Flying High on Helium

Helium music festival Longford

Helium Music Festival Longford

Helium Music Festival Longford: When we think of music festivals we think of beer and muck, and more beer and more muck, some music but mostly beer. A lot of music festivals in fact have become over crowded with commercialism and just another way for the big guys to make a quick buck off senseless punters, myself probably being the biggest eejit that goes to them all.

What can I say, I’m a festival junkie. It is refreshing however to find one festival where the main priority is having a clean, good time while also donating all proceeds to a charity close to their heart.

Helium, “Smaller and lighter than Oxegen”, first began in Ballymahon, Co. Longford in 2009, behind Skelly’s pub. I’ll never forget it, donation at the door and camp up the road in a field with 400 or so other mad feckers. It was the best night of the summer and to my delight was continued the following year and every year after that, always growing in size.

Helium 2012 was a spectacular event; over 1500 people in attendance with 35 acts including Jape, Duke Special, Ash, The Delorentos and The Kanyu Tree to name but a few. The tickets includes a barbeque and the after party which spills over to the campsite, in the form of two dance music tents, into the wee hours of the morning (6am from what I remember). Of every festival an Irish Summer has to offer, Helium is definitely the best one out there.

On top of all the mighty craic, Helium is for a very good cause, all profits going to Ataxia Ireland (formerly FASI). With over 100 volunteers organising the event it is one to be admired as well as enjoyed.

On Saturday last, November 17th, The Helium organisers presented Ataxia Ireland with over €8000 from Helium 2012 and the events surrounding it- a 5 & 10k run was organised on the morning of the festival. The Bog Lane theatre group also presented the charity with €600, the proceeds from their opening night of Albert Hitchcock’s “39 Steps”.

But wait, there is even more, a raffle was held on the night for a framed Helium t-shirt which all the bands had signed, which raised over a whopping €600!! Must be some T-shirt!

They are generous that Helium bunch, they throw us one hell of a party every year and raise serious funds for a god cause in the process. The celebrations did not end there however as organisers could raise a glass to the fact all their hard work was recognised.

Helium was selected by a panel of judges at the annual Aoife (Association of Irish Festival & Events) Conference to win in the Best Festival Website category as well as the Best Festival Photograph. So it’s not just Seamus that is Famous, Helium really is taking flight….Roll on 2013!! What festival are you most looking forward to?

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