Sea Sessions – A Festival To Look Out For

We’ve all heard the likes of the more well-known festivals coming up this summer, including Longitude and the always popular Electric Picnic. But one event that I think will take the festival scene by storm this year, is Sea Sessions. Kicking off their 8th year from the 19th to the 21st of June, Sea Sessions is looking more appealing than ever before. Sure we have sun, sea and sand, but what else does it have to offer? seasessions20125231638705

The line-up this year is quite possibly the best they’ve had yet, and the reason that this festival is so popular is because of the diversity and difference between each and every artist. Headlining on Friday night is Example, an electric-house act who rose to fame in 2009 with the hit “Won’t Go Quietly”. Saturday night brings us American-blues musician Seasick Steve, who ironically enough has just released his “Sonic Soul Surfer” album, definitely a sign that he was meant to headline the festival this year! Sunday night brings us Maverick Sabre, who’s best known for topping the charts with his R&B hits, with a hint of folk. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? And these are only the headlining acts.

SeaSessions-Line-Up-New2015Throughout the weekend we’ll also have music by Klingande who has hits such as RIVA and the well-known Jubel. Ever popular The Riptide Movement will also be making an appearance, who rose to fame with their catchy hit “All Works Out”. And to add to all that, the funk rock act Black Grape will also be tagging along, as well as The Minutes gracing us with their rock blues sound. This festival has a diverse range of acts no doubt, but that’s not all there is to the exciting weekend.

Unlike many other festivals, the campsite is only a mere five minute walk to the festival grounds. Charging only €25 for the weekend, camping is student-friendly and definitely won’t break the bank. Your mind is put at ease with 24-hour security patrolling the site, as well as, *gasp*, hot showers! But if camping just isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a little more comfort, there’s plenty of hotels such as the Allingham Arms Hotel and the Central Hotel Bundoran situated nearby.

As well as the fact that there’s music to suit everyone, there’s also a variety of activities to suit us all at Sea Sessions. Every year they hold their “Barefoot Beach Olympics”, with events ranging from soccer to skating. Their World Cup style beach soccer is always a firm favourite, with a free drink for each team member included as well as a hefty cash prize for the winner. There can be a maximum of eight players on each team, and the tournament runs on Saturday and Sunday. Beach tag rugby is another popular activity, as you can register alone or as a team. The winners are even invited to the Barefoot wine bar for the presentation of their cash prize when the competition is over. Beach volleyball also proves to be a hit with the festival goers, but it also sees a mix of seasoned volleyball players from all over Ireland competing. sea sess

Sea sessions is also host to retro surfing and bodyboarding, ultimate Frisbee and skating, but the most popular activity by far is surfing. Sea Sessions is well known for this, and has the biggest prize in Irish surfing. It attracts the best names in the sport from all over Europe, and is the core focus of the festival. The top ten surfers in Europe are invited, and flown in to take part in the event.

As if there weren’t already enough reasons to attend Sea Sessions, they also sponsor a charity every year. This year they’ve chosen Rory Gallagher’s “Wish To Walk”. Rory was born in August 2012 in Sligo, named after the World Renowned Rock ‘n Blues Guitarist – Rory Gallagher. Eight months on, little Rory was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, and his parents were told that he would never walk. But his family were not prepared to give up, and discovered an American Nurologist, Dr. T.S Park who informed them that his team in Missouri, USA could undertake an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy that will enable Baby Rory to walk. Sea Sessions are helping to raise money for this.

At only €124.50, you really do get your money’s worth with a weekend ticket. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely hoping to attend after reading about the fantastic line-up, wide range of activities and Sea Session’s generous association with charity. A peaceful night’s sleep isn’t guaranteed, but a great weekend certainly is.

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Bright future ahead for star of The Voice, Nicola Lynch

Her stint on The Voice of Ireland may have come to a halt, but for pint-sized rapper Nicola Lynch from Ballycroy the journey has only just begun, as already she has been offered record deals.

Nicola is both amazed and delighted at the amount of people who want to work with her, but because she’s still signed to Universal it’s making things increasingly difficult, “It’s hard to pick them up now because I’m still signed to Universal. I’ve tried to contact them and tell them and say ‘let me go’, but they might be keeping me under contract and want to work with me.”

Nicola says that this situation has left her feeling a little lost, and stressing about the future “By the time I get told if I can be released from Universal, my offers I get now could be gone.” She says that all she wants is an answer to whether or not Universal are going to sign her, and jokes that they should know by now.

Nicola was quickly snapped up by Judge Una Foden during the auditions, who immediately recognised her unique talent and rapping skills. But rapping wasn’t something that she always did, and she says that she picked it up after hearing her brother doing it, “just to stand out a little”.

Beginning to sing from a very young age, her family always knew that she had talent. Her younger sister Jade recalls a time when Nicola was the angel in a nativity play back in National School, commenting on how wonderful she was.

Coming from a family of 15, which Nicola describes as “crazy”, means that she always had a large support group that constantly stick together, “Someone’s always experiencing something different in the house, so you’re going through the same as what they’re going through.” She says that they are a constant source of motivation and urge her not to give up on her dream, “I think I want it more because of them.”

But it’s not only her family and community that have gotten behind her. Nicola says that while attending national school, she received a huge amount of musical encouragement from her teacher Leona Conway. She says that she got her to enter competitions, sing for school plays, and even join the choir. She says this is what really got her into singing, and other people made her realise that she really did have talent, “I liked people telling me that they thought I was good!”

Nicola admits that working so hard only to be knocked out during the battles left her feeling a little defeated, but the worst thing was leaving behind all the friends that she’d made on her journey, “That’s one of the hardest things of leaving the competition, actually leaving them, it’s like you’re leaving your family behind.” She struggled to say goodbye to them but has stayed close to many of the amazing people that she met.

On this year’s show, they introduced the ‘Knockouts’ stage, something that’s never been done before. Nicola feels that this is where it may have went wrong for her, and says that she feels she would have gone further in the competition if it was down to votes because Mayo would get behind her, “I didn’t actually know it was knockouts. They kept it really secretive! When I found out I was against Niall and Chloe I was like, ‘I’m gone’.”

Speaking about the comments Bressie made that her rapping wasn’t clear on the night, Nicola reflects back on how she felt, “I was really pissed off at that, like really pissed off. Going on live TV and saying that, and to be told it was all for entertainment.” However she decided not to listen to him after getting positive feedback from the other three judges, as well as her fans, “I didn’t bother with Bressie, and not everyone listens to him anyways. I don’t listen to him. I thought at first I would have, but no.”

Her sister Jade also said that Nicola was very hurt by the comments, “For Bressie to say that kind of put her down.” But the offer she received only the day after she left The Voice put her back in good spirits. Jade said that she’s been asked to work with people who have dealings with shows such as Geordie Shore and The Valleys, “She was asked yeah, for a few people. I think the producer or something to do with Geordie Shore for some television kind of thing.”

Nicola knows that this is just the beginning for her, and already has solid plans set out for the future and is adamant to make it in the music industry, “I think I’ll keep trying now. I’m going to try to write a lot more of my own stuff and maybe with other artists. I think if you go along with other people that have a fan base you’ll build off them, and I think you need to go out and work now as hard as you can. My face is out there now, I think I need to just work around that and keep on it.”