01 June 2022

Commemorating Geordie at Bluegrass Omagh 2022

The BIB editor writes:

Thanks to Frank Galligan (writer, media presenter, organiser of the much-missed annual 'Bluegrass on the Walls' series at Derry, and for many years the incomparable MC of past Omagh festivals), who reports that many complaints have reached him about the absence of any mention or commemoration of Geordie McAdam (right) at this year's Bluegrass Omagh.

Three weeks ago Richard Hurst, head of the organising team of the Omagh festival from 1992, announced that he would review the festival's first thirty years in the Emigrants Gallery of the Park at mid-day on Saturday 28 May, in the latest of the 'McConversations' series of talks. In response to enquiry, Richard confirmed (see the BIB for 19 May) that Tony McAuley, Rodney McElrea, and Aidan McGale, as well as Geordie, would all be remembered. I attended Richard's presentation and can confirm that all these were mentioned with appropriate respect. Geordie appeared in several photos shown on screen, including one of the first incarnation of the Black Mountain String Band.

It is unfortunately true that neither on the Bluegrass Omagh website, nor on the Ulster American Folk Park Facebook, nor on the printed festival programme was there any mention of Richard's presentation - which nonetheless did have an audience of the size that the McAuley Lectures and their successors have usually had. I didn't manage to catch in full either of the sets by Geordie's former bandmates of the Broken String Band, but no doubt they paid tribute to him from the stage. The commemoration of Geordie could certainly have been a larger and better publicised part of Bluegrass Omagh 2022, but he did not go unmentioned.

Material published by the BIB about Geordie since his death can be found by clicking on the label 'Geordie' at the bottom of this post.

© Richard Hawkins

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