticket’s?
- €20 for Foróige members.
- €25 for everyone else, example, plus one’s.
- €5 for L.E.D. wristbands.
When is payment due?
Payment for tickets is due now.
Who can attend this event?
This is a Foróige led event so any members of a Foróige club or a buddy (plus one) with permission from a Foroóige club can attend this event.
How safe is Band on The Strand?
As with all Foróige events, we can assure you that your child won’t find a safer, more secure event anywhere else. This event is attended by 100’s of adults from Foróige clubs all over Ireland and everyone there, looks out for everyone else.
How is Band On The Strand supervised?
Again, as with all Foróige events, you will have 1 adult present for every 8 children attending the event. Outside Foróige, no other event anywhere has this level of supervision at a teen event. Along with Foróige volunteers there will also be hired in security staff to also manage this event.
What other costs will be involved? Is food included in the ticket price?
This is a huge music festival with a number of top Irish bands and DJ’s playing live, the amazingly low 20 euro ticket price for Foróige members is purely for entry into the event and food is not included in that. There are a number of food stalls and chip vans on site for everyone to purchase food from. These vendors do very good meal deals so the food and drink is not too expensive.
There are also some vendors on site selling official event merchandise, key rings, T-shirts etc. but you are not obliged to purchase any of these unless you really want too. If you are bringing money with you to this event, please DO NOT bring large bills like 50 euro notes as most event stands or food trailers will refuse to take them.
My Questions is not addressed above, who do I contact?
For direct info regarding this event we suggest you contact 086 3792787 / 086 3862094 or your local Foróige club.
Tenth Anniversary of Band on the Strand
Finally after much anticipation the line-up for Bots 10 has been released, and it does not disappoint.
The organising team are receiving great praise for the quality of the line-up they have selected for the tenth anniversary show and it’s clear to see why when we examine this year’s event line-up.
So let’s take a look at this year’s show:
This year the event features not one, but three headline acts.
The Frank and Walters
The Frank and Walters are an alternative pop band from Cork city in Ireland. The band was founded in 1989 and named in honour of two eccentric Cork characters.[ The Frank and Walters are renowned for the quality of their live performances. Having had huge chart success throughout their career the lads were delighted to have reached a whole new audience following the use of their music in the extremely popular R.T.E. comedy series, “The Young Offenders”. Who will forget the memorable final episode when Billy Murphy had an entire busload merrily chant the utterly infectious Frank and Walter’s classic “After All”? This opened up the band’s music to a whole new audience and so they found themselves topping the download charts in recent months in Ireland.
Le Galaxie are an Irish electronic 5-piece, bursting with shimmering cyber-synths, pounding techno rhythms and sonic guitar wizardry. Their debut album Laserdisc Nights II was released in 2011, followed in 2012 by Fade to Forever EP and the single “Love System”, which was nominated for the Choice Music Prize ‘Song of the Year. Their second album Le Club was released to critical acclaim in 2015. Current album, “Pleasure” which was released in February has been hailed as their best work to date and is expected to be a real game changer for the band. The really big news recently has been a seismic line-up change: Le Galaxie have enlisted the services Mary Kate Geraghty, better known as former Fight Like Apes singer MayKay.
The band’s real strength is the quality of their live performances. Recently the band were delighted to play at the iconic global industry event SXSW Musc Festival in Austin Texas where they shared the stage with incredible acts from 32 countries around the world, including artists as varied as legends like Wyclef Jean and the renowned Frank Turner. Having performed at many festivals throughout Ireland including Electric Picnic, later this summer the band are top of the bill at the Indiependence festival in August but not before performing first at Band on the Strand.
Wild Youth are a pop and rock band formed in 2016 who have been formed out of the smouldering ashes of Dublin band Bipolar Empire. Having honed their songwriting skills over the past year working on their vision of creating songs that you will want to have with you throughout the day; at home , at work in the club, the band have proved their onstage worth over the past while with well-received performances at Longitude, Indiependence and Sea Sessions.
Wild Youth have seen their first two singles “All or Nothing” and “Lose Control” clock up well in excess of one million streams, that enabled them to go on triumphantly to play support to acts like Niall Horan and Picture This. In keeping with our knack of usually finding “the next big thing” as part of our bill we feel this is one act that you will not want to miss.
Back by popular demand is Naas rapper Aaron J Hart. Following his successful run to the final of this year’s “Ireland’s Got Talent” show Aaron’s powerfully truthful passionate songs, capturing his inner demons and troubles with mental health and addiction, have reached a whole new audience and have received a sensational response. As a result he is an artist that is much in demand and so we are delighted to have him return.
Danceworld is the west coast’s largest and successful dance and performance academy. Comprising over 250 dancers with classes in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport the group are no strangers to large audiences having performed to large audiences at sell-out shows throughout the country in Arts Centres and the TF Royal Theatre. With their colourful, vibrant and energetic take on modern dance this youthful group are an ideal opening act for Bots 10.
Having successfully negotiated a path to the semi-final of “Ireland’s Got Talent” where they wowed the judges, and in the process beating off competition from 9,000 acts who auditioned for the competition we are delighted to have the local traditional dance and music group Atlantic Rhythm. With their energetic mix of fast-paced music and energetic and innovative, highly choreographed dance routines the group are sure to go down a treat at Bots 10. Formed five years ago the group are no strangers to live performance having toured the country and Britain with their show. Atlantic Rhythm have also performed on a regular basis on television appearing on shows such as: “The Late Late Toy Show”, The Ray D’Arcy Show, some U.S. TV shows and during their successful run on TV3’s “Ireland’s Got Talent”
Described as Ireland’s next Riverdance this is act is a feast for both the eyes and the ears and we look forward to seeing them perform at the tenth anniversary show of Band on the Strand.
DJ Steven Cooper
The ever-popular DJ. Steven Cooper returns to close this year’s spectacular event. Having started out on iRadio, Steven now plies his trade as host of 98fm’s “Big Breakfast”. Steven’s lively up-to-the-minute set always proves itself to be an exhilaratingly energetic way to close the night and so we see no reason to break with tradition. Hence, we look forward to a dramatic and spectacular closure to this year’s special anniversary event.
by Melissa Mcloughlin
My name is Melissa Mcloughlin and I have recently been elected as the new chairperson for Mayo Foroige. I just want to congratulate all the 27 mayo foroige clubs who recently entered Foroige’s got talent on Saturday the 10th of February. Well done to all the acts you did all your clubs and leaders proud. The talent was outstanding in everyone and well done to all the runners up in the categories. Congratulations to the winning acts who will now represent Mayo in the finals in Carlow on Saturday the 14th of April. The acts that won the following categories were: Irishtown Juniors who won the variety act.
Castlebar Foroige won the singing category.
Tooreen Foroige who won the musical group.
Irishtown Seniors who won the dance category.
The word has to be said for Stephen Burke who puts his heart and soul in to Foroige and for making sure everything was running smoothly on the night. There was a great attendance on the night with just over 600+ audience and we were all entertained for just over 4 hours. It is always a great night and everyone enjoyed themselves.
So on behalf of Mayo Foroige I would just like to wish all the acts the very best of luck on the 14th of April and no matter what the outcome is just remember you represented Mayo on the night and your clubs.
Melisa Mcloughlin (Mayo Foroige Chairperson)
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by Lauren Fahy
Ballinrobe 3rd Year Foroige
On the 1st December 2017 I, a member of Ballinrobe 3rd Year Foroige Club, braved the Irish weather, took to the coast of Mayo and had the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. This was a trip we had been planning for a good while, especially the surfing. It was to be known as “Digital Detox” – a complete break from wifi, phones etc. An overnight stay was more than we had ever expected, and a night on an island exceeded it again. A forty minute bus ride behind us, five leaders and eighteen 3rd year girls unloaded into Louisburgh to gather supplies for the cold adventure ahead. Sweets, biscuits, crisps, popcorn and most importantly logs for our fire were some of the many things accumulated. We loaded up on the bus again and continued to our first destination – Carrowniskey beach.
The waves crashed and our teeth chattered from the cold or excitement I’m not quite sure. We pulled off our layers, grabbed the wetsuits and shoes and gathered for a debriefing. We were told the do’s and don’ts of surfing, to have fun and to try and catch as many waves as possible. We hit the water and the shrieks began, some laughter and some cries of shock. I’ve never laughed as much and the encouragement and admiration for each other made the experience so much better. The odd “Well done!” and “I can’t believe you did that” could be heard from underneath the brutally huge waves. One hour in the water was enough for some, but it was time to leave anyway. The ferry was leaving soon and we could not be late.
On the bus again to stop number two. The ferry port at Roonagh Pier. Up parked the bus, our bags on our backs, others being wheeled behind us. The bitter wind added an extra skip to our steps and we were on edge with excitement. A kind man held our hands as we climbed aboard. Our guitars were handled with such care – knowing the job we had for them later. A head count made sure all were present and then off we sailed. The mere 30 minutes sailing flew by. Songs were sang and pictures were taken as we watched the lights from the dock disappear.
We arrived on Clare Island in the pitch black, a friendly man collected all our bags and gear in his jeep at the pier and directed us on our way to the hostel. We laughed and laughed as we searched for our place to sleep. A ten minute walk was all it took. We unloaded the jeep outside the hostel and piled into the reception. Split into groups of 6, rooms were assigned and beds were chosen. Doors swung open and stayed that way as everyone was free to roam from room to room. We scouted out the place and made account of all the important rooms, such as the common room (where we would later spend most of our night) and the dining room (where we received some of the nicest homeliest food ever). We were summoned for dinner about an hour later and everyone tucked in – meat lovers and vegetarians we were all catered for! After dinner the real fun began. The owner gave us a place to watch the The Late Late Toys Show and the popcorn was made. Hot chocolate was later provided by our leaders – everything was just right. The night then consisted of card games, sing alongs and chit chat. The laughter rung throughout the hostel. Nobody cared what we looked like and we loved it that way. We wandered around in our pyjamas and slippers with not a care in the world until an ungodly hour when our eyes could no longer stay open.
9.30am, the next morning “Rise and Shine”. It all began again. Laughter and pyjamas – breakfast was served – and only then did we properly awake. Tracky bottoms and Foroige hoodies was the outfit of choice. Rooms were tidied and bags packed. We headed for the hills. When on Clare Island one must do some of the mandatory historical sites and off we went to visit Grainne O Malleys’ burial site – or so they say! That done we headed back to the hostel where lunch was served. A couple of card games later and we headed back out – some on another hike and others merely to the beach, where we drew pictures in the sand, sang songs, played football, had piggy back races and dipped our toes in.
The time had come to depart and more time we wished we had. Bags loaded again we walked down the hill for the last time. Our boat home awaited us. It was still bright this time and the ferry trip indulged our love for the amazing scenery. I sat on the top deck with all my friends and said farewell to Clare Island and one of the best two days of my life.
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If you are currently a member of a Foróige club in Mayo. We would like to hear what you have to say about Foróige. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and please encourage your fellow club members to do the same.. All information provided is anonymous and no data is collected that can identify who you are so please be honest.