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.

Talent Development at Oh Yeah – Now recruiting for 2021

Scratch My Progress is the Oh Yeah Music Centre’s annual talent development scheme. Since 2010, 44+ acts have benefited from the Scratch My Progress scheme, with Oh Yeah mentors dedicated to developing, supporting, signposting, nurturing and promoting local musical talent to international change makers.

Applications are now open for the class of 2021/22 and we are expecting more applications than ever before given the sustained success of our alumnus including;

– Kitt Philippa who won ‘Album of the Year’ at the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2020 and has since signed a record deal with Paragon Records and Faber Alt.

– Sasha Samara who won the ‘Contender’ award at the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2020

– Gemma Bradley who is now the UK National Radio broadcaster for BBC

– Lemonade Shoelace who scored a ‘sync’ on Made In Chelsea and spins on

– Riley Holland who achieved 10K+ spins on her single in 3-weeks !!!!

We are looking for the most dedicated emerging talents to harness the full
opportunity of the scheme. 

Full details, guidelines and application form available on the following link; bit.ly/2VfWXdf

Artists/acts must be aged 16 and over to apply. See link for full application process.

Deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd August @ 6pm !!

Scratch My Progress is made possible by the kind support of YouTube MusicPRS Foundation and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Oh Yeah Rocks – Youth Music Camp is BACK!


Aged 13-18. Do you want to meet new young people, write a song and learn how to perform?
This camp is supported by the T:BUC fund – Together Building United Communities which is funded by the Executive Office of Northern Ireland and the Education Authority of Northern Ireland.

The dates for the camp are: 
Pre-Camp Sessions
Friday 23rd July
Friday 30th July
Wednesday 11th – Friday 13th August 10-4pm
Post-Camp Sessions:
Friday 20th August
Saturday 11th September

Oh Yeah Music Centre, 15-21 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG (dependent on any change in restrictions).

COST: £10 (the cost of your place has been generously subsidised by T:BUC funding but we require a contribution to £10 to secure your place).

*Attendance at pre-camp and post-camp sessions are mandatory to confirm your place.*If you want to take part you will need to fill out this form. There are limited spaces, so we will work a first come, first serve and then have a waiting list. 

Click here for Application Form

NI Music Prize 2021 – Now Open for submissions.

The submission process for the NI Music Prize Album and Single is now open!

 It has been the toughest year for music, but there has been no shortage of incredible releases and creativity. Outstanding music has been released, music that kept us going, inspired us, entertained us, brought us escapism and most of all hope.

 That is why despite all of the challenges that our music community has faced in the last year, we are delighted to announce that we will be proceeding with plans for 2021.

The NI Music Prize 2021 will take place on Wednesday 17th Nov. 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 Mon 5th July – Monday 26th July.

 Please read the full details on the NI Music Prize website and if you feel you are eligible, then you can submit using the links provided.

Go to www.nimusicprize.com for more info and to submit.

GIRLI ‘Damsel in Distress’ Tour (14+)

Shine Presents: 
‘Damsel in Distress’ Tour
Plus Guests  
Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast
Fri 26th Nov 2021
Doors 6pm 
Tickets £12 + BF from Ticketmaster.ie & shine.net
14+ Show

London based singer-songwriter GIRLI is pleased to announce her ‘Damsel in Distress’ Tourheadline Belfast show at Oh Yeah Centre on Friday 26th November 2021. GIRLI released her new five-track EP ‘Ex Talk’ in February 2021. Tickets on sale Wednesday 23rd June at 9am from Ticketmaster.ie & Shine.net

Before she was GIRLI, Milly grew up in north London with her performance-loving family, both parents being actors. As a young kid, her rebellion was not being artistic: she was a science nerd, and later deeply into politics and her school debate society, even briefly serving as a Youth MP for Camden. She was bullied at school, and retreated into a fantasy world of reading and writing fiction.

Then, during her GCSEs, she discovered music. Inspired by her favourite indie bands, like the Arctic Monkeys and Peace, she’d spend lunch breaks hanging out in the music department, playing guitar and singing, and eventually found herself two bandmates on JoinMyBand.com.
It didn’t faze 15-year-old Milly that her bandmates were 18; she confidently took charge. “Music was my obsession,” she remembers. “So we had to rehearse five times a week, just so we could play these shit gigs at pubs. I was so determined.”
Even after her bandmates decided they couldn’t hack Milly’s pace, she wasn’t deterred. She enrolled at ELAM (East London Art and Music), where she kept on honing her own voice: a kind of Gen Z emo rap take on Lily Allen, with the anger of Hole or Siouxsie and the Banshees remixed by the sheen of PC Music. 
She was just 17 when she signed with Virgin EMI, and 18 when she released “So You Think You Can F**k With Me Do Ya”, a J-pop-inspired, shout-a-long anthem. Between racking up further plays on Beats 1 and BBC Radio One with her rowdy second single “ASBOys” and photobombing Ant and Dec at the BRITs, her acid pink hair quickly became emblazoned in the public eye.
Behind the scenes, as an 18-year-old who had just received her first big cheque and moved into her own place, her life was becoming more and more intense. “Increasingly, after a year or two, it got very toxic,” she says now. “I was suffering from a really bad eating disorder. I was taking a lot of drugs, and just like, destroying myself.”
Her label called her in for a disciplinary meeting, which went on to inspire one of her greatest singles, the pop-punk riposte “Hot Mess”

Milly released her debut album Odd One Out in April 2019. Hailed as “gutsy” by the Guardian, and “unapologetic and audacious” by Clash, it’s a collection of songs that Milly is fiercely proud of. “The album is like this weird mix of happy and sad,” she reflects, pointing in particular to the frank single “Up and Down” which addresses depression head-on. “Because I was experiencing these really intense mental health issues, and also partying way too much, and then I fell in love for the first time.” Despite the love and honesty she poured into the project, she was released from her record deal a month later. 

Hitting up musician friends like Slovenian singer-songwriter July Jones to join her in the studio, Milly began sculpting a new voice for GIRLI: one that was even more raw and unfiltered than she had ever been in the past. She channelled her feelings about being dropped, along with the searing pain of her first break-up, into super vulnerable lyrics, leaning harder into a grunge-influenced, riot grrrl sound. “I was angry, more than anything,” she says. “It made me realise that anger can be a good emotion, because it can spur you on to do things. If I hadn’t been angry, I would’ve just been sad and mopey.” But instead of falling into a depressive inertia, she created her furious, joyous five-track EP, Ex Talk

Arts & Business Awards NI – Two Nominations for Oh Yeah

We are delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted in two categories for the up coming Arts & Business awards. You can view the full list HERE

For the ‘New Sponsorship’ category with Translink for Sound of Belfast 2019 – for the Metro Sessions project and new music competition.

For inspirational Trustee for our former Chair, Shona McCarthy for her brilliant leadership spanning 5 years, helping the organisation and team through a period of transition and change up until 2020. We are incredibly grateful for Shona’s time and support during that period and delighted to see her recognised through this category.

Shona McCarthy:

Shona McCarthy joined the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society as Chief Executive in December 2015. Shona has championed the Edinburgh Fringe as the world’s leading open access, performing arts festival and founded on the principle of freedom of expression. From 2015 – 2020 Shona was Chair of the Oh Yeah Music Centre. From 2011-2014 she was Chief Executive of the Culture Company, leading on Derry – Londonderry’s transformational year as UK City of Culture. Prior to that she was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland.  She headed up Imagine Belfast to deliver Belfast’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2001. She also spent many years as Chief Executive of Cinemagic Film Festival for young people, Belfast; and the Foyle Film Festival, Derry; and was Head of Exhibition at the Northern Ireland Film Council. Shona has 32 years experience working in senior leadership positions and was awarded a prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation in 2014, making her part of a global network of leaders and influencers, and a NESTA cultural leadership award which took her to work with the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in Calcutta India in 2007.

FREE USE IMAGE Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Shona McCarthy. 9 May 2016. Picture by JANE BARLOW © Jane Barlow 2016 {all rights reserved} janebarlowphotography@gmail.com m: 07870 152324

Women’s Work 2021 – Programme Details Announced — 17th – 20th June

 A collective performance of Running Up That Hill, the NI Electronic Workshop with Hannah Peel, The Magy’s Farm Sessions, Getting To Know Pillow Queens, Dani Larkin album launch and much more set for Women’s Work 2021.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced the details of its fifth Women’s Work programme. The festival, which is an annual celebration of women in music, will take place online, across four days and nights and includes a range of activities that are open to all genders and include showcases, gigs, special events, panels, talks, and workshops.

One of the highlights will include a collective cover of ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Kate Bush. Following a call out for participants, Women’s Work will showcase the results as an online effort led by Katie Richardson. The video will support efforts to raise funds for Women’s Aid.

Women’s Work is also proud to support the launch of an application process for a new initiative – NI Electronic Workshop led by Hannah Peel. Dani Larkin will launch her highly anticipated debut album ‘Notes for a Maiden Warrior’ and the Oh Yeah Getting To Know series will run two events that will feature an exclusive with Pillow Queens and another session with Dani Larkin.

The festival also involves a performance from Kate Nicholson via the Accidental Theatre. The Lunchbox Sessions will feature daily music from Sara Ryan, Míde Houlihan and Winnie Ama. The Magy’s Farm Sessions will feature five artists from University of Ulster Music: Niamh Murray, Cara Quinn, Rhian Brownlow, Clodagh May and Lara O’Donnell.

Isobel Anderson, host of the highly rated music podcast Girls Twiddling Knobs, will present a special LIVE episode with a sublime panel of special guests. There are workshops with Siobhan Brown, Theodora Byrne, Amanda St John, Brigid O’Neill and many more.

Discussion panels will feature; ‘I Am My Song’ hosted by Beyond Skin & Afghan National Institute of Music. Linda Coogan Byrne and Siobhan McAndrew will discuss the ‘Why Not Her?’ campaign and Lynette Fay and Dr Úna Monaghan will discuss Sexism In Irish Traditional Music.

There’s the Mothers In Music Showcase, as well as access to the brilliant Julie McLarnon documentary The Psychology of Analogue. The list of events goes on and includes presentations, talks and advice sessions from the likes of Safe In Sound, Nadia Khan & Claire Rose (Women in CTRL), Francesca O’Connor (Make Waves Management) and Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1). 

Charlene Hegarty, Talent Development Manager at Oh Yeah and the festival’s coordinator said – “Women’s Work is a celebration of the multi-genre females at work, both on and off the stage, in Ireland. I am delighted it’s back for a 5th year and burning brighter than ever. The programme is just a snapshot and it brings me incredible joy to work in collaboration with these talented and creative women. I hope you enjoy what we have planned for you.”

 The Online Festival runs 17th – 20th June 2021. 

A fresh new website goes live on Monday 17th May.

For full details go to www.womensworkni.co.uk

Oh Yeah Music Centre marks 14 years with a virtual tour of NI.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is set to mark its 14 th birthday with a
specially recorded series of music performances. Oh Yeah opened its doors to the public on 5th May 2007. The centre normally programmes a live music celebration, but due to the pandemic this will be the second year that the doors have been closed on its anniversary. The Virtual Tour of NI will instead celebrate some of our venues and artists via YouTube as we hope for a safe return to live in the coming months. The tour will set off on May 10th at The Oh Yeah Centre and will complete at The Rostrevor Inn on May 14th .
Like all venues across NI, Oh Yeah has been closed since March 2020. To date there has been no indication of when live music venues might be able to reopen in the North. It has been a hugely challenging time and live music has disappeared from our lives completely. Nevertheless there is a determination and resolution that it can’t always be like this. And so, as we start to slowly emerge from the most recent lockdown, Oh Yeah is renewing plans, refreshing memories and creating new opportunities.
Thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this virtual tour has been
specially recorded in five venues around NI. Some share the ethos of Oh Yeah as cultural and music development spaces, while others which are a little off the beaten track contribute greatly to our musical landscape, providing live sounds that are loved by local residents and visitors alike. Places that breath life into cities, towns and villages across NI. Places that have been silent for over a year.
The series will be broadcast on the Oh Yeah YouTube channel and will kick off on May 10 th at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. The tour will then virtually weave its way to the Nerve Centre, Derry (11 th ), the Cornstore, Draperstown (home to Glasgowbury, (12 th ), Blakes of The Hollow in Enniskillen (13 th ) and finish up at The Rostervor Inn (14 th ).
Fourteen artists from a variety of genres and musicals backgrounds will provide stunning performances. They include Dana Masters, Gemma Bradley, Susie Blue, The Wood Burning Savages, Catherine McGrath, Invaderband, Our Krypton Son, Casual Riots, Enola Gay, Justine Gormley, The Organauts, Bernadette Morris, Laytha and Matt McGinn.
Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said: “We are fortunate to have weathered the
storm so far and make it to our 14 th year. We are grateful the Arts Council of NI for this opportunity, and to every single person and supporter that has cheered us on, supported our work, and donated or funded our projects over the years.
But it’s not been easy for venues and artists this past year and there is still so much support needed to ensure the survival of our wonderful live music venues and artistic community. All of which are crucial, yes to the economy, but also to the energy of our towns and cities, to our wellbeing, to artistic development, to community engagement, to the preservation of our music heritage and for live exchange. We just can’t underestimate how important our venues and musicians are. So for that reason we are using our birthday to say we can’t wait to welcome you back and when we can all reopen again, please get out there and support your local venues and artists.“

The Virtual Tour NI, which was recorded and produced by Mike Edgar
production, kicks off on May 10 th on Oh Yeah YouTube Channel. Subscribe for updates and reminders.
Oh Yeah gratefully acknowledges support from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Subscribe to Oh Yeah YouTube

We are recruiting a Music Programme Officer




As part of an exciting new pilot programme funded by the Education Authority, we are recruiting for a MUSIC PROGRAMME OFFICER.

The post will be 2 days a week contracted for a period of 18 months (with possibility of extension, dependent on continuing funding). The role will involve the delivery of a pilot youth programme using music as a vehicle for engagement.

Details of the job specification and application form can be found on the link below. Closing date Friday 23rd April 2021, 4.30pm.


Scratch My Progress – Volume 9… OUT TODAY!






The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to announce the release of this year’s
showcase EP from its annual talent development programme Scratch My Progress.
The five fresh new acts which Oh Yeah took on board in September 2020 under the restrictions of the pandemic, have each written, recorded and released very different tracks in a year that has been like no other for the project or the artists.

The acts on the programme include Riley Holland, Gilmore, Gender Chores,
Vivamagnolia and Lemonade Shoelace and since March 2020 none of them have had an opportunity to play live or trial their sound in front of a live audience. Access to safe practice has been difficult too, but earlier this year they rose to the challenge and recorded a live performance under the guidance of Oh Yeah. In light of there being no opportunity for the usual live showcase these performances were pre- recorded and can instead be viewed on the Oh Yeah YouTube Channel.

Talent Development Manager Charlene Hegarty who has guided the participants through the last 7 months said:

“2020 delivered the toughest conditions in living memory for the creative arts. I am so proud of the 5 acts featured on this release – they rose to the challenge, remained committed throughout and have delivered the most accomplished and diverse range of new sounds. Dive in, surround yourself in the music, support these young local artists and the arts. This is just the start”

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. The dedicated programme, now in its 9th year, is a PRS Foundation Talent Development partner supported by PPL and also with support from Help Musicians and YouTube Music. Oh Yeah also gratefully acknowledges the support of Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

Please support these new acts and listen to, download and buy the tracks from HERE

Track Listing:

1.Autopilot Paradise – Lemonade Shoelace

2. 990 Miles – Vivamagnolia

3. Say It First – Riley Holland

4. Here – Gilmore

5. Night In The Woods – Gender Chores

Gender Chores
Gender Chores is Sam, Sophie and AJ. The music is informed and noisy and assertive. Their domain is the north of Ireland where bigotry and intolerance exist in the highest political offices. Gender Chores attack those failings with rage and wit; their live shows were keen moments of punk spirit and alternative thinking.
For more info https://linktr.ee/genderchores/

Gilmore is a composer, DJ and musician from Bangor, Northern Ireland. While he’s still in the early phase of his career, his tracks have been streamed more than half a million times on Spotify and on other platforms. He has compiled a dance mix for BBC Introducing and has enjoyed significant radio plays.
For more info https://linktr.ee/gilmore96

Lemonade Shoelace
This is the project of 23-year-old Ruairí Richman, a graduate of the BIMM institute in Dublin and a native of Newcastle, Co. Down. He name checks Air, Flaming Lips, John Lennon and Tame Impala.
For more info https://www.instagram.com/lemonade_shoelace

Riley Holland
Riley Holland is a songwriter and performer from Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Her music relates to pop and urban, acoustic and electronic.
For more info https://linktr.ee/rileyholland

Vivamagnolia is Patrick J. Hodgen and his dedicated band Matt Holland (Valium & Dark Tropics) and Calvin Wells (Doctor Zoot) The band take its name from a series of vital alternative releases – Will Oldham’s “Viva Last Blues” and Songs: Ohia’s “Magnolia Electric Co.”
For more info https://snd.click/4fh7