Ewan Murray explains the “celebration of marching bands” concert to take place Saturday of The Open at Portrush. You may hear drum sounds as the last groups are playing and depending on who you believe, there may be an Orange Order appearance (here’s a different view than Murray’s).
As the third round of the final major of the year concludes, spectators will exit Royal Portrush to the sound of flutes and drums. The R&A wants us to cast our minds dreamily back to 1951, when Max Faulkner triumphed on Antrim’s north coast; Saturday evening will instead catapult us back to 1690 and the Battle of the Boyne.
In what has been billed as a “celebration of marching bands”, a three-hour concert will take place from 6.30pm in the centre of the town. The performers are listed on social media as if it were as natural as Glastonbury (which, in respect of Northern Ireland, you can make the reasonable case it is).
The William King Memorial band start proceedings, followed in half‑hour slots by the Derryloran Boyne Defenders, Dunloy Accordion, Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster and Moneyslane Flute Band. The Drumderg Loyalists will round things off from 9pm. The Sons of Ulster will then march to an Orange hall. There is naturally a comedic, ludicrous undertone to this in 2019 but when placed on the Open’s doorstep it is a horrendously embarrassing look.