Just two weeks after the 40th anniversary of the Miami Showband Massacre in Buskhill, the band have announced that they’re making a comeback and performing at the inaugural Linenfields Festival this Friday night (August 21).
Linenfields Festival, sponsored by the Clubworld Travel and supported by Banbridge Borough Council, is the brainchild of local man James Dale who is excited about the forthcoming event.
Des Lee, one of the two surviving members of The Miami Showband, is excited about the return to the Banbridge area.
He said; “All the band are extremely excited about being invited to perform at the prestigious Linenfields Festival and fans from all over Co Down have been contacting us on our facebook to say they can’t wait to hear us play again.
“This will be The Miami Showband’s last ever gig and I’m sure it’ll be very emotional after our commemoration service a couple of weeks ago in Buskhill.”
Around 200 people gathered at Buskhill – between Banbridge and Newry – for a wreath-laying service to mark the 40th anniversary of the murders of frontman Fran O’Toole, 29, guitarist Tony Geraghty, 23, and trumpeter 32-year-old Brian McCoy.
It was the first time a ceremony had been held at the scene of the atrocity.
It was on July 31, 1975 that a UVF gang stopped the Miami Showband’s minibus on the A1 at Buskhill at what appeared to be a military checkpoint.
Five people were killed in the atrocity, the three band members who were shot dead and two UVF men involved, Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville, who died when the bomb they planted detonated prematurely.
Dubbed the Irish Beatles because of their popularity, the band had been travelling home to Dublin late at night after a performance in Banbridge.
Taking to the stage on the same night as The Miami Showband are Ireland’s leading tributes to Elvis, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Garth Brooks.
Ireland’s number one country star Nathan Carter will headline Saturday night, who has proved to be an extremely popular entertainer locally and is sure to rock the meadow, with Hugo Duncan and Friends as support.
The event takes place in the Meadows of The Bannville Hotel in Banbridge and on Saturday from 10am - 4pm, there will be a free family day and Teddy Bears’ picnic.
Tickets from £15 for the concerts available from Ticketmaster, as well as being online at www.linenfieldsfestival.com