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.

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

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;; 028 9031 0845


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 ( or apply here

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

Actively Seeking A Female Punk Story of Northern Ireland

Actively Seeking A Female Punk Story of Northern Ireland

A call-out to the punkettes from the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre are actively looking to tell the female side of the Northern Ireland punk story which will be launched at the upcoming Women’s Work Festival.

We are looking for clothing, memorabilia, photographs, posters, badges and great stories. A selection will be used to create a special exhibition at the Oh Yeah Music Centre and will be used to complement the award-winning Northern Ireland Music Exhibition at the centre – the only permanent exhibition for popular music in NI.

This call-out takes place around the 40th anniversary of the big moments in the local punk story: the release of ‘Suspect Device’ by Stiff Little Fingers (March 1978), the first punk gig at the Harp Bar on Hill Street (Victim and The Androids, April 21 1978) and the first single release on the Good Vibrations label (‘Big Time’ by Rudi, April 1978). Much of this has been well documented and has featured in the wonderful Good Vibrations film. However the role of female fans and musicians needs to be researched in depth. We want an alternative, alternative story.

So we are looking to hear from the participants. The trailblazers who attended nights at the Viking and the Trident in Bangor. The participants at the Glenmachan Hotel and the Harp Bar in Belfast. To those who found their teenage kicks at the Casbah in Derry and who created an anarcho-punk haven at Giro’s on Donegal Street Place, Belfast in the early 80s.

Our understanding of the London punk scene has recently been revised by the autobiography of Slits guitarist Viv Albertine and will be furthered by an upcoming film documentary on Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) from X Ray Spex. This is the time to do justice to these stories and we want to celebrate the courage and creativity of the visionaries who looked to create a new society in Northern Ireland during turbulent and often oppressive times.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said, “The story of Belfast punk is well documented and has inspired countless bands and music lovers around the world. The NI Music Exhibition has successfully celebrated and honored the bands and the scene, but admittedly very few females have featured. It has been an ambition of ours for a while to dig deeper into the story by seeking out the women from this particular era of punk. We have no idea how many stories will come to us, but we know they are out there. This is a very exciting project for us and we can’t wait to see what comes from this call out.”

Exhibition runs 5th – 10th June 2018 as part of Women’s Work Festival.

We are accepting memorabilia, photos etc until 11th May.

For more info contact

Photo courtesy of Peter McGuinness.

Music Potential Showcase

Those with Music Potential come together for a special evening at Oh Yeah this April

| Rebekah Fitch | Jonny McArdle | P.O.C | Chris Walton | Conor Maley |

| John Martin Tierney | JackO | Shauna McArdle

 The participants of Music Potential Belfast, a project facilitated by The Oh Yeah Music Centre on behalf of London based Capital XTRA Radio is set to showcase the results of their work on Tuesday 17th April.

Music Potential is one of the largest talent searches and intense music training schemes to come out of the UK on such a wide scale with young people from London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham and Belfast taking part.

The music programme supports young people aged 18-25 improve crucial skills necessary in both developing talent and enhancing employability prospects. In February this year 60 young people took part in an intense round of workshops and training in music production, writing, performance and events management known as the MPX programme. They worked alongside some of the best in the industry, including Leah McFall, Callum Stewart and Iain Archer.The programme helped sharpen young performer’s skills and increase confidence in areas that include of song writing, music and radio production and event management.

Now is their time to shine and for some it will the first time they have graced the stage to experience the buzz of live performance. Singer-songwriter Shauna McArdle will be performing a track written in collaboration with 18-year-old rapper Jack O’Connell. Neither artist has performed in public before. Shauna credits the ‘Music Potential’ programme with getting her back into music after taking a break due to personal issues:

“Having written and sung privately for a long time, I had lost my confidence and couldn’t face the prospect of performing. However, this programme has really given me the confidence to sing in front of other people again and to just get out there and show people what I have got!”

Other artists like Rebekah Fitch and Conor Maley are seasoned pros at this stage. Both have been steadily making a name for themselves on the music scene in Belfast and see this as another step on the ladder to success. Conor Maley, originally from Co. Donegal, signed up to the programme to get more experience of the industry and to hone his talent further:

“Already on the programme, I have created strong networks and made great connections, so much so that I have already been offered slots on bills I wouldn’t have been considered before. It’s been a great next step for me and I can’t wait until the showcase to debut some of the tracks recorded with Start Together Studios”.

Doors 7pm – encouraging people to come along and support!

Call for expressions of interest for freelance mentors.

Oh Yeah is launching a call for expressions of interest for flexible freelance mentors for an exciting new youth outreach project called More Volume.

Term of contract: Short term, freelance, flexible – some programmes will be delivered one session per week over 12 weeks and others will be delivered over shorter periods of time with longer sessions. The model may be changed to fit the needs of the group.

More Volume is a youth events and industry enterprise mentoring programme based on Oh Yeah’s award winning programme Volume Control. The aim of the project is to inspire young people to develop their skills and confidence in the music and events industry by providing mentoring and support that will give them the opportunity to realise their full potential. The participants of More Volume will also achieve a recognised qualification as a result of their involvement in the project. 

We will be engaging with a number of groups in communities around Belfast over the next three years to run this project in conjunction with local delivery partners.

We do this with hands on practical work that includes a team of up to 12 young people working together to plan and promote a live event in conjunction with a local festival in their area.

We are looking for someone with music and events industry knowledge and experience, to mentor the group in the planning and promotion of these events.

Reporting to the Youth Engagement Manager, your key responsibilities will include:

• Mentoring and facilitation at weekly meetings with the group.
• Gig planning and preparation.
• Facilitating group discussion.
• Ensuring group meet deadlines.
• Organising workshops for the group in topics relating to the completion of the project.

Person spec:

• Experience organising and running live music events.
• Experience working with young people (either youth/community work, facilitation, project delivery, tuition, volunteering)
• Ability to effectively plan and prioritise.
• Good knowledge of local music community.
• Excellent verbal, written and communication skills.
• Knowledge/experience in youth and child protection policies and legislation.
• Experience in delivering accredited programmes (desirable).


3 hours per week (flexible scheduling to fit needs of the group)
1.5 hours to meet with group
1.5 hours for prep or other admin.
Plus attendance, facilitation, mentoring as required at live event.
This is a paid role with a set fee per programme, plus travel costs.

Please send an expression of interest explaining how you are qualified to mentor More Volume groups in no more than 500 words, plus CV to

If suitable for the role, we will add your name to a pool of mentors for this project.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

BBC Biggest Weekend Fringe

Are you aged 16 – 24 years old?

On Saturday 21 April the BBC is hosting an employability event at Oh Yeah for young people as part of the Biggest Weekend Fringe providing them with digital, creative and employability skills, and an opportunity to apply for several work experience placements at the festival site.

The BBC is partnering with several youth organisations committed to working with young people in delivering these valuable skills.

The morning session will run from 10am until 1.30pm and the afternoon session will run from 2pm until 5.45pm at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, consisting of one main Q&A featuring several key speakers and a choice from three workshops. Alongside this there will be a ‘Market Place’ with various local organisations to provide one to one advice on a range of career paths.

You can register for your ticket until 11.55pm on Wednesday 11 April. Tickets will be distributed by random draw with 90% going to Belfast postcodes*and 10% going to the rest of the UK.

This event is only for 16 to 24 year olds and Photo ID will be required. Entry will be refused without a valid ID.

For more info and to register go HERE