From Dingle to Derry, New York to Belfast, Texas to London, Berlin and beyond, Ballina joins the global network of towns and cities that map the rich and diverse musical journey of Other Voices.
At the end of September, the Mayo town will explode into life with song, story, conversation and debate, a weekend of live music, creative partnerships and diverse discussions with artists and speakers from across the world, joining together to raise their voices. The Other Voices live TV recordings will take place in the 250-year old St. Michael’s Church in the heart of Ballina, while the Other Voices Music Trail will run across a multitude of venues, bars, pubs and clubs throughout the town. Ireland’s Edge Ballina, an extension of Ireland’s Edge, the renowned annual culture and creativity conference, will be a mixture of debate, performance and discussion that aims to contribute to the positioning of Ireland, particularly rural Ireland, as a viable, dynamic location and environment for world leading developments in creative technology industries.
Also taking place during the Other Voices Ballina weekend will be the annual Food Fleadh Ballina, hosted by Ballina Chamber of Commerce at the Old Military Quarter in the town centre. This culinary feast will highlight the very best local, seasonal, sustainable food, a wealth of produce from the fertile lands and rivers of Ballina and North Mayo. Along with a host of market stalls and tasting menus, join many of Mayo’s most celebrated chefs and food producers for demonstrations, workshops and much more.
Pictured at the launch of Other Voices Ballina in St. Michael’s Church, Ballina, Co. Mayo were Other Voices presenter and Le Galaxie frontwoman May Kay and Westport singer-songwriter Maria Kelly
Speaking at the launch of Other Voices Ballina 2018 in St. Michael’s Church on Thursday June 14th, Tom Gilligan, Director of Services at Mayo County Council said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Other Voices is coming to Ballina. Other Voices coming to Ballina represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase the remarkable cultural talent and gifts the town possesses in music and the arts. This is a game changer for Mayo and represents our passion for music and culture. It’s our heartbeat, it’s what makes us unique.”
Speaking eloquently about the poignant emigration history of the West of Ireland and the the music that has been carried around the world by our people, Other Voices Executive Producer Philip King said: “All of us were delighted to accept the invitation to bring Other Voices to beautiful Ballina in Co. Mayo. We have strong connections with the county, Other Voices producer Tina O’Reilly is a Westport native and, in a way, producing Other Voices in Ballina is bringing it all back home for us.”
The first act to be announced for St. Michael’s Church in September is local songwriter and performer Maria Kelly. The Westport native is a true reflection of Other Voices on-going commitment to showcasing the very best emerging music talent. As one of the breakthrough Irish artists of 2018, Maria topped the poll in the Other Voices Open Call 2017, to secure a spot at the IMRO Other Room at Other Voices Dingle last December. Maria will be joined by a host of international and Irish acts at the TV recording event, with artists being announced over the coming months. Maria joined Other Voices presenter and Le Galaxie frontwoman May Kay, to celebrate the launch of Other Voices Ballina in St. Michael’s Church on Thursday June 14th.
Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, close to the mouth of Killala Bay, Ballina is one of Mayo’s most vibrant and friendly market towns, the pretty Georgian streetscapes offering up a flourishing culture of music, arts and entertainment. The town and surrounding North Mayo lands are steeped in history, from the ancient forests and woodlands of Belleek to the 6,000-year-old Céide Fields, the most extensive Stone-Age monument in the world. Ballina sits on the mighty River Moy, world famous for its bountiful salmon angling and the Ballina Salmon Festival which brings more than quarter of a million visitors to the town each year.
Music fans travelling for Other Voices Ballina will find a wealth of accommodations from 5-star hotels to charming guesthouses; restaurants dishing up delicious local, seasonal produce and the buzz of Food Fleadh Ballina in full swing, along with bars and pubs serving local, craft refreshments to whet all appetites. Uncover hidden gems in old time stores, browse galleries and bookshops, take a break with a coffee or settle back with a pint in the many cafes and hostelries dotted throughout or simply wander the banks of the beautiful Moy, the surging heart of this truly authentic Irish town.
The Other Voices Open Call Ballina 2018 is now accepting submissions. This year, Other Voices invite artists of all genres to submit one track to be considered for a performance slot on the Other Voices Ballina Music Trail in September 2018. For details and submissions see www.othervoices.ie
Other Voices Ballina 2018 is made possible with the support and partnership of Mayo County Council, Mayo.ie, Ballina Chamber, Mayo North, Ballina.ie, Wild Atlantic Way, Coca Cola, Ballina Arts Centre, The Jackie Clarke Collection, Music Generation Mayo and Core Music Hub.
We’re so delighted to be involved in this festival, which will shine a light on Ballina around the world, and look forward to bringing you news and updates over the coming weeks. At the launch today, the team at Food Fleadh Ballina gave our Other Voices guests a real Taste of Ballina, and we’re looking forward to lots more of the same in September.