Marching Bands

Loyalist Marching Bands, Beatboxers, Heavy Metal, Polkas, Sri Lanka and Beyond


Beyond Skin are one of the few organisations working extensively with minority ethnic groups and also engaging and collaborating with marching bands in Northern Ireland representing Protestant culture. We are currently the only organisation developing and delivering projects with people seeking asylum and members of the Loyalist community collaborating together. The Protestant traditional music culture is expressed through marching bands and associated parades. 12th July is the biggest Marching Bands event remembering Battle of the Boyne (1690).

Our projects with the bands always stay to our core ethos enabling the arts to provide an opportunity for people to developing a greater understanding of different cultures, faciliating collaboration whilst addressing stereotypes, in this case with Protestant marching bands.

VIDEO: Made to Parade interview with Beyond Skin Founder Darren   

VIDEO: The Music & Heritage of Loyalist Marching Bands

VIDEO: Music Unite: An Unexpected Journey

Our large projects with Loyalist Marching bands starting with the Music Unite project 2015 pioneered by Beyond Skin artists and Shankill Road Defenders. Ballymacarrett Defenders Flute Band, Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster Flute Bandand North Down Defenders Flute Band and musicians from Colombia, Slovakia, Kurdistan, Ghana, India, Jamaica. A project in partnership with CDPB. The project was highly praised for its achievements in community relations.   Music Unite Report     VIDEO The Mac Theatre Belfast

Sri Lanka: In 2016 we invited Davie Thomson from the Shankill Road Defenders Flute Band to Sri Lanka as part of our programmme working with children from Tamil and Singalese communities through The Music Project. VIDEO: Davie's Song   VIDEO: Promotional Tour

Continuing the Sri Lanka theme champion Beaxtboxer Julius Mitchell visited Northern Ireland for a series of workshops and events and ended up collaborating with BallyMacarrett Defenders Flute Band at a Youth4Peace event and festival in Belfast.  VIDEO: Beat Carnival Festival   VIDEO: Beer Barrell Polka Skainos

Culture Night Belfast: What has become a story of legend regarding our efforts that led to a great success regarding Shankill Road Defenders performing in full uniform at Belfast Cultural NIght with mjusicians from Jamaica, Slovakia, India, Iraq, Ghana. Story told in Made to Parade Interview.  VIDEO: Culture Night

Marching Metal: For Make Music Day 2021 the idea of putting flautists from Loyalist March Bands and Heavy Metal musicians in Start Together Music Studios as an experiment. Marching Metal was born. a music video directed by Matt Skillen became the most viewed and shared video production on facebook Belfast City Council (a funder) had ever supported.  MUSIC VIDEO (Youtube)  VIDEO: The Making of Marching Metal

The Launch of Made to Parade in partnership with Fundación Nacional Batuta (Colombia), Beyond Skin and BuildaBridge International (Philadelphia). Webpage

This is just a snapshot of our work with Marching Bands. For more information please contact us.

GALLERY: Shankill Road Defenders & Guests

GALLERY: Music Unite at The Mac

GALLERY: Youth Day