Final countdown to the Farmers’ Bash

FARMERS BASH RI Farm
right: Country singer Clodagh Lawlor with Downtown Radio presenter Kirstie McMurray at Ballymena’s Tower Centre to promote this year’s Farmers’ Bash concert. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

WITH just over a week until Friday, October 11, the Farmers’ Bash, in association with FarmWeek, is set to descend on the SSE Arena, Belfast, for its third year in a row – with promises to be bigger and better than ever.

After the summer-time success of the Farmers’ Bash on the Beach, which sold out to capacity in Portrush, a predicted crowd of 9,000 and more country music enthusiasts are waiting in anticipation to travel to Belfast from all across Ireland, Scotland and beyond, to dance and jive the night away at Ireland’s biggest indoor country dance.

right: Country singers Mike Denver and Johnny Brady, along with Downtown Radio presenter Kirstie McMurray, brought their tractor to Ballymena’s Tower Centre to promote this year’s Farmers’ Bash concert. Picture

Fans will also be in for a real treat this year, when two of Irish country music’s biggest stars – Derek Ryan and Cliona Hagan – will exclusively perform their Number 1, brand new duet single ‘Only Getting Started’ live together for the first time. Show opener Cliona will join headline performer Derek Ryan to close the show, in what will be elation for fans of the two singers.

The Farmers’ Bash promised its third year would be “the biggest show yet”, and this year’s line-up does not disappoint, as joining Derek Ryan and Cliona Hagan will be country favourites Mike Denver and Johnny Brady. The Farmers’ Bash is also known for its much-anticipated ‘special guest’ line-up which this year includes The Wurzels, best known for their Number 1 hit ‘The Combine Harvester’, who are sure to have the country crowd all on their feet. Plus, YouTube viral sensations Steve N Seagulls.

A brainchild of promoters Nigel Campbell and LSFX Productions supremo Darren Gardiner, both no strangers to running large-scale events, the Farmers’ Bash was to some considered a gamble. But taking ‘country’ away from the local community hall and marquees for one night has evidently paid off, with the Farmers’ Bash now being referred to as the “watershed moment” for the Irish country music scene and community.

Raising the bar for country shows, the Farmers’ Bash is now a firm favourite on the map in Belfast for thousands of country fans. So much was the experience and feel good about the event that the country-cousin city slickers turned out in their thousands to give the boys from the country a run for their money on the dance floor, many even wearing the customary garb of check shirt, stone-washed denim and tan boots.

LEFT: Country singers Mike Denver and Johnny Brady, along with Young Farmers’ Club members Gail McCullough, Zita McNaugher (president) and Lydia Simpson, out and about in Ballymena to promote this year’s Farmers’ Bash concert, which takes place on Friday October 11 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture

n With ticket availability now limited, country music fans wanting to go to one of the biggest nights of the year can buy tickets at www.ssearenabelfast.com

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