The Sound of Belfast festival coordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre, returns for a forth year, with a dedicated showcase for local artists. The programme includes a mix of live gigs and talks, awards, conferences and music industry days as well as community programming and special events.
The Festival incorporates The Northern Ireland Music Prize in Association with Blue Moon. It will take place at the Mandela Hall on November 11th and includes the presentation of an Oh Yeah Legend Award to Vivian Campbell followed by a full live set with his band Last In Line. The evening will also feature performances from three of this years NI Music Prize nominees, Arborist, Joshua Burnside and Robocobra Quartet.
Other highlights across the week include the launch of Native (Nov 4th), a music mart for local artists. There’s an opportunity to get your vinyl signed by participating acts, and there will be live music on the day from artists Jealous of The Birds and Duke Special.
Oh Yeah has been celebrating ten years across 2017 and on November 4th the centre will round things up with a dedicated party. Special guests from across the years will be announced through the month of October.
Over the ten days there are events at nine Belfast venues including The Limelight, The Empire, The Sunflower Bar, Voodoo, The MAC and the Black Box. Gigs will feature more than 60 acts, comprising Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson, The Bonnevilles, Sister Ghost, Strange New Places, Leah McFall, Callum Stewart, Rory Neillis, Civil Simian, Burning Codes, No Oil Paintings, ROE, Wood Burning Savages, Mongol Gentelmen’s Club, The Tragedy of Dr Hannigan, Empty Lungs and many more acts to enjoy.
The Breaking Into Music Youth Conference returns to inspire and signpost young people towards creative careers, and the Music Cities afternoon is back for continued discussion with local and UK industry professionals. There’s a return to the Brexit debate, a focus on the success of Northern Irish songwriting and discussions on accessible spaces and places for musicians and fans.
Charlotte Dryden, of Oh Yeah says, “Sound of Belfast is about turning the spotlight up on local music. Belfast has an abundance of talent and there are gigs throughout the year, we want to promote and celebrate that. Our homegrown talent includes bands fresh out of their first practice through to internationally celebrated names. It’s a great opportunity to fully focus and check out new music, whet the appetite and return for more once you’ve been introduced and even reintroduced”.
Sound of Belfast also includes community event Urban Affinity, on November 8th. Delivered with the support of Belfast Harbour, this event gives young people from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to access and participate in several music tasters across the day.