As the year ended, we reflect on the success we enjoyed, and all the fans and venues that supported us throughout the year.
In addition to shows that you would expect to hear a Celtic band, all of which were special shows for us, we played some new shows that were very special to us.
In March, we performed in Manhattan for Captify, a company recently named by Forbes as one of the Top 5 Tech companies in the world. We took breaks at their mahogany bar right on the office floor - Mike demonstrates his bartending skills in the photo below. The CEO joined the line-up for one set playing Dan’s rare Seamus O’Kane “Rack & Pinion” bodhrán and sounded great! Emily amazed them with her flying feet.
Also in March, on a very cold evening, we performed for Nora Roberts’ Irish Trilogy re-release Ceilidh at her beautiful Inn Boonsboro. Nora is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and has written of 225 novels. At our first break, as Chuck was dashing for some food or drink, his fiddle cable jumped up and attacked his ankle causing the fiddle to dive from the stand to the concrete pavement so fast the neck detached. Mike & Dan carried on the show while Chuck sped north and his wife sped south to meet him halfway with another fiddle. A better fiddle stand and better cable care has prevented any recurrences.
We were picked up by the Central PA Festival for the Arts in State College, PA and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg a couple of days later in July. And less than two weeks later we returned for our third visit to the Endless Mountain Music Festival which runs two weeks in northern PA and southern NY. “The mission of the Endless Mountain Music Festival is to bring world-renowned musicians to our community of northern Pennsylvania and southern New York to enrich the cultural, economic and educational life of the Twin Tiers region.”
Along with Irish & Celtic festivals like Adams County Irish Festival, Penn-Mar Irish Festival, Maryland Irish Festival, and the Celtic Craic Music Festival, we played some other unique festivals in 2018. We hosted the British Isles music tent at the European Festival in Winchester, VA, and promptly sped off to the 40th annual International Festival in Fayetteville, NC. Upon arrival at 11:30pm, we learned that the Wyndham Hotel rooms Dan had paid for were given to other travelers and we were without a place to sleep until 1:30am before greeting up hours later to perform on the big stage.
While we have played repeat shows at the National Apple Festival and the Peach Festival, we played our first Corn Festival. This is a hidden gem in our region, located in downtown Shippensburg each year.
And we finished 2018 at 9pm on December 31st in Manhattan, playing a private party for the cast of The Ferryman. We were hosted by Jez Butterworth and Laura Donnelly, both remarkable and down-to-earth people. Cast member Fra Fee from Co. Tyrone joined the band for a set of tunes on Dan’s Burke whistle and he sounded amazing.
We consistently receive excellent reviews and comments. As I was writing this recap of the year, I received an email about our last gig of the year in Manhattan two nights ago: “Across the Pond were the ultimate Irish band experience. They were professional, accommodating, friendly and their sound equipment was of top quality and able to fill a large space. I would definitely recommend them for anyone looking for wonderful Irish music. Great experience overall.”
We were truly humbled by the number and types of performances we were hired play in 2018. We are grateful for venues and individuals who hired us for the first time, and for those who continue to hire us each year. And we were most appreciative of all the comments and reviews. We realize that it is our fans, all of you, who have inspired us, and keep inspiring us, to reach higher. And if 2019 is half of what 2018 was, we will still be very blessed.
And we leave you with this quote about achieving excellence from one of Dan’s favorite college books, “Like everything else, Fletcher. Practice.”