Oh Yeah seeking new talent to support development in 2018

Talent Development at Oh Yeah

Scratch My Progress 2018 – Now Recruiting – APPLY HERE 

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is now accepting applications for 2018 for its Scratch My Progress talent development programme.

Oh Yeah is Belfast’s dedicated music hub and Scratch My Progress is an annual project as part of the centre’s commitment to supporting, nurturing and developing new music. Since 2011 the scheme has supported 26 emerging music acts through workshops, signposting and one to one mentoring, as well as studio and rehearsal time, professional photo shoots, performance, showcasing and promotional opportunities. Previous acts have included Kitt Philippa, Owen Denvir, Hot Cops, Emer Maguire, Strange New Places and Reevah.

Once recruited, four successful Scratch applicants will spend up to nine months taking part in meetings and workshops with music industry professionals, including lawyers and accountants, vocal coaches, PR experts – in previous years the Scratch artists have benefited from one-to-one sessions with Warner Music (Muse, Green Day, Birdy), Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys, Anna Calvi), Jeff Robinson PR (Wolf Alice, The 1975). The talent development artists will write and record a track professionally in Start Together Studios. This track will be released via Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon – the single will then be promoted through a special live music showcase in the Oh Yeah Music Centre as part of the Sound of Belfast festival in November 2018.

Previous Scratch My Progress artists have gone on to sign professional management deals, international booking agents, live gigs in UK & Ireland and secure further investment from funding bodies including PRS Foundation and Arts Council Northern Ireland. In the past year the Oh Yeah has further developed the programme to provide the hardest working Scratch acts with further showcasing and international opportunities including but not limited to a showcase event at the UK’s Biggest New Music Festival – The Great Escape in Brighton.

For more info, guidelines and an application form contact charlene@ohyeahbelfast.com

Oh Yeah is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner and is also supported through the Help Musicians UK National Grants Programme.

Applications are being accepted from June 15th – July 6th (6pm deadline)


Oh Yeah at Stendhal Festival 2018

We’re pleased to announce we will be returning to Stendhal Festival for a 4th year in a row. We will be curating a day time stage on Saturday 11th August. It will consist of a mix of artists and projects we have been working with in the centre across the last year.

Stage times: 12 noon – 6pm. Sat 11th August.

Artist stage times to be confirmed. More info soon.

Back by popular demand – The Over The Hill House Band – old time classic and family friendly songs that every generation will know, performed by our very own Music and Older People Manager Paul Kane who also leads on his own project Over The Hill Music Collective – he will be joined by some of the musicians he has been working with over the last few years to kick off proceedings on the Saturday at noon.

Also on the bill will be 3 solo artists discovered through the Capital XTRA project – each act performed at the iconic KoKo in London back in May as part of the Music Unleashed showcase that featured acts from Belfast, Birmingham and London. This will be their first festival appearance as artists in their own right – come along and support Alice La, Conor Maley and Jonny Brooks.

We are also delighted to welcome along two acts that were on our 2017 Scratch My Progress talent development programme.

The brilliant Hand Models

and Cut In Blinks.

We are also delighted to have the unstoppable Girls Rock School NI – Bandeoke on board – This was a massive hit back in early June as part of the Women’s Work Festival – the Rock School house band will invite you up to sing – a list of options are provided along with the words.

More info on stage times coming soon – but mark 12noon – 6pm in the diary!

Meet our Principal Partner….

Help Musician’s NI/UK is our Principal Partner for Women’s Work 2018.

HMUK formerly Musician’s Benevolent Fund is a 96 year old charity that offers practical, positive support to emerging, professional and retired musicians – whatever the genre.

In 2016 the Charity branched out and into Northern Ireland, setting up a regional office which is based here in  Oh Yeah.

They provide funding support, health and well being support, a mental health help line and are set to launch Women In Music NI/UK this year.

For more info go to Help Musician’s UK

Thanks to them for sharing the Women’s Work vision and ethos. www.womensworkni.co.uk

Tender for More Volume evaluator launched

Brief for the appointment of an independent consultant to support the evaluation of Oh Yeah’s More Volume programme


  1. Outline of the programme: context and outcomes
  2. Contract Requirements
  3. Time-scale and deliverables
  4. Conflicts of Interest
  5. Project Management
  6. Budget
  7. Payment Plan
  8. Responding to the Tender


  1. Programme Context and Outcomes

Oh Yeah is Belfast’s dedicated music hub – a resource for music makers and also for the business of music. It was constituted in 2007 in the belief that music is a valuable agent in Northern Ireland, a catalyst that changes lives for the better. We combine the verve and resourcefulness of the music industry with a programme of social value.

We are seeking an independent external consultant to support our evaluation of our ‘More Volume’ programme. This is initially a four-year project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; our intention is to gain recognition of the achievement and value of this work, leading to support for ongoing initiatives of this kind in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The evaluation contract will commence in June 2018 and end in June 2022

More Volume builds on the success of our Volume Control project, an annual, structured mentoring programme that has directly benefited over 80 young people, supported more than 300 young bands, and provided over 4,000 young audience members with quality live music.  Former Volume Control members have found employment and placement opportunities in the music and entertainments industry, including record labels, club promotion, festival work, sound engineering, PR, and college radio.

More Volume aims to take this programme out of the building and into community locations – working alongside community partners such as New Lodge Arts, EastSide Arts Festival, NI Alternatives and An Droichead- reaching diverse groups of young people that rarely leave their own areas. We will teach them skills and show them how to organise events for and within their own community and pass on mentoring skills to community and youth workers to continue this support. A vital step-change is to make this an accredited course. This will give participants real and recognised qualifications and will allow us to record the progress of participants more formally.

The programme, which is supported by a dedicated Programme Manager, will be delivered through 12-week accredited courses, priming each community location in the basics of forming a live events team; promoting, budgeting, stage management, finances, graphic design, front-of-house, social media and overall event planning. Training will be provided for area facilitators, allowing partners to sustain and customise the programmes. This will involve associated skills such as songwriting, forming a group, DJ techniques, booking events and negotiating with outside parties. We will bring in equipment and ultimately, we aim to resource each location with some equipment. As a finale, the four projects will combine in an annual ‘graduation’ gig at Oh Yeah.
We have set clear outputs for the More Volume programme and aim to achieve the following outcomes:


Outcomes for Young People

  • Young people living in areas of social disadvantage or experiencing social deprivation in Greater Belfast will be better skilled, more inspired and experienced in live music and gain accreditation. This will contribute to personal transformation and the potential of creative employment
  • Young people will gain accreditation in peer mentoring

Outcomes for Community Partners

  • Adult area facilitators will receive credible and industry-specialised training, so community partners can sustain and customise the programme
  • Community partners will meet their own targets for ensuring that young people in their areas get fair and equal access to the arts
  • Community partners will develop understanding of the music and entertainments sector
  • Increased support for local bands and venues, contributing to increased audience for music events at local level

Outcomes for Oh Yeah’s Organisational Development

  • The organisation will expand its outreach capacity
  • It will develop capacity to deliver an accredited programme
  • It will generate a body of evidence-based work with measurable results
  • It will develop a strong structured and replicable code of practice for future work
  • It will develop a form of best practice that can be shared with the wider sector
  • It will increase credibility at grassroots level and with stakeholders, contributing to it being seen as a leading organisation in delivering this kind of work

Outcomes for Sector Development

  • The programme will lead to an Increase in young people who are better prepared for work in the culture, arts, music and entertainment sector
  • It will Influence policy with regard to young people and music and their pathways and access to the creative sector and contribute to an understanding in the wider cultural and creative sector of the benefit of this kind of training for young people wishing to enter the industry

Contract Requirements

A starter evaluation framework (attached) has been developed for the More Volume programme, with the support of an evaluation advisor, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This identifies what quantitative and qualitative data might be collected, who will be responsible for collecting information and who will be responsible for analysis and review. We will be responsible for collecting all quantitative data and the independent consultant will be responsible for collecting and analysing qualitative data. We understand that the consultant appointed may wish to review the framework and suggest alternatives or amendments to it.

The independent consultant is required to:

  • Carry out semi-structured interviews with community partners/trainers/Oh Yeah staff
  • Conduct focus group interviews with participants;
  • Produce a series of written reports within a pre-agreed timeframe drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, highlighting key findings and making recommendations;
  • Present key findings in a way that is easily accessible to a wide range of interested individuals and/or organisations
  • We welcome any suggestions on how this methodological approach may be enhanced.

Within the last five years, the successful applicant will be able to demonstrate that they:

  • Have worked collaboratively with organisations in the community and voluntary and public/private sectors to support them in evaluating programmes and projects
  • Have experience of qualitative evaluation and research and of interviewing a wide range of individuals and organisations,
  • Have engaged in evaluation work and/or research with young people in the context of Northern Ireland (and if in addition they have worked with young people in an international context, this would also be welcome) and be able to evidence good working relationships with associated groups
  • Have knowledge and experience of developing targeted methodological approaches in evaluations
  • Have experience of writing evaluation reports that meet the needs of a range of stakeholders, including Trusts and Foundations and public-sector bodies as well as helping Oh Yeah to learn lessons from and strengthen the programme
  • Have experience of presenting evaluation data in accessible and innovative ways

The applicant will also be able to demonstrate that they:

  • Understand the rationale for the programme and what it aims to achieve – and provide a logic model on that basis – setting out linkages between activities, expected outputs and outcomes for all elements of the project
  • Have knowledge of the current political, social and funding context in Northern Ireland
  • Be willing to work outside normal working hours to fulfil the brief, as and when required.

Timescales and deliverables

The contract will be for a period of 40 months.  Written reports are required as follows:

  • A brief report by October 2018, the end of Year 1 of the programme. This report will be for Oh Yeah’s internal use and describe preliminary findings, highlighting aspects of the programme that are working well and any that may require attention
  • An interim report by October 2019, the end of Year 2 of the programme. The findings of this report will be shared with community partners and key stakeholders
  • A final report will be completed by June 2021, in the middle of of the four-year programme

Following award of the contract, the consultant will:

  • Review existing documentation, including the starter evaluation framework and will make suggestions for amendments to this if required
  • Meet with the Oh Yeah Project Manager and the Oh Yeah Chief Executive to agree a programme of work
  • Undertake the necessary fieldwork to gather evidence. An emphasis will be place on face-to-face engagement with participants.
  • Prepare reports as described above
  • Liaise informally with the Oh Yeah Project Manager and community partners from time to time, to help inform learning from the programme

Conflicts of Interest

Potential service providers must confirm in their proposal that there would be no conflict or perceived conflict of interest in relation to their servicing this contract.

Project Management

The Oh Yeah Project Manager (Oh Yeah’s Youth Engagement Manager) will oversee the management of this contract and provide the ‘point of contact’ for the successful service provider.


The budget available for this project is £5000 including VAT


A payment plan will be developed once the timetable for activity has been agreed.

Responding to this Brief

A response indicating how the consultant would meet this brief should be submitted to Sian O’Neill, Oh Yeah’s Youth Engagement Manager by 5pm on Monday 28th May 2018. Documents can be left at the reception of the Oh Yeah Music Centre or emailed to sian@ohyeahbelfast.com

The response should:

  • Demonstrate how the consultant’s previous experience will enable him/her to fulfil the requirements of this contract. Examples must relate to work undertaken within the past five years
  • The approach that would be taken in this evaluation, highlighting specific features
  • A breakdown of associated costs.
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Names and contact details of two referees (email/phone details preferred)

Any queries relating to this brief can be addressed to Sian O’Neill, Oh Yeah Music Centre, 15-21 Gordon Street; sian@ohyeahbelfast.com; 028 9031 0845


Davy Sims Podcast

Davy Sims, a well respected NI broadcaster, podcaster, lecturer, writer and author recently invited us to have chat with him about Oh Yeah. Thanks for the opportunity – it was nice to look back on the last ten years and talk about future aspirations and plans.

Podcast: Oh Yeah music centre

More Volume in East Belfast…

Calling young music lovers and budding events promoters in East Belfast…

Our Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded  More Volume project is kicking off in East Belfast in partnership with EastSide Arts. If you are a young person who loves music, wants to earn a qualification and help put on a gig in the EastSide Arts Festival in August – get in touch with Sian (sian@ohyeahbelfast.com) or apply here

You have until Monday 21st May 6pm to apply.