Belfast Music Week 201310 October 2013
The fourth annual Belfast Music Week 2013 has been declared the most successful yet according to early feedback. Spanning over 7 day across 250 events and 70 venues, it’s estimated up to 50,000 people saw Belfast at its best. This year boasted a brilliant and diverse programme, highlights included:
- Van Morrison awarded the freedom of the city at the Waterfront Hall, 15 November, followed by a rapturously received concert.
- A Seamus Heaney celebration at the Waterfront Hall, 17 November, led by the Ulster Orchestra and involving Stephen Rea.
- The Northern Ireland Music Prize. Mandela Hall, 12 November. The inaugural event to celebrate the best NI album. Awarded to Foy Vance and his magnificent release, Joy Of Nothing.
- The return of Selector Radio, the British Council supported broadcast that reaches an audience of 3 million listeners in 40 countries. Selector recorded a special concert featuring cutting-edge Irish acts: Unknown, Ghosts and Bear//Face
- A delegation from Belfast’s sister city of Nashville to brief Belfast City Council on how to sustain a musical city.
- An exhibition celebrating the achievements of Belfast DJs Noel and Maurice Watson. The brothers changed the face of dance culture in London at their legendary Delerium nights on Charing Cross Road, nurturing the capital on hop hop and then house music. This exhibition, especially curated by the ICA in London will be transported to the Oh Yeah centre, including the original Def Jam jacket belonging to AdRock of the Beastie boys, films featuring Neneh Cherry, Beastie Boys, and artwork and photographs and flyers from a range of events and happenings that they produced, plus the seminal ‘Electro’ LPs..
Commenting on the week of activities, Belfast Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said:
“Belfast Music Week 2013 was another huge success story for the city and its music, with more people attending more events in more venues in every corner of our magnificent city. While there obviously were the high profile events – such as the fantastic evening to celebrate Van Morrison receiving the Freedom of the City – tribute must be paid to the hundreds of artists and promoters who stepped up to the mark and helped make this year even bigger and better than before. And with journalists from many international publications having taken up residence in the city for the week, alongside some of the top names in the music industry – from Dublin, London, Nashville and elsewhere – Belfast Music Week proved once again to be a fitting global showcase of the best that we have to offer the world.”
Among the dozens of journalists visiting the city during the week were representatives of The Fly, NME, Mixmag, Mojo, Music Week, Louder Than War, The Irish Times, RTE and BBC Radio 1 Introducing, as well as reporters from Germany, Italy and India. Among the many trade bodies and industry professionals who took part in workshops during the week were representatives of the BPI, PRS For Music, PPL, Association of Independent Music, First Music Contact, the Nashville Music City Music Council, the PRS for Music Foundation and Generator.