Tractors welcome at drive-in country music event in Northern Ireland

The Province is set for its first ever drive-in country music concert next month ... with a section reserved for those who come on their tractors.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 2:34 pm

The Farmers Bash Country Drive-In will take place at Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday, July 4 with upwards of 400 vehicles expected.

The line-up at what is understood to be Ireland’s first ever country music drive-in will see Derek Ryan, Marty Mone and country queen Philomena Begley take to the huge stage performing for the first time in weeks in front of a live audience.

The music at the concert can be transmitted via FM to car radios or fans can listen with their windows down or sunroofs open.

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On-site toilets with controlled queuing will be available but only if absolutely necessary. There will be a selection of food available with providers serving directly to cars.

Promoter Darren Gardiner from LSFX Productions said that preparing for the event will be challenging and in light of Government and Public Health regulations said that ticket holders must adhere to strict guidelines whilst attending.

He said: ‘The safety of our staff and attendees is paramount at all times and although we want to encourage country music fans to come along and enjoy this ‘first ever’ experience, it will be compulsory that everyone adheres to our strict COVID-19 ‘Visit Safe’ guidelines. The message is simple; come in your car….stay in your car….leave in your car”.

He said to give the concert an added dimension and in keeping with the Farmers’ Bash rural audience, a limited tractor park section within the grounds will also be available with strict social distancing guidelines being observed at the event which is supported by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.

Meanwhile a special documentary is to be broadcast this Sunday morning at 10am on Downtown Radio about the current renaissance in country music and its popularity among young people.

Young and Cool: A Brief History of Country will be Kerri McIlroy’s first presenting role.

In the show the 27-year-old from Ballymena follows several of the young country stars of today including Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Lisa McHugh, Catherine McGrath and The Rising.

Kerri said: “It was fabulous meeting all these great country singers and hearing about their inspiration. We really get to the core of the history of country music in Ireland and why these musicians decided to take up the mantle.’

The programme by radio production company MIM has been funded by the Audio Content Fund - a scheme to help fund the creation of original radio production in the UK.

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