3 good reasons to come to Sea Sessions

1. We have announced our line-up and we’re super excited to welcome the 2012 acts to Ireland’s biggest beach party. More acts to be announced next week, including day by day breakdown.

3 day weekend tickets are €88.50 and a day pass is €50

Memories OR some of what you missed from Sea Sessions 2011.

2. President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is to pop by on the Saturday of the festival and will give a speech. Wonder if he’ll be up for a surf lesson!!!

3. Don’t belive our hype! The Minutes are back again this year and here is why


Beach Sports and Beach Olympics (how to enter)

This year Sea Sessions will once again host Ireland’s most high-octane surf event (See Surfing page for more details)

Barefoot Wine Beach Sports
The beach soccer and tag rugby events are again being run by local clubs – Erne Wanderers and Ballyshannon Rugby Club. There is €500 prize money up for grabs at both events, registering a team costs €20. The Soccer Event will be based on the European Championships with each team choosing a country. The Tag Rugby event will also be a knock out competition, but will have a losers round so everyone is guaranteed two games.

We expect to run off all the group games and early rounds on the Saturday with the finals on the Sunday. The winning teams will again have a chance to scoop the overall prize of €500! After last years action-packed games, team places are sure to be at a premium! Register your team or your team place now by emailing seasessionsbeachsports@gmail.com. We will also form two teams for people who are entering solo or that can’t get a full team together. Some of the main rules are below:

- Squads of max 10 with 5 playing at any one time
- Registration will take place at 11am on Saturday morning at the main beach
- No footwear allowed during games
- We have some great prizes but all games are to be played with good humour (it is a festival)

Beach Handball – We will this year for the first time have a Handball event. There will be a clinic/exhibition match on the Saturday and a small competition on the Sunday. More details to follow soon!

Barefoot Wine Beach Olympics
Sea Sessions are celebrating Olympics year too – and you don’t need to go near London! Bundoran’s Main Beach and the powerful Atlantic Ocean will provide the perfect backdrop for the 2012 Sea Sessions Barefoot Wine Beach Olympics. It will be held across the weekend with a number of Olympic events. There will be lots of spot prizes for those taking part. More information to follow, so get practicing and you could be crowned the Ultimate Sea Sessions 2012 Olympian!

Sea Seassions Heineken Tour with Fujiya & Miyagi and 24hrs in Belfast

The Sea Sessions crew arrived in Belfast on Saturday to set up and run the second leg of our Heineken Tour events. What follows are 24hrs with us in Belfast.

Top night in The Black Box with Brighton wonder boys Fujiya & Miyagi and almost local, Tieranniesaur. The Dublin collective warmed the crowd up nicely with their very unique brand of quirky Pop / Rock.


Next up was Fujiya & Miyagi and they’re one of those bands that sound quite electronic but when you see it live it completely works but also sounds much rockier. Does that make sense? The vocals remind me of a 70′s band called Can but the music sound much more contemporary. Pulsating Bass, Heavy Guitar banging drums and a four four tempo.They were a great addition to the Sea Sessions list of acts and the Belfast crowd really took to them.

Fujiya and Miyagi

It’s kind of strange for Sea Sessions doing these gigs in Cities because we’re not by the sea or the beach but it’s definitely been worth it to bring a flavour of Sea Sessions and I guess a little taster of the big event. I’m looking forward to hearing  them on the main stage, Friday of the Festival. Next stops on the tour are Kinsale and Lahinch with the legendary DJ Herbaliser (May 5th and May 6th) and I expect that to be even closer to the real deal. There’s beaches, there’s surfers, there’s music we will party!! Bring it on!!! – words by Razor, Sea Sessions and Heineken Tour act booker.


6pm – Dinner at Made in Belfast a self named ‘Restolounge’, with a tag line ”Food, Art, Music, Love”. Their food was fantastic, just simple fresh seasonal ingredients all put together in a creative somewhat funky taste explosion way. Don’t eat anywhere else in Belfast, especially if you are a foodie.

Made in Belfast - City Hall

8pm – Doors opened at The Black Box to an awaiting crowd who came to see 2012 Choice Music Prize nominee Tieranniesaur and Brighton boys Fujiya & Miyagi.

12am – Wandered round the atmospheric bars dotted around the Cathedral quarter, settling for a local favourite, John Hewitt bar, named after the late poet. Good selection of beers, that taste good too.

Late – What goes on tour stays on tour.


The new Titanic Belfast building next to the Harland & Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was built. Irish Times photo.

So you’ve seen the film, sat through a documentary or two, maybe even been gifted a book about it for your birthday like me (thanks Aunty B.), and you reckon you’re fairly clued in on all things Titanic right? Well if you’re in Belfast anytime soon and fancy expanding that particular part of your grey matter, you could do far worse than a visit to the so-brand-spanking-new-it-hurts-your-eyes-to-look-at-it Titanic museum in Belfast.

This place opened a few weeks ago to as much of a frenzy as MTV could whip up. Ok, so it was the 100th anniversary of the ships departure from her birthplace in Belfast, where 15,000 hardy souls poured blood, sweat, tears, and in some cases, their lives, into building what still to this day is considered to be the fanciest, most spectacular, most posh, elegant, regal, you name it ship to have ever been built. Just a shame it also happened to be the most unlucky, or I’d probably have been stepping on to the ship itself for a tour 100 years on instead of into an ultra-modern building whose sole purpose is to pay homage to the one ship that has captured so many people’s imaginations.

Inside are a whopping 9 galleries covering all things Titanic, so if you’re brain hurts as much as mine did after three hours spent in there, my advice is to make use of the occasional period seating dotted around the place and just sit down, chill out, and take a breather, as there’s a lot to take in. The museum is interactive as well as visual, so you’ll be kept interested right the way through, and as if that wasn’t enough, the exhibition contains the world’s slowest rollercoaster ride…but I’ll say no more! Go check it out, and then rush home and watch that film you love to hate, or hate to love, all over again. Kate is mighty fine in it afterall ;)

24hrs was too short, Belfast is a great city with plenty to do and see. Hope to see you over the May bank holiday weekend in Cork or Lahinch. Wonder what we will get up to there, probably just surf.

Surfing & Action Sports Events

Barefoot Wine Expression Session in association with Billabong
The water is going to be just as hot as the music this year with Ireland’s largest cash prize in surfing on offer. Barefoot Wines have pulled out all the corks to get behind the landmark ‘Expression Session’ event which is the only surf competition in Ireland to be sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe.

The Barefoot Wine Expression Session in association with Billabong will see the top surfers of Europe eyeing up the cash prize and taking each other on in a ‘best move wins’ viewer-friendly format. Prize fund includes 3,000 Euro total prize purse for the overall winner, as well as an 11 day surf cruise worth 2,200 Euro in sun-drenched North Sumatra for best Irish surfer. Go to www.tradewindadventures.com for more information.

Last year the Expression Session was the first speciality event ASP Europe endorsed in Ireland or the UK, and saw the best of Europe pitted against the best in Ireland and the UK. It’s a testament to the quality of the event that’s staged here in Bundoran and also the quality of the waves in the area that it’s happening again this year” said festival organiser and co-owner of Bundoran Surf Co. Pete Craig. “The format is simple; the best move/wave depending on conditions wins the heat, simple as.

Once again, this invite only event will further cement Ireland’s place as one of the world’s best surfing destinations whilst giving exposure to some of the best surfers that ride its waves. The event will be mobile, with a three day waiting period from Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st July. The possible surf contest areas will include, Tullan Strand, The Peak, Inside left and Main Beach. The Expression Session is structured to allow it to run in two hours to maximise the chances of calling it when the best waves and tides occur. We will announce when the contest is ‘ON’ as soon as possible, so keep an eye on event screens and online for updates during the festival weekend.

The event will be videoed for all to see, and will be posted online. ASP Europe will be in attendance giving all the competing surfers a chance to gain recognition on the Continent. The Event has a limited entry and no entry on the day is allowed, so if you are interested in getting involved email seasessionssurf@gmail.com.

Confirmed Surfers (to date)
Previous Expression Session winners Alan Stokes (Cornwall), and Cain Kilcullen (Co. Sligo) will this year be joined by Billabong Team rider Reubyn Ash (Cornwall) who is at the forefront of ariel surfing. More TBA.

Alan Stokes commenting on his 2011 win; “It is not a bad day’s work really,” laughed Stokes, “Stoked and really happy with the win. There were great waves in the end and it was good to have it on a wedge because it is high performance surfing and it all came good. It is my first trip to Bundoran, I love it and it is great. Guinness and waves I can do airs on is as good as it can get for me.

Retro Surf Event
A ‘retro event’ will take place on the Saturday of the Sea Sessions weekend, which will be open to all surfers and more based on style than explosive moves. We will aim to find the most graceful surfer, as the surf craft of choice will be 60′s and 70′s inspired boards. It will be a fun-filled event with lots of spot prizes from Barefoot Wine and Billabong. Entry is limited, so if you want to get involved email seasessionssurf@gmail.com.

Sea Sessions on Tour
Sea Sessions has for the first time hit the road to bring the party, tunes and our ‘surf contest’ to cities and surf towns around Ireland. The tour kicked off in Galway’s Roisin Dubh on Friday April 13th, with Crazy P. After that we headed north to The Black Box in Belfast (April 21st), with a performance from Fujiya & Miyagi, supported by Choice Prize nominee Tieranniesaur.

The May bank holiday weekend will see two events deep in the roots of Irish surfing; one ‘Retro Event’ in West Cork at Garretstown with our local partners Incide surf shop, and an ‘Expression Session’ in the epicentre of surfing in the West – Lahinch. The evening festivities will see Ollie Teeba (The Herbaliser) hit the decks at The Market Bar in Kinsale on Saturday 5th May, and in O’Looneys Bar in Lahinch the following night.

Top prize at both Cork and Lahinch surf contests is €500. The Lahinch event will also have up for grabs a wild card entry in to the Sea Session ASP Europe speciality event, Emerald Surfwear (Irish surf brand) packs for all finalists and Sea Sessions weekend passes for best air (surf maneuver).

Cork – The Red Bull Dodge will be on hand to provide tunes and Barefoot Wines will be organising a beach clean up and supplying some wine tasting for those of us old enough. To register for the ‘Retro Surf Comp’ email seasessionssurf@gmail.com.

Lahinch – While the Sea Sessions Barefoot Wine Expression Session in association with Billabong is invite-only, there’s a chance for surfers to take part through the ‘Tour’ event in Lahinch, Co. Clare, organised by our local partners Emerald Surfwear. The winner here will be guaranteed a wild-card entry in to the “invite-only” ASP Europe – Barefoot Wine Expression Session being held over the Sea Sessions weekend.

Confirmed surfers and heat sheet for the Lahinch Expression Sessions – Heat 1: Cain Killcullen, Conor Maguire, Stephen Kelleher, Oisin McGrath, Cian Gagney. Heat 2: Stephen Kilfeather, Cian Logue, Andy Byrne, Gearoid McDaid, Neil Acheson. Heat 3: Andrew Mennie, Damien Conway, Ronan Ortezan, James Monoghan, Donough Cronin. Heat 4: Aaron Reid, Hugh Galloway, Darren Toomey, Cillian Ryan, Alec Frazer.

Surfers Village
The Surfers Village will this year have its home at the now world famous ‘The Peak’ surf break, which in 2011 hosted the European Surfing Championships. Expect a mixture of food, shopping and displays to keep you entertained throughout the weekend as some of your favourite brands show off their wares.

Action Sports
Sea Sessions 2012 will again cater for the action sports fan with the return of the Skate and BMX displays. The crowd will not be left disappointed as the cream of extreme sports performers will wow and thrill spectators with the Adrenaline State High Octane BMX and Stunt Bike Display. ‘Adrenaline State’ brings the Ultra Dynamic Adrenaline Mash-Up to Sea Sessions this year. The multi-discipline biking spectacle will feature some of Europe’s best BMX, stunt and trials biking riders. Their playground will be an elaborate purpose-built course that includes anything from mashed-up cars and industrial electric spools, to ramp and kicker madness. Let the fun begin!


Bundoran ‘Dirty Old Towns’ Weekend Challenge

Sat. 14th & Sun. 15th April saw Bundoran tidy towns along with hundreds of local volunteers and businesses get their cleaning gloves on and their pain brushes out for RTE’s ‘Dirty Old Towns’ Weekend Challenge. The action plan included – art works at East End, beach clean up on Main Beach, planting of top gardens, Painting of – two shelters and some info signs, walls at West End playground, Bundoran Boat Quay and music from RBBJ finalists Stonefree.

Colm Hayes and the RTE crew arrived down on Sat. to lend a hand and to film the community project in action. Play the clip – get a sense of all the great work that was carried out along with the community spirit involved. Also see Bundoran getting ready for Sea Sessions, as Irish artists Eoin O’Connor, Tara Mc Guinness and Gavin McCrea brought the town alive with surf murals painted along the main street.

The Artists had this to say about their experience and involvement with the project:

Gavin McCrea - Surf Art By Gavin McCrea
The entire weekend proved to be a huge success overall. I spent the two days painting flat out, not really stopping for much else other than toilet and coffee breaks. The whole aim was to complete the entire artwork and installation by Sunday evening, so it was a hard push. I actually got back at it at 6.30 on the Sunday morning just to make sure it was all finished for the deadline, after having worked late into Saturday night finishing the surfboards.

I was pretty overwhelmed by the response of the general public and town folk. Lots of people stopped to chat and enquire as to why I was doing it. But most of all I was taken aback by all the compliments, encouragement and support from everyone on the street. I’d gone from being very apprehensive because I wasn’t sure if people were going to like what I was about to paint all over the building, but I was proved wrong, I had no or have not heard a bad word, only good.

Finishing on the Sunday evening I finally got a chance to stand back and see the entire finished piece and I was and still am absolutely stoked with how it has turned out. But most of all I’m chuffed for all the people who took part in the whole weekend challenge and stepped up to the job. My part was just a small one in the grand scale of the weekends task and the town of Bundoran as a whole should be very proud of themselves!


After - Gavin McCrea

Tara Mc Guinness - Taras Face Art And Design
This was a great experience and learning curve for my art, as it was my first mural and what a mural to start with, over a 100 ft. I think its great to see the town and council getting behind local artists and supporting the expression of street art in the area. The positive feedback and interest that we got from the locals and residents is insane and hopefully this will open opportunities to do more projects like this in the future. I really think Bundoran could gain from street art projects of expression like this. Making Bundoran not just famous for surfing but famous for colour, art and originality.


After - Tara Mc Guinness and Eoin O'Connor

Eoin O’Connor - Art-By Eoin
I guess the main thing for me from the weekend and the mural was that it was an amazing opportunity to showcase my artwork to an audience that may not have seen it before. It was great to see a County Council getting behind a project, like Tidy Towns, promoting and involving surf art in order to enhance the image of the town as a surfing location. It was great to meet some cool people over the weekend and it looks like I’m putting together some proposals for even larger scale projects in the coming months including Sea Sessions this year.


Sea Sessions on tour with Heineken | Crazy P

We were thrilled when Crazy P announced they’d do the first night of the Sea Sessions tour. The legendary live dance act hit the stage in the Roisin Dubh in Galway on Friday 13th, and were met by a wedged crowd who turned up to see the high-energy live show.

Front woman Danielle Moore said,

“It was wicked to play in Galway, we hadn’t been there in such a long time, and the crowd really loved the new material which was a big bonus for us. Now they’ll be singing along with me at Sea Sessions.”

Sea Sessions act booker Razor added,

“They’re one of my favorite bands and one of the best live acts out there. I’ve been lucky enough to see them at least a dozen times now and they just seem to get better. It’s proper live Disco. I love when people see them for the first time because they’re usually blown away by them and they become fans. Looking forward to Crazy P at the festival proper. The Black Box in Belfast this Saturday 21st with Fujiya & Miyagi and Tieranniesaur for more Sea Sessions action and some surfing hotspots over the next couple of weeks. Can’t wait!!!”

Check out what the night was all about, and a taster of what to expect from our tour gigs.

The May bank holiday weekend will see two events deep in the roots of Irish surfing; one ‘Retro Event’ in West Cork at Garretstown, and an ‘Expression Session’ in the epicentre of surfing in the West – Lahinch. The evening festivities will see Ollie Teeba (The Herbaliser) hit the decks at The Market Bar in Kinsale on Saturday 5th May and in O’Looneys Bar in Lahinch the following night.

A top prize of €500 will be up for grabs at each surf event. The winner at the Lahinch contest will be guaranteed a wildcard entry into the “invite-only” Barefoot Expression Session being held over the Sea Sessions weekend. There will also be Emerald Surfwear packs for all finalists and Sea Sessions weekend passes for best air (surf maneuver) up for grabs. Surfers interested in taking part email seasessionssurf@gmail.com

The Format report from #SS12 launch party

Thanks to the guys over at culch.ie for their awesome report:

“One of our favourite festivals of the year, Sea Sessions was launched last week. The Format went down to check out the line-up and what 2012 has in store for Ireland’s only Surf and Music festival!”

Also thanks to Aidan Cuffe (Goldenplec.com), Aidan Coghlan (Irish Independent), Derek Byrne (Phantom 105.2), Daniel Browne and Lorna Fox (Sea Sessions). Presented by Seán Earley. Produced by Sinead Keogh. Camera by Aaron McAllorum. Edited by Gerard Walsh.

Sea Sessions launch party

SS12 poster

Shane here from the Sea Sessions press team.  It’s been a busy few weeks as we get ready for our Galway, Belfast, Cork and Lahinch tour with Heineken, whilst last week we had the official festival launch in Dublin at the Workman’s Club.

It was a double-day of work for me as I was also hosting my Ocean FM show; “Ocean Drive”, from my old studio at Dublin’s Q102, where I worked for 11 years up to last Christmas. Being designated driver for the day I picked-up Sea Sessions organiser Daniel at midday, and we hightailed it up the M4. Luckily the roads between Dublin and the West are really good now and we made it in good time, so your trip to Bundoran this June shouldn’t take you too long!

Having not been at my old workplace for three months it was a bit weird walking in there, but was made feel welcome the minute I got in. My radio show kicked off at 4pm live back to Sligo and by 7pm it was all over, with one or two mentions of Sea Sessions and why we were in Dublin in the first place!! Myself and one of my best mates, Shane, made the short journey into the city centre, picking up Marty Miller from Radio Nova on the way. When we got there I was stoked to see such a huge crowd – certainly bigger than last year’s – all having the craic and supping drink from the generous free bar, compliments of Bacardi, RedBull, Barefoot Wines, along with Sea Sessions branded Heineken bottles; something to watch out for during the festival weekend!

Heineken Sea Sessions Bottle - Very Rare!

The Workman’s was transformed by Sea Sessions launch posters, injecting a funked-up Summer vibe into its cool surrounds.

Sea Sessions 2012 line-up and Tour posters

Once we had all been fed tasty fish and chips, Daniel made a short speech welcoming everyone along, and thanking them for their support of the festival, now in its 5th year.

One of the Sea Sessions organisers Daniel Brown

Everyone was buzzing about what the festival has to offer, and were particularly looking forward to the newly introduced Sea Sessions Tour with Heineken, or as we like to call it – the Pre Sessions.  A photographer from entertainment.ie was on hand snapping photos for their website which you can see here, along with our own photographer whose pictures are up on our Facebook.  I haven’t missed a Sea Sessions launch yet, but I’d my buddies Shane, Bianca and Conor with me for this one too to make sure our hometown of Bundoran was represented in style.

Shane Smyth, Bianca Carlin Rosanio, Conor Flannery and Shane Campbell

It was great seeing The Coronas there too; headliners on the Saturday night of Sea Sessions, so I grabbed Danny for a quick interview for my next day’s show, which you can check out below.

[soundcloud id='42200649']

Danny and Conor from The Coronas

Once it all wrapped-up, myself and organisers Daniel & Pete headed for the hills, finally seeing Bundoran around the 2am mark.

Stay tuned for more updates from the press team; afterall, Sea Sessions IS Europe’s biggest surf music festival!!