Scratch My Progress 2020 acts announced

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to reveal that the five fresh new acts that have been selected for Scratch My Progress 2020 are; Gender Chores, Gilmore, Lemonade Shoelace, Riley Holland and Vivamagnolia.

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. The dedicated talent development programme, now in its 9th year is powered by the on-going support of PRSF and Help Musicians. Oh Yeah is also delighted to be working with YouTube Music, a partnership that will provide participating artists with a new level of support through a series of dedicated master classes and more.

Over the next 9-months the 5-acts will work with our dedicated Talent Development Coordinator to uncover opportunities for their music and take part in workshops, studio time, professional photo shoots, showcases, vocal coaching and more.

With the current situation surrounding the closure of live music and events in mind, there will also be increased support in developing digital skills in artist promotion, performance and development of online audiences.

Over the years our talent development artists have had one to one sessions with PRS, PPL, PRSF, Musicians Union, First Music Contact, Atlantic Records (Ed Sheerin, Charli XCX), Parlophone Records (Gorillaz), Domino Records (Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys), Jeff Robinson PR (The 1975, Belsonic),  Deezer, Ditto, Body & Soul Festival and many more. The Scratch My Progress scheme has mentored a diverse range of talent over the years including NI Music Prize Winners Kitt Philippa and Sister Ghost, music and media personalities Gemma Bradley & Emer Maguire and artists representing the rock, alternative, acoustic, rap, pop, punk and electronic genres. 

NI Music Prize – Long List

Presenting the LONG LIST – NI Music Prize 2020

The Long Lists for Best Album, Best Single, Oh Yeah Contender and Best Live have been announced.

An impressive 53 albums and 84 singles have made the long list. All were released between 15th July 2019 – 14th July 2020.

The shortlist will be announced in the coming days. The Best Single, Best Live and Oh Yeah Contender shortlists will then go to public vote.

For full details of the lists and more info go to – www.nimusicprize.com

Arts Council NI ARTIST/Freelancers Survey

In July 2020, the Department for Communities announced a £4 million lifeline for the arts sector in Northern Ireland. An additional £33 million has subsequently been allocated to the NI Executive through the UK Government’s £1.57 billion rescue package for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage sectors.

To help the Arts Council determine where financial support is most urgently required, they have developed a survey for individual artists, practitioners and creative freelancers to find out how Covid-19 has affected them.

The information gathered by this survey will inform ACNI about the impact of COVID-19 on Northern Ireland’s individual artists, practitioners and creative freelancers and will help them to determine where financial support is most urgently required.

Please complete and share with other artists – we feel it is very important that musicians, artists, freelancers get the support they need.

For more details and to complete the survey go HERE

NI Music Prize now seeking submissions

It is that time of year again when we open the submission process for albums and singles! While COVID-19 has greatly impacted live music and events, we are still planning to run the NI Music Prize for 2020. We are working on how we might present the event and more details will be announced soon. For now we are very pleased to announce that the submission process is open from Friday 3rd July – Thursday 30th July.

Any eligible NI single or album must have been released between 15th July 2019 – 14th July 2020

For full details, criteria and submission form go HERE

Oh Yeah now recruiting for Scratch 2020 with support from YouTube Music

The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast opens submissions for Scratch My Progress 2020 and announces talent development partnership with YouTube Music.The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is now seeking applications from emerging artists for its annual talent development programme Scratch My Progress. Since 2011, the scheme has worked with 35 emerging acts including Kitt Philippa, Careerist, Sister Ghost, Owen Denvir, Wynona Bleach, Gemma Bradley, Strange New Places, Reevah, Vokxen, Alice LA and Sasha Samara to name only a few. Taking the programme to the next level, artists will now also benefit from the involvement of a new partner – YouTube Music.  YouTube Music will be working closely with the artists to build their channel, develop a YouTube content strategy and most importantly, engage in a meaningful way with their audiences. 

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. Each year taking 4 acts with potential and supporting them in their development as they navigate their way through the music industry, while developing their sound, profile and skills. The programme also includes other elements of support which are open to artists not participating on the Scratch programme such as the ASK advice sessions, industry workshops, panels, master classes and conference events aimed at bringing musicians closer to the wider industry for advice, discussions and networking.

Over the years artists have had access and one a one to one meetings with visiting industry including PRS, PPL, PRS Foundation, Musicians Union, Help Musicians, First Music Contact and AIM as well as advice from Deezer, DITTO, Domino Records and Body & Soul Festival.  They have availed of guidance from Jeff Robinson PR, Joe Dougan (Shine/Belsonic), Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1), Francesca O’Connor (Make Waves Management) and Fiona McAuley (YMU Group). Scratch alumni have also gone on to win awards at the NI Music Prize (Kitt Philippa and Sister Ghost) and others have been invited to showcase at The Great Escape, Ireland Music Week, Stendhal and Output Belfast. Many have gained significant radio play from BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio1, BBC Radio Ulster, 2FM, 98FM as well as being listed on various Spotify Playlists and influential Music Blogs.

The main Scratch programme will again offer a select number of acts the chance to showcase and promote their talent, develop their performance and writing skills and gain an in-depth understanding of the business of music. With the current situation surrounding the closure of live music and events in mind, there will also be increased support in developing digital skills in artist promotion, performance and development of online audiences. The scheme is open to applications from artist’s aged 16+ that have been steadily building a profile and feel ready to commit to a more structured programme of support.

Once recruited, the successful Scratch applicants will spend the next nine months in meetings and workshops with music industry professionals, including lawyers and accountants, vocal coaches, PR experts, as well as participating in YouTube Music master classes, streamed performances and more. The team will be encouraged to share ideas in interactive songwriter sessions and receive mentoring in everything from finances and marketing to interview skills and stage management. They will write and record a track professionally for a showcase EP and organise a showcase event at the end of the programme.

Oh Yeah is also delighted to have the continued support of the PRS Foundation as part of the UK network of talent development partners and an additional year of support from the Help Musicians.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said:

 “2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for artists and that is why as we emerge from this pandemic, supporting emerging talent is going to be more important than ever. While live music is still very uncertain, there’s no evidence that music creation has slowed down. Artists have carried on creating exciting new work and we are committed to providing opportunities for new talent to realise potential, build profile and raise confidence. We are really grateful for the on-going support of PRSF and Help Musicians and we are delighted to have YouTube Music on board now too. The opportunity to really tap into the potential of digital platforms and content creation for new artists is very exciting and we can’t wait to see who we will be working with this year.”

Dan Chalmers, Head of Music, EMEA, YouTube Music said…..

We’re so glad to be working with the Oh Yeah centre on Scratch My Progress to help young artists in Northern Ireland develop their talent. Some of the UK’s most iconic music and artists have come from Northern Ireland, and we’re committed to helping the next generation of artists showcase their music to the world.” 

Becci Scotcher, Senior Grants and Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation said…

“Working to support the talent development pipeline is more crucial now, than ever and the Oh Yeah Music centre is a key hub for talent development in Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to be supporting another year of Scratch My Progress and I can’t wait to see what the 2020 alumni achieve!” 

Lucy Bampton, Head of Creative Programme at Help Musician’s said…

“Help Musicians is delighted to support the Scratch My Progress programme for another year. As a charity that supports musicians across their creative output, health & wellbeing and business skills, we understand the importance of an opportunity such as this for emerging musicians, and the role it can play in shaping their future career. We hope that our support for the programme will enable the Oh Yeah Music Centre, and the artists it works with to manage the challenges and opportunities ahead, and to continue the rich musical heritage of Northern Ireland.”

For more info and to apply to Scratch click HERE

Arts Council Impact Survey –

This short survey is designed to collect information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of the coronavirus has had on artists and arts organisations in Northern Ireland.

ACNI have pledged to work closely with colleagues in Government to share the impacts arising and make the case for additional resources to help mitigate against the short, medium and long term effects of this situation.

To help them understand, in more detail, the impact on individual artists and organisations, the Arts Council has prepared the following survey which will remain open indefinitely.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOIGlPm4XsMrZm0Pj1FbN_MBXui69mkKQ13-_JygP3z3KeLg/viewform

Oh Yeah is 13!

To mark our 13th birthday we will be sharing 13 photos a day for the next 13 days. Starting with 2007.

Share your Oh Yeah photos and memories with us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Recognise anyone?

Today is our 13th birthday. Back in 2007 on 5th May we threw open the doors for our official opening. Of course there was a lot of hard work getting to that point and we hadn’t even signed the lease yet, but we were excited and surrounded by good people, by an extended rock and roll family. The sense of mission was powerful and the community help was hugely up-lifting. 

We needed every bit of that juice in 2008 when the recession crashed in. We bounced from success to pending catastrophe. Always there was some extra, emotional reserve or a new friend, arriving with a smile and a genius fix. And then everyone was rewarded with amazing music, with talent on the rise and good people blooming with potential. Oh Yeah has surpassed all of those early dreams. 

Now on 5th May 2020 on our 13th birthday, we never imagined we would have to close because of a pandemic and it has been hard. The venue is dark and lifeless, the lights have been switched off and we miss our colleagues and friends. 

The arts in general have suffered a lot over the years, but there’s been no shortage of inspiration, creativity, activism and resilience. We are in awe of that and we hope that the powerful contribution that artists, venues and the arts make to society will be adequately supported as we come out of this crisis. 

We are thankful to our supporters, funders, sponsors, volunteers, staff and board and while things are uncertain, we are determined to get through this. 

Oh Yeah is already adapting, we are working on alternative ways to engage and do good through music and we are staying positive. 

So until we can open the doors again, we send you our best wishes and hope that you are doing ok. We send key workers, the NHS and all those working on the frontline our deepest thanks. Stay safe everyone. Here’s to seeing in our 14th birthday in 2021 with a big old fashioned party.

We thought we would share this footage of our Open Day in 2007

Were you there? Let us know.

Oh Yeah joins Music Venue Trust #SaveOurVenues campaign

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ohyeahbelfast

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is part of a national initiative launched by Music Venue Trust to prevent the closure of hundreds of independent music venues. 

Oh Yeah is Belfast’s dedicated music hub – a resource for music makers, fans, audiences, community and 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 are a not for profit and charitable organisation and we also rely on income we generate through the venue, box office, bar and room hire. 

Our venue is the beating heart of the centre and it is now closed. 

With your help donations will be used to support our plans to invest in alternative ways to support local music until the venue can open again.

Grassroots venues are the incubators of new talent, they breathe life into our towns and cities and we are proud to stand alongside this amazing community.

If we hit our target everything above the amount we need will be donated to the Music Venue Trust GMV Crisis Fund to protect other venues just like ours across the campaign.

For more info or to donate go to – https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ohyeahbelfast

Coronavirus – Support for artists

Things are incredibly difficult for artists right now. We have compiled a list of support we are aware of that may help. These organisations are happy to talk if you need advice on their application process and if we can help please get in touch – you can contact charlotte@ohyeahbelfast.com

  1. Musicians

Help Musicians Coronavirus Hardship Fund ( this fund is now closed, but we hope to hear of a round 2 soon and will update accordingly)

Who can apply?

  • Performers, composers/creators, those directly involved in the production of music, or those who work in a role where the main qualification is a high level of musical training
  • Individuals who are self-employed or currently unemployed

How much is available?

  • A one-off payment of £500 per person

How do I apply?

  • Via an online form. More information is available here.

Irish Music Industry COVID Relief Fund

Who can apply?

  • Irish (resident in Ireland or an Irish national) music creators, including songwriters, composers, performers, session musicians and arrangers

How much is available?

  • A one-off emergency relief payment of up to €750 EUR

How do I apply?

  • Via an online application form. More information is available here.

Arts Council Northern Ireland – Artists Emergency Programme

Who can apply?

Artists Emergency Programme

  • £500,000 Arts Council National Lottery funds to support artists and freelancers
  • This programme supports the research, design and future presentation of events, performances and other artistic projects, including resources to help artists develop their artistic practice.
  • AEP will buy artists creative time to develop their skills and practice during these difficult times, for future presentation of work.
  • This is a rolling programme, opening today until further notice, for proposals ending March 2021.

Application forms and Guidance Notes for the Artists Emergency Programme are now available from the Arts Council here.

How much is available?

  • Artists Emergency Programme – up to £5,000 per applicant

How do I apply?

  • Artists Emergency Programme – this requires an Expression of Interest form, a CV, a budget, and proof of previous experience of delivering work for the public benefit. More information is available here.

The Musicians’ Union Hardship Fund

Who can apply?

  • UK residents who are members of the Musicians’ Union or joint members of the Musicians’ Union and the National Education Union (NEU)

How much is available?

  • A one-off grant of £200 per person

How do I apply?

  • Via an application form on the Musicians’ Union website. More information is available here.

PRS for Music Emergency Relief Fund

Who can apply?

  • All PRS for Music members

How much is available?

  • Grants of up to £1000 per person

How do I apply?

  • Via an online application form. More information is available here.

PRS Foundation Sustaining Creativity Fund

Who can apply?

  • UK music creators experiencing hardship form loss of work due to COVID-19
  • The grant is to help music creators continue to create exceptional new music – this is not a hardship fund

How much is available?

  • Grants of £750 per person

How do I apply?

  • Read the guidance available and complete the online application form. More information is available here.
  • Freelancers and contractors

AIM Support Fund

Who can apply?

  • Contractors and freelancers working with artists signed to AIM member labels (e.g. tour crews, studio producers, mixing engineers, radio pluggers, graphic designers, stylists, photographers, publicists, and managers)
  • Applicants must not be eligible for any other music industry hardship funds
  • UK and Ireland nationals and residents

How much is available?

  • A fund of £1 million is available

How do I apply?

  • You must be nominated for the fund by the AIM member that had contracted you for the lost work. More information is available here.

Crew Nation

Who can apply?

  • Members of touring or venue crews, both front of house and backstage staff,  who make 50% or more of their income from this field

How much is available?

  • A one-off grant equivalent to $1000 USD

How do I apply?

  • More information is available here.
  • Small Businesses

Small Business Grant Scheme

Who can apply?

  • Small businesses that already pay reduced business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)

How much is available?

  • A one-off grant of £10,000

How do I apply?

  • Via the NI Department for the Economy website. More information is available here.
  • Other useful information

Corona Musicians

  • This website lists a range of support and advice for musicians during the coronavirus period, including information on funding, legal and business advice, working online, mental health and other health matters.

Music Support and Thrive

  • The mental health charity Music Support has partnered with Thrive to provide 1,000 individuals with free access to wellbeing and mental health support.

Music & You

  • Music and You have created a number of resources to help us look after our wellbeing, including stress, anxiety and our mental health, during these times.

Meditation Courses

  • The Musicians’ Union is offering free online medication sessions to support the wellbeing of the music community during the pandemic.

Music Minds Matter

  • A free, confidential, around the clock helpline run by Help Musicians for the entire music industry.

Music Support Helpline

  • A helpline for anyone in the music industry suffering from alcoholism, addiction, emotional or mental health issues.

Output Belfast 2020: One day for and by the local music industry

Output Belfast is back with an entire day of keynotes so you can know everything about producing, promoting and selling music, from recorded to live. Bands that are managing themselves are encouraged to participate, as it is a well of tips and information condensed in a day. Music industry’s professionals are also attending…. However, everyone can participate, you just need to register!

Check out the full programme here and create your personal conference schedule: www.outputbelfast.com

After such an intense day, everyone is invited to enjoy gigs all across the city, in various venues such as Black Box, Ulster Sports Club or Voodoo. The aim of the night is to showcase all the marvellous talents that Northern Ireland has to offer! All the showcases are free to attend, so don’t be shy!

Here’s our showcase, in collaboration with Third Bar Artists Development, with Scratch My Progress 2019/20 students Joel Harkin and Sasha Samara