Dolores Keeping the Punk Spirit Alive with New Belfast Music Walking Tour

Creative Tours Belfast in association with Oh Yeah Music Centre present the Belfast Music Walking Tour.

If you were looking for the right person to host a musical walking tour of Belfast, then someone who jumped up on stage in the Ulster Hall in 1978 and played drums to ‘Peaches’ with punk legends The Stranglers would probably fit the bill!

Live music has always played a central role in Dolores Vischer’s life – and still does.  Following her recent retirement from Queen’s University after almost 20 years, Dolores decided to explore her long-held dream of becoming a tour guide.  

Over a period of 18 months during the pandemic, Dolores studied to become a qualified Belfast Green Badge Tourist Guide.  One of the modules on her course was to develop a new walking tour and with her lifelong passion for music, Dolores knew what the theme of her tour had to be. 

Since qualifying as a tour guide, Dolores has set up a new business – Creative Tours Belfast – to showcase her home city’s arts to the world.  She offers a range of walking tours to locals and visitors alike, covering music, street art, historic entries and pubs, all of which are delivered with her trademark combination of facts and fun. 

Speaking about her new venture and the forthcoming summer season of the Belfast Music Walking Tour, Dolores says:

“Music is part of what keeps me feeling young.  I’m lucky enough to have boundless energy and during festivals can be out at arts events seven nights a week!  During the punk era, if something didn’t exist, you made it happen – and that’s what I’m doing with Creative Tours Belfast. Belfast has such a rich music heritage and so much talent, past and present, across all genres. From electronic to classical and punk; opera to folk and pop – and everything in between. The recent designation of the City of Music title by UNESCO makes it the perfect time for locals and visitors alike to discover more about Belfast’s musical stories.”

Dolores jamming on the drums!

Starting out at the Ulster Hall, the Belfast Music Walking Tour explores some of the venues that are important in Belfast’s musical history. Guests can find out about some of the characters down the years who’ve shaped the city’s music culture, and acknowledge some of the talented people, festivals and events taking it forward today. 

The tour concludes with a visit to Belfast’s own dedicated music hub, the Oh Yeah Centre, with a chance to browse the centre’s NI Music Exhibition, which features memorabilia from Northern Ireland musicians including Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers.  Guests can then settle down to enjoy a special, private performance by a local musician, often a rising star who has completed an Oh Yeah Talent Development programme. 

Charlotte Dryden, Chief Executive of Oh Yeah explained the centre’s support for the new walking tour: 

“With the NI Music Exhibition and Belfast Music Bus Tour already provided by Oh Yeah, there was just one thing missing from the city’s offering – a walking tour! Walking around a city with someone who is both knowledgeable and entertaining is the best way to get to know a new place – or to fall in love with your home all over again.  We love Dolores’ personality, energy and passion for music and are thrilled to be supporting her new venture.”  

The summer schedule for the Belfast Music Walking Tour begins on Friday 8 July and will run two or three times a month on a Friday or Saturday.  Each tour starts at 1pm outside the Ulster Hall and ends at 4pm at the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The new walking tour also complements the two-hour Belfast Music Bus Tour offered by Oh Yeah, that Dolores occasionally takes out. The music bus tour is starting up again for summer, usually running on the last Saturday in the month: The next bus tour dates are Saturday 23 July and Saturday 27 August.

To purchase tickets for the respective tours, search ‘Belfast Music Walking Tour’ or ‘Belfast Music Bus Tour’ on visitbelfast.com

DIY Music Academy

Oh Yeah Youth Department are excited to be working with our friends at Giga Training again. They are providing this amazing FREE four day summer programme for any young person aged 12-16 years old who lives in Belfast and is interested in a career in the music industry.

Over the course of the four days participants will learn about branding, beat making, production skills, recording on a budget and lots of other digital skills that will give you a headstart in the industry.

For more information, email youth@ohyeahbelfast.com or apply online: https://www.digital-arts-academy.com/43-diy-music-academy-2022/

Elevate launch!

The Youth Team at Oh Yeah are excited to announce the start of a new youth programme. It starts on Wednesday 15th June and will run throughout the Summer.

The programme is funded by the ABRSM and the aim is to provide free mentoring for young people who want to learn how to play guitar or write songs.

We are working with a few really great mentors who have years of industry experience and lots of passion for working with young people.

If you are interested or want to find out more – email youth@ohyeahbelfast.com

Job Opportunity

OPEN MON 9TH MAY 2022

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS – 5PM MONDAY 30TH MAY 2022

E-MAIL Applications to: recruitment@ohyeahbelfast.com

TWO Documents include:

1. Key details, job description and application process.

2. Introduction to Oh Yeah.

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Job Summary: This is a new post at Oh Yeah made possible with funding through ‘Art Work’; an Employment and Skills Initiative for the Arts Sector, supported by the Department of Communities through Future Screens NI.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join the team to support the communications and marketing of the various projects and services at the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Working closely with colleagues, the successful applicant will support the external communications of the charity, helping to extend the reach of our work that is impacting on the lives of people through music.

The successful candidate will primarily communicate and promote the work of the venue, events, youth and outreach programmes, talent development projects, events and festivals, music tourism and services.

Salary: £19,264 gross pa (fixed term 3 years – This post may be extended or made permanent subject to funding)

Development Support: This is an entry level or career change opportunity that will include mentoring and development support from staff, board and industry professionals.

Full time post: 35 hours week

Additional Terms: Pension 5%

Annual Leave: 25 days annual leave + customary holidays.

Contract commences: July 2022

Reports to: CEO

Click this link for full details and how to apply – Marketing and Communications Officer Recruitment Pack

UNESCO City of Music – a new WALKING Tour and the return of Belfast Music BUS Tour!

We are a UNESCO City of Music! To celebrate we have teamed up with Creative Tours to bring you a new visitor experience for Belfast.

Belfast UNESCO City of Music: walking tour and performance.

A new music walking tour of Belfast, coupled with a live performance, launched in launch in April, thanks to support from Belfast City Council. The ‘Belfast UNESCO City of Music walking tour and performance’ offers locals and visitors alike a taste of the vibrancy of Belfast’s music scene.  

The tour has been developed by Dolores Vischer of Creative Tours Belfast – a huge music fan and qualified Belfast Green Badge Tourist Guide – in association with the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Excited that the tour chimes with the city’s recent UNESCO music award, Dolores commented: “Belfast has such a rich music heritage and so much talent, past and present, across all genres. From hip hop to classical and punk; opera to folk and electro pop – and everything in between – music plays a significant and important role in the fabric of Belfast, making it a vibrant city to live in or visit. I always knew Belfast was a city of music, but it’s a great boost that the city has been awarded the coveted City of Music status by UNESCO. It’s like having a global quality stamp!”

She added: “The tour gives me a chance to share with others my passion for our city and its music, to visit some cool places, tell some stories about iconic music moments and local legends, and above all to make sure that the tour guests have a really great time.” 

During the walking tour guests can look forward to a host of stories about key music moments, characters who’ve shaped our music heritage and the current achievements of many local legends.

The tour is a comfortable walk around the city centre at just over 2 hours, beginning at the Ulster Hall and ending at Oh Yeah. Upcoming dates to be announced in the coming days – for queries contact creativetoursbelfast@gmail.com

Oh Yeah is also delighted to announce the return of the Belfast Music Bus Tour. A musical bus journey around Belfast. If you would prefer this to a walking tour see HERE for more info and dates.

Women’s Work, Aid For Ukraine Live and Get On It!

Women’s Work 2022 is Live!

Women’s Work 2022 has been launched! It will run from 2-5 June with dozens of events to choose from.

Since 2015, Women’s Work has aimed to:

· Promote, celebrate and support women by establishing a local network that is open and accessible to all.

· Have a concentrated series of events ‘Women’s Work’ in and around International Women’s Day to ensure greater impact and reach.

· Empower women to take the lead in shaping their own careers by providing advice, signposting and encouraging discussion.

· To lift and inspire aspiring young female artists to get involved knowing there is positive and supportive network locally.

· Help promote cities like Belfast and Derry as forward thinking music cities supporting its artists through a variety of networks and encouraging diversity and by joining with networks in other cities in other countries.

· Link with other groups nationally and internationally.

· Increase awareness and understanding of equality issues facing women.

· Work towards informing key funding and development bodies that may inform future strategy or priorities.

Aid For Ukraine Fundraising Gig

Oh Yeah has partnered with Stendhal Festival to bring you a brilliant night of music Aid For Ukraine. Proceeds will go to Stowarzyszenie Leubuzzi, a Polish Charity feeding refugees in the town of Ośno Lubuskie.

Featuring sets and performances from…

Duke Special
Phil Taggart
The Wood Burning Savages
Joshua Burnside
Sister Ghost
Lemonade Shoelace

Get On It #3

Join YEO Magazine for another month of sweet sweet live music from some of our favourite local tune makers, supported Dubliner Whiskey.

Buy a ticket in advance and bring a mate for free! This deal only applies to online ticket purchases

Opening the night will be the warm and fuzzy sounds of Heart Shaped, whose 2021 EP ‘Second Hand’ was one of our favourite releases that year. Her follow-up single called ‘No Contact’ is just as tasty, the Houston TX native and Belfast based artist is not to be missed if you’re into your anthemic choruses about the complications of modern romance and self-love.

Next up will be BBC Radio 1 and ATL’s very own Gemma Bradley whose own musical output is as exceptional as her radio presenting. Flavours of acoustic pop are blended with more soulful rhythms and topped off by her mind-blowing vocals. Having just supported one of the world’s most exciting acts of Nilufer Yanya, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say she stole the show. On top of that, her last single ‘Better’ is still stuck in our heads thanks to some irresistibly catchy songwriting.

Closing out the night will be one of the most exciting electronic artists in Belfast at the minute in the shape of Gilmore. By mixing his own productions with absolute floor fillers, he is rightly earning quite the reputation for providing the tunes for a good time. Prepare yourself for a selector that reads a room as good as any and can pick you up from any low you may be going through in life. Oh, it’s going to be a good one!

As always a massive thanks to Dubliner Whiskey who will be providing a free drink on entry plus discounted cocktails all night.

MON YOU GET ON IT!

Season’s Greetings and End of Year Reflection from Oh Yeah Music Centre

Dear friends of Oh Yeah, we would like to wish you a very happy, restful, safe and healthy Christmas. Thank you for your support in 2021, from online engagement and participation through to coming out to gigs when we returned to live music and events. Your donations, purchases and messages of support have been so encouraging and it has meant a lot to the team here at Oh Yeah. 

This year all our lives were still dominated by the challenges and uncertainty of Covid. It has been so difficult to see the music sector and our community so badly affected by the pandemic, but we were also immensely proud of the work and achievements of our musicians. From Mercury (Hannah Peel), Brit Award (Bicep) and Ivor Novello (Conor Mitchell) nominations through to the NI Music Prize, including a first all female line up of winners in the history of the awards, with Saint Sister and Dea Matrona leading the charge. We also finally got to present Mike Edgar with the Outstanding Contribution to Music award. 

In November after over two years of hard work from Belfast City Council and the City of Music Steering group there was the proudest of moments when Belfast was officially named a UNESCO City of Music. We are excited about the opportunities this can bring and we are looking forward to supporting the next steps. Belfast City Council has stepped up for culture in the city and we are grateful for this commitment. 

We want to pay tribute to all the musicians who have worked tirelessly for others. Even in a year when things have been toughest, artists have continued to donate proceeds of their music to charities they support. There is no more generous group of people. We also want to pay tribute to the late Steve Strange, a champion for NI music, friend, and giant of the music industry, who we sadly lost in September.

In 2021 Oh Yeah continued to adapt to new ways of working, from a blended approach to the joy of returning to being in the room together. We worked with hundreds of highly talented creative people, from musicians to producers, engineers, crew, production, mentors, tutors, facilitators, graphic designers, freelancers and more. They helped us achieve and deliver great work, from the Virtual Tour of NI to Women’s Work, to the NI Music Prize, Sound of Belfast, Mothers In Music, Volume Control, ASK mentoring, youth outreach and arts and older people.

We commissioned two songs about Belfast for Sound of Belfast written by Gareth Dunlop and Jealous Of The Birds, and we even welcomed a new staff member Matt McGinn to the outreach team. The Oh Yeah venue has never looked or sounded better and we will continue to improve the facilities over the coming years. In short, we continued to engage with all ages, aspirations and levels, through music throughout the year.

Music creators keep on doing great things and here at Oh Yeah, we are more committed than ever to keep the doors open to music, to developing talent, to supporting and celebrating creativity. The challenge for 2022 is to retain and keep hold of the world-class talent that we have, to ensure we facilitate and support that talent and lead the way in making our cities and towns musicians and artist friendly spaces to create, build audiences and of course make a living. Musicians are innovative and resilient, the arts sector is innovative and resilient, but it has been chronically under-funded for far too long and we must make things better, for the benefit of all.

But there have also been very supportive funders and sponsors who without, we would have had to close the doors and so we want to thank them and acknowledge that support. To the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Google/YouTube, Education Authority, Department for Communities, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland Screen, PPL, PRS Foundation, PRS for Music, Help Musicians, Spirit of 2012. Thanks also to Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon for the donation of the ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’ rare acetate, we hope to auction it very soon! Thanks also to Gary Lightbody for all that you do for music in NI.

Big love to all the hard working creatives based in Oh Yeah – we have the best bunch of tenants. Final thanks goes the Oh Yeah staff and volunteers and to our new Chair Paul Evans, Vice Chair Lynne Best and all the Oh Yeah board. The commitment and support has been above and beyond. 

Happy Christmas everyone, please stay healthy, be happy and let’s move into 2022 with a renewed confidence.

From Charlotte, Dee, Caoimhe, Charlene, Lisa, Matt, Paul, Ryan, Seán and Sian!

Oh Yeah – 2021 On Screen…

Check out all the great projects from 2021 on YouTube… click here and don’t forget to subscribe for future updates!

NI Music Prize 2021 – How It Went

Saint Sister and Dea Matrona
triumph at NI Music Prize 2021

The NI Music Prize returned to the Ulster Hall on Wednesday 17th November for a live showcase of some of the best music artists we have to offer. The event, which was organised by the Oh Yeah Centre, also went out live on YouTube and BBC Radio Ulster.

After a year without gigs due to the pandemic, this was the first opportunity for fans, artists and industry in almost two years to get together for a much-needed celebration of all that is great about music from Northern Ireland.

There were jaw-dropping moments of live music from shortlisted acts Dani Larkin, New Pagans, Trú and Amy Montgomery, as well as special guest performances from Ash, Ryan McMullan and Sasha Samara.

It was a night for emotional speeches, tributes and dedications including a moving tribute to the late Steve Strange. The event also spotlighted the excellent work of Help Musicians throughout the pandemic.

UNESCO City of Music was officially marked with an opening address from the Lord Mayor Cllr Kate Nicholl and Hannah Peel.

Big moments included Saint Sister taking Best Album supported by PPL for their stunning record ‘Where I Should End’ decided by a panel on the night. Dea Matrona picked up the two other awards for Best Single (supported by YouTube Music) and ATL Contender Award as voted by the public. 

It was a first ever all female line up of winners and while both acts were unable to pick up their awards due to touring commitments and show schedules, (another first for the night) there were beautiful acceptances on Saint Sister’s behalf from Gemma Doherty’s mum Sharon Hall and good friend and fellow artist Katie Richardson. Dea Matrona beamed in with a thank you and their manager Aidan Shortall picked up their awards.

Tim, Rick and Mark from the band ASH presented Mike Edgar with the Outstanding Contribution award for his 40 year career, impact and support for music. He made a heartfelt speech and got a rightly rousing applause.

Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah said. “ Huge thanks to team involved in putting on such a massive show under some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever faced, led mostly by the effects of the pandemic. An army of great people helped get this over the line and the production was superb. It was an exceptional night of music and massive congratulations to all the acts involved right from the start of the process through to the winners. We have a world-class music scene here and we will keep telling people that.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer of PPL said: “Each year the Northern Ireland Music Prize celebrates the best of the country’s music, showcasing a diverse range of artistic talent and recognising music as an important contributor to its culture, economy and community. PPL is proud to support Northern Ireland’s music industry and would like to congratulate Saint Sister and all those recognised by this year’s Prize for making music of exceptional quality.”

Saint Sister play Derry Nerve Centre on Saturday 20th Nov – TICKETS

Belfast Empire on Sunday 21st November – TICKETS

Photos and music all at http://www.nimusicprize.com

Copyright Mike Edgar Productions/Oh Yeah

NI Music Prize 2021: The Lowdown!

Essential info:

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Ulster Hall, 34 Bedford St, Belfast BT2 7FF

Doors – 6.45pm

Main event starts 7.30pm sharp and ends @10pm

A limited number of tickets will be on sale on the door.

Any ticket holders without physical tickets will have their name on the door

The event will be live-streamed from Oh Yeah’s YouTube page.

We will also be live tweeting the event.

Ulster Hall entry policy here.

Dress to impress or smart casual

This is a fully seated show

Your event hosts:

Rigsy and Gemma Bradley

Featuring Guest Performances from:

ASH

Ryan McMullan

Sasha Samara

+

Nominee Performances from

Dani Larkin

New Pagans

Trú

Amy Montgomery

The Prize is an annual recognition of new and outstanding musical talent from Northern Ireland. This year the event returns to the Ulster Hall after a hugely challenging time for music. The evening will mark the rebuilding and revival of our industry and artists as we finally emerge from the pandemic. It will be a chance to reflect but it’s also an opportunity to look to the future with a renewed optimism. And of course it will be a night to celebrate the great music that our musicians have produced over the last twelve months.

The evening will feature live performances from shortlisted acts and special guests. Presenters will announce awards for Best Album presented by PPLBest Single (supported by YouTube Music) and the ATL Contender AwardThe evening includes the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award presentation to Mike Edgar and there will be a spotlight on the work of Help Musicians. There will also be a special dedication to the late Steve Strange who sadly passed away earlier this year.

The evening will also mark the recent designation of Belfast as UNESCO City of Music. Belfast has been awarded the coveted City of Music status celebrating the city’s rich musical heritage and recognising the importance of music to its future. Belfast is only the third city in the UK to become a City of Music with Liverpool receiving it in 2016 and Glasgow in 2008. It is also the first city on the island of Ireland to receive the accolade. There are now 59 Cities of Music forming part of the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The Northern Ireland Music Prize is supported by Belfast City CouncilYouTube MusicArts Council Northern IrelandPPLPRS for Music, and in association with BBC Across The Line.

The event will also be streamed live on the Oh Yeah YouTube Channel.

The NI Music Prize is coordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and was established to celebrate and promote the rich and diverse home grown, world-class music of Belfast and Northern Ireland.

The event takes place during the Sound of Belfast festival, an annual 10-day showcase of the music of the city, from grassroots acts to celebrated names. 

Sound of Belfast is dedicated to celebrating the tireless efforts of local musicians, promoters, industry, community, media, supporters and audiences – this passion combined is what makes Belfast a great music city. It takes place 4th – 18th November 2021.

For more info on Sound of Belfast – www.soundofbelfast.com

For more info on the NI Music Prize – www.nimusicprize.com

Please read the following for Ulster Hall entry policy:

COVID Status Check

All ticket holders aged 18 and over, will need to provide one of the following:

  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test
  • Proof of natural immunity

Read full details on what is required for a COVID Status Check.

COVID-Secure Check

Led by government guidance and supported by industry best practice, our team has undertaken comprehensive risk assessments to mitigate against the transmission of COVID-19. Find out more information about our COVID-Secure Venue.