Roamer: News Letter Festival of Marching Bands

Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye'News Letter Festival of Marching Bands'Ulster Hall, Belfast'Friday 17th October 2014'Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band from Crawfordsburn.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye'News Letter Festival of Marching Bands'Ulster Hall, Belfast'Friday 17th October 2014'Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band from Crawfordsburn.

The well established News Letter Festival of Marching Bands at the Ulster Hall in Belfast is now just two weeks away, and preparations are at an advanced stage.

The well established News Letter Festival of Marching Bands at the Ulster Hall in Belfast is now just two weeks away, and preparations are at an advanced stage.

Probably the broadest representation of the Ulster band movement to date with melody flute, blood and thunder, pipe, accordion and silver all represented, large crowds are guaranteed to be in attendance on Friday, October 9.

Tickets are selling well, and available directly from the Ulster Hall Box Office on Bedford Street or online. Some tickets will be available for ‘walk-ins’ on the evening.

There are now just a few weeks of outdoor events left as the band season draws to a close, and then begins to move into its annual phase of indoor concerts and fundraisers.

Last weekend however there were still no less than six processions taking place.

On Friday night the setting was Londonderry city, where the host band was the Caw Flute. With just a few ‘on the road’ years under their belt, the East Bank bandsmen and women have progressed rapidly, and the parade was a great success. Highlights included the always impressive William King Flute, Pride of the Bann Coleraine and Dunaghy.

Also on Friday night the Newtownabbey 1st Accordion hosted 24 bands in the Rathcoole Estate, with the Newry bands of South Down Defenders and Loyal Sons of Benagh both going strong.

While Newtownabbey were hosts north of Belfast, in the south of the city the Pride of Ballybeen Flute held their first ever band parade. A lengthy procession route attracted crowds throughout.

Saturday afternoon the place for bands to be was North Belfast, with successive events taking place, first for Whitewell Defenders and then for Pride of the Shore.

Sixteen bands attended the Defenders procession, with quality high and including the ‘Protestant Boys’ of Clogher, Ballynahinch and East Belfast.

A short time after the Pride of the Shore were the organisers of the Shore Road band parade, with this time 27 bands participating.

Later on Saturday night Castlederg Young Loyalists traditional band procession took place, this year attracting 36 bands and with representatives from all six Northern Ireland counties.

Large crowds of spectators witnessed an enjoyable procession, including a joint Castlederg Young Loyalists Flute with their Old Boys band.

If your band wishes to publicise an upcoming event you can contact Drumbeat by text or ringing Drumbeat at 07835624221; or visit our facebook page and leave a message.