Festival of Live Music to Shine at the 60th Ballina Salmon Festival

The Ballina Salmon Festival, celebrating its 60th anniversary from July 6th to 14th, 2024, promises a rich celebration of Mayo’s cultural heritage and community spirit, with a special focus on musical festivities. This milestone event invites visitors of all ages to enjoy in a variety of live and interactive events, with a particular treat for music lovers.

The festivities kick off on July 6th, Saturday with ‘Cruinniú na mBád’ or Gathering of the Boats, bringing a fleet of boats up the river Moy, to be anchored by the first bridge parallel to Clare St. Land based activities will take place on Batchelors walk, Ballina from 6pm, and everyone is invited to join us for an afternoon of maritime heritage, community spirit, and festive celebrations. Witness the vibrant display of boats on the river Moy, serenaded by The Ballina Band of Brass, under the direction of Jackie Greham, together with the Foxford Brass and Reed Band, under the direction of Laurie Barrett.

National Heritage Day on July 10th, returns for its 34thg year, transporting visitors to a bygone era through traditional Irish songs, craftspeople, and market stalls brimming with handcrafted treasures. Imagine strolling through Ballina’s vibrant streets, surrounded by the nostalgic sounds of steam engines and the aroma of threshers, while multiple stages, a Ceili Marquee, and pop-up performances bring history to life.

New this year is the IQ (Innovation Quarter), where music enthusiasts can revel in live performances. Highlights include:

  • Mike Denver on July 11th, bringing his signature country tunes.
  • CEOL on July 12th, showcasing their vibrant and contemporary Irish music.

The excitement continues with the Festival Birthday Bash on July 13th, featuring Irish dance by Atlantic Rhythm and live music, culminating in a thrilling performance by the renowned band Cronin from 9:30 pm, followed by the traditional spectacular fireworks display.

Adding to the festival’s dynamic atmosphere, Ballina’s town centre will be animated with buskers, as part of the festival busking competition, contributing their unique sounds to the week-long celebration.

A special highlight is Max Zaska, the musician in residence for the 2024 NAVIGATOR residency programme at Ballina Arts Centre. Max, a celebrated guitarist, songwriter, musical director, and producer known for his feel-good blend of modern funk, neo-soul, and indie jazz, will be resident from July 8th to 15th. During his residency, Max is eager to connect with local musicians and will also conduct workshops, enriching the community with his expertise and vibrant musical style.

Other musical events include Remembering the Sound of Music’, directed by Maureen Lawlor of Centre Stage Vocal academy, in the Ballina Arts Centre, the Craoibhin Barn Dance with live music by Trevor Moyles (Tickets can be bought on the door) AND the legendry PJ Duffy and his band returns to play a very special festival Jazz session in the Cot and Cobble on July 9th, Tuesday night from 9pm.

Festival Chairperson Mary Dunne stated, “We are thrilled to celebrate 60 years of the Ballina Salmon Festival with such an incredible lineup of musical talent. From traditional Irish tunes to modern funk and indie jazz, this year’s festival promises a vibrant and diverse musical experience for all.”

Join us at the 60th Ballina Salmon Festival for a memorable celebration of music, heritage, and community spirit!