Bands Festival first for Lisburn

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The city centre will come alive with the sound of music on Friday night (May 13) as some of Northern Ireland’s top bands travel to Lisburn for the first ever Festival of Marching Bands.

The festival, which it is hoped will be the first of many in Lisburn, is being organised by the Pride of Knockmore Flute Band and they are delighted to be hosting the display of musical talent.

The family friendly event is replacing the band’s own annual parade in the city and they are hoping that the community will come out in force to support the festival.

Pride of Knockmore bandmaster Ian Gilbert is encouraging local people from right across the community to come out and join in the fun of the festival.

“It is something different that will show our culture in the most positive way we can,” he said.

“We always had a band parade but we wanted to try something else that would promote the bands themselves in a different way.”

Leading the parade, which will make its way through the city centre twice, will be one of the most respected bands in the province, Millar Memorial Flute Band.

The bands have been specially invited by Pride of Knockmore to take part in the festival.

The full line up is a surprise but includes Omagh Protestant Boys, Cookstown Songs of William, Skeogh in the melody section. In the Blood and Thunder section will be, amongst others, Gertrude Star, Pride of the Hill and Robert Graham.

There will be many more revealed on the night.

“We have tried to get a good selection of bands and participation is by invite only,” continued Ian. “We have some of the best marching bands this country has to offer.”

The parade will muster at the Smithfield car park in Lisburn City Centre and will move off around the city centre at 8pm. The parade will complete two circuits of the city centre, giving both the crowd and the independent judges plenty of opportunity to see just what each band has to offer.

This will be an alcohol free zone and Pride of Knockmore are hoping that the people of Lisburn will come out to support this festival. “There will be a good, family-friendly atmosphere and we are really hoping that everyone in Lisburn will come along and support us on the night,” added Ian.