The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced details of its Sound of Belfast 2020 programme. Now in its 7th year, this annual celebration, dedicated to the sounds of the city is normally dominated by live shows in venues across Belfast. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the festival has had to abandon all live participation and associated collaboration by moving everything online.
Live music has always been at the heart of the festival, celebrating local talent in local venues in front of live audiences. However, with venues closed and live music banned, Sound of Belfast has instead curated and pre-recorded a series of live performances in empty venues across Belfast. This series will celebrate the diverse and world-class talent based in the city.
Sound of Belfast is therefore proud to present a rich and diverse snapshot of our city’s talent that will be showcased internationally via the Oh Yeah Music Centre YouTube channel between 6th-12th Nov.
The series will kick off with a stunning and poignant performance from Ryan McMullan with his song ‘Belfast City’ on the roof of Oh Yeah, with a lively reminder of what we are missing live from Brand New Friend in the Oh Yeah venue. Some of the other acts taking part include a gorgeous performance from Neil Martin at the Strand Arts Centre, a beautifully soulful Manukahunney at The Black Box, an excellent Dani Larkin at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, an outstanding presence from New Pagans at Voodoo, a superb piece from Ruth McGinley in Start Together Studio, the warm and familiar music of Duke Special at The Belfast Empire and the amazing Scott Flanigan Trio featuring Linley Hamilton at the Ballyhackamore Social Club. There are several more and you can check them all at www.soundofbelfast.com
Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said “It’s been a devastating year for music and there’s no disguising how badly the live scene has been impacted. It’s been grim for artists, venues, promoters and pretty much anyone involved in making events happen. We have collectively appealed to the Government for help and will continue to do so while finding ways to adapt and carry on. But for now, and especially during this most recent lockdown, we felt it was important to get something positive and helpful out there and into the homes of musicians and audiences. And so, while these events and performances are tinged with the sadness of the last six months, the programme is a brilliant reminder of the great wealth of talent that exists and how despite all the odds everyone wanted to get involved. The resulting programme is as good as it can be without being live. We hope people embrace it in the spirit it is intended.”
The programme also will still include workshops, talks, panels and one to one meetings. Guest speakers and industry professionals will guide musicians and artists through funding, maximizing and utilizing online promotion, navigating streaming and playlist opportunities, music licensing, as well as managing your finances and artist manager advice. Presenters from YouTube Music, PRS for Music, PPL, Help Musicians, DITTO and AIM (Association of Independent Music) will host events on video platforms and registration is necessary.
Special events also include a Getting To Know...with Therapy?, where Stuart Bailie from Dig With It will be in conversation with the band about their recent biography ‘So Much For The 30 Year Plan’. There will be a beautiful event dedicated to the late Belfast music manager Lyndon Stephens organized by Malojian and presented in association with Smarts. The Oh Yeah youth events team Volume Control team will host their new bands event on Instagram and there will be a ticketed event on Zoom with Sam Wickens and Becah thanks to Tuar Pro.
The NI Music Prize will go ahead and will be streamed live on the Oh Yeah YouTube Channel on Nov 12th and this year's Legend Award recipient is posthumously to Bap Kennedy. The list goes on and there is plenty more to enjoy from the safety of your home, for full details go soundofbelfast.com and youtube.com/user/ohyeahcentre
Special thanks to the staff and crew of participating venues and organisations including: Voodoo, Starr Records, Half Bap Studio, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, The Black Box, Ulster Sports Club, The Belfast Empire, The Limelight, Duncairn Arts Centre, Strand Arts Centre, Beyond Skin, Tuar Pro, Start Together Studio, Ballyhackamore Social Club.
Supporters, partners and funders include Belfast City Council, Belfast Music, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Department for Communities, YouTube Music, PPL, PRS Foundation, Help Musicians, BBC Music Introducing Across The Line.