05 October 2017

Snapshots from Omagh 2017

The BIB editor writes:

This is a very belated, fragmentary, and inadequate indication of how enjoyable this year's 26th Bluegrass Music Festival was at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, just over a month ago. We may longingly recall the years when Pinecone would ship in bands and clogging teams from North Carolina; when the main marquee and the beer tent had video screens giving at least as good a view of the stage as one got from a concert seat; and when... (fill in your personal memory here). But it's important to recognise what a tremendous job Richard Hurst and his team are doing within the limits set by National Museums Northern Ireland. Thanks again to Richard, Patrick, and all the staff at the Park.

The four photos below, taken by Carol Hawkins, show only a few of the groups we enjoyed. Unfortunately, we didn't get a snap at the 'McLecture', held this year in honour of both Tony McAuley and Rodney McElrea, in which Frank Galligan interviewed Dale Ann Bradley, this year's headliner; it was one of the most moving experiences I've had at Omagh.

Is there anything I'd change? Well, the space provided for jammers (in the Pennsylvania Barn) was greatly appreciated, and I hope it always remains a feature of the Festival. But jammers should sit facing one another, not an audience - a jam is not a performance. Circle those haybales! [See comments below.]

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At 7:50 am, Blogger Colin Henry said...

In fact Richard we did initially circle the bales but people coming along with their instruments felt it was a private exclusive jam and did not stay so we opened it up.

At 11:14 am, Blogger Richard Hawkins said...

Perhaps there could be a sign saying 'This is an OPEN jam'?


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