50 Conversations about Music – OUTPUT

Check out the ’50 Conversations about Music’ series put together by Output Belfast

Some brilliant insights, advice, info, shared experiences on here for you to dip into.

Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah was invited to sit down with Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music to find out a bit more about the work that they do, their campaigns and priorities for the music industry as it navigates its way through the last twelve months of Covid, Brexit and more.

Watch 50 Conversations about Music HERE

Belfast Music Survey

Sound Diplomacy is working with Belfast City Council to create a comprehensive Music Strategy and Recovery Plan for the City of Belfast. You can read more about the project at www.sounddiplomacy.com/belfast

We think your voice as a musician, venue, industry, audience member, fan of music matters more than ever – let them know what you think, it will help inform a plan going forward, one that involves everyone, please help by completing the survey HERE

Help Us

The Oh Yeah Centre is seeking to explore the feasibility of enhancing the facilities at the Centre to improve the quality and range of opportunities for participants and users.

As part of this process we would like to gather feedback from existing Centre users (artists, music industry, audiences, participants, partners and visitors etc) to gain a better understanding of their facility needs moving forward.

All you have to do is complete this short survey – it will really help us better understand anything we might need to improve or do to make our building as good as it can be…

Complete survey HERE

13-17 Year olds – Music Camp

We are really excited about our TBUC Camps Programme starting this week! We wish we could see you all in person but to make up for it, we have some goody bags and a brilliant programme lined up for you (and maybe even some pizza deliveries!).

We will be looking at songwriting with Shade Music, music photography with Carrie Davenport Photography and learning how to play the Ukulele with Ukulele Portal!

We have LIMITED SPACES left – for £10 you will get-Your very own ukulele-A goody bag full of things to help you cope with lockdown-An OCN qualification-Sessions packed full of music and creativity.

To apply:

HOW TO APPLY:1. Go to the link below and fill out the application form:


2. Send £10 PayPal payment with your name in the comments field to payments@ohyeahbelfast.com

3. Send any questions to youth@ohyeahbelfast.com

Statement from Arts Collaboration Network

Statement from the Arts Collaboration Network

26 January 2021

NI Arts and Culture sector call for urgent and immediate action from NI Executive

More than 100 arts organisations and individuals took part last week in an online meeting of artists, freelancers, venues and festivals from every part of the arts and culture sector organised by the Arts Collaboration Network (ACN).  Representatives from the Arts Collaboration Network said there is growing anxiety and frustration expressed at the second Big Gathering on 21 January 2021, at the gap between words and actions when it comes to providing practical and financial support.

ACN is now calling on the NI Executive to take urgent action to protect the sector from the impact of ongoing Covid restrictions.

The ACN, an informal network of cultural organisations and individuals across NI, has set out five key issues which need to be addressed in ‘Culture Beyond Covid’ a document sent to Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and other MLAs. The paper sets out 5 keys asks which are:

  1. Building the sector’s infrastructure, capacity and skills so the arts sector survives to play its part in NI’s recovery.
  • Investment  to address the very significant hardship being experienced by artists, creatives and freelancers many of whom have not benefited from financial support to date
  • A partnership approach to planning a safe re opening of venues
  • A commitment to increasing the annual arts spending to support the renewal of the sector
  • Establishment of a Northern Ireland Cultural Task Force

The arts and culture sector welcomed the Executive’s allocation of £33m to support the arts and heritage sectors. However, in many cases that financial support has still not reached the numerous arts organisations and individuals who so urgently need it, with funding decisions not due until later this month. The current situation is that those monies will then need to be spent before the end of March unless that budgetary restriction is lifted.

This week it has emerged that there is £300m of unallocated funds across the NI Executive. This, at a time when many creative individuals and artists are struggling to feed themselves and their families; and the end of the CRJIS scheme could mean leading culture organizations face closure in the coming weeks and months, with considerable associated job losses. This will lead to irreparable damage to Northern Ireland’s vibrant, creative and unique arts sector.

ACN is appealing to the Executive and to the Assembly to translate the vocal support of Ministers, MLAs and civil servants into immediate action. Other regions throughout these islands are planning for long-term cultural renewal and have established Taskforces to map out a post-Covid strategy for the arts. As yet there is no such Taskforce in Northern Ireland and no plans to create one. There is no proactive planning in place to look at the safe reopening of our venues or for the return of live theatre and music. At a time when politicians across the spectrum express support for the sector, there is only a fleeting mention of the arts and culture in the just published draft Programme for Government.

Since the beginning of this crisis arts organisations have responded with imagination and creativity and continue to provide much needed support and respite in innovative ways for people of all ages and backgrounds from across NI and beyond.

The arts and culture sector plays a vital role in driving our economy and is an integral pillar of society; directly employing thousands of people and supporting tens of thousands others indirectly and attracting local and global tourists.  Research has demonstrated the value the arts play in protecting and enhancing the mental wellbeing of our citizens and the public are missing live events, cultural activity and all the benefits these bring.   Unfortunately, the vocal support from our politicians and civil servants has not translated into commensurate levels of financial assistance. The pandemic has been a body blow to an arts sector that has already been ravaged by years of cuts.

When we emerge from Covid-19, the arts and cultural sector can help Northern Ireland adapt and grow again. The arts can play a unique role in breathing new life into our towns and abandoned city centres; in helping our people heal and cope with loss but only if we survive the pandemic intact.

Now is the time for our Ministers and Executive to take urgent action to avoid a future in which Northern Ireland becomes a cultural wasteland and our citizens lose out on much that they value.

The Arts Collaboration Network is an informal network of the main sector support organisations and a number of creative hubs across Northern Ireland. The people involved are Margaret Henry, Thrive Audience Development, Niamh Flanagan, Theatre and Dance NI, Mary Nagele, Arts & Business NI, Rob Hilken & Noel Kelly, Visual Artists Ireland, Kevin Murphy, Voluntary Arts Ireland, Katherine McDonald, Craft NI, Charlotte Dryden, Oh Yeah, Sarah Jones, Creative & Cultural Skills, Peter Richards, Golden Thread Gallery/Chair Belfast Visual Arts Forum, Sophie Hayles, Crescent Arts Centre, Cath McBride In Your Space Circus / Chair: DCSDC Arts & Cultural Strategy, Co-Delivery Group, Anne McReynolds and Maeve Hawkins, The MAC, Damien Coyle, University of Atypical and Jenna Hall, Belfast Community Circus School/Co-Chair Belfast Festivals Forum.

Youth Music Survey Launched

The Oh Yeah Music Centre has launched its Big Music Survey to give young people the opportunity to have their voices heard in relation to access to music and music education and how lockdown has affected them. It is hoped that the survey will shape the youth outreach programmes delivered by the centre as they evaluate how Covid has impacted on the lives of the young people they work with.

Oh Yeah is seeking the input from young people all over the region to be able to understand emerging patterns of youth engagement with music and also to grasp how much music has helped young people through the isolation and separation from their peers and wider social networks.

Manager of Youth Engagement at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Sian Mulholland says she hears regularly how important music has been for young people and is hopeful this will help quantify that; ‘The young people we engage with use music as a coping mechanism and as a shared experience with their friends. We want to understand how we can best provide platforms for young people to access local music, engage with the music industry and also how they can gain skills that will be transferable in other parts of their lives’.

Flinn O’Grady, member of ‘Youth Voices’, Oh Yeah’s Youth Advisory Group who have helped put the survey together wants to see projects like those Oh Yeah delivers opened up to young people all across NI; ‘It’s not always fair that young people can’t have access to music lessons or music courses whether it’s in school or outside it, so hopefully with our survey we can see where needs it most so we can talk to decision makers to make it possible! Plus, you might win a £50 Amazon voucher just for answering the questions!’.

The survey will be available until 1st February 2021 and can be completed by going to: https://bit.ly/ohyeahyouthsurvey. Respondents will have the opportunity to enter themselves into a draw for £50 Amazon voucher and some local record store vouchers.

NI Music Prize 2020 – A beautiful online success.

Despite COVID-19, the NI Music Prize went ahead last week and while it had to be done online, it was the most incredible evening of positivity, high quality music and emotional speeches.

Organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and produced by MEP (Mike Edgar Production) the awards, which normally take place at the Ulster Hall instead brought the live experience to audiences at home and around the world.

Streamed live on YouTube, it was a night of exceptional performances from ArboristCareeristJoshua BurnsideKitt PhilippaPhil Kieran and Sasha Samara. The evening also featured exclusive footage of Snow Patrol from last year’s sold out Ulster Hall show, as well as music from Jordan Adetunji.

The Oh Yeah Legend Award was dedicated to the late Bap KennedyRalph McLean paid a heartfelt tribute and the presentation was made to Bap’s wife Brenda who spoke beautifully about his legacy. There was a special screening of the Bap Kennedy Trio (with Brenda Kennedy & Gordy McAllister) performing a sublime version of his song ‘Howl On’, recorded live in 2012 at the Music Star, Norderstedt in Germany.

Three of the NI Music Prize awards were decided through public vote with each winning act receiving a cash prize of £1,000. All winners were announced live and interviewed via Zoom. Sasha Samara picked up the Oh Yeah Contender Award in association with BBC ATL IntroducingNew Pagans won best Live Act, which was announced by Nathan Connolly of Snow PatrolArborist won Best Single, which is supported by Help Musicians, for the song ‘Here Comes The Devil’.

The big award of the night with a prize of £3,000 is for Best Album supported by PPL and Kitt Philippa won it up for their stunning debut record ‘Human’.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer of PPL commented on the awards saying, “Music is an important contributor to Northern Ireland’s culture, economy and community. Each year the Northern Ireland Music Prize celebrates the best of the country’s music and creates a platform to showcase its diverse range of talent. Congratulations to Kitt Philippa and all those recognised by this year’s Prize for making music of exceptional quality – PPL is proud to support creators in the Northern Irish music industry.”

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said: “It’s been an incredibly challenging year for artists. Through the awards we wanted to have a moment where the music community could come together to celebrate great talent, as well as say we are still here and we matter. I think we did that and we are delighted we were able to make it happen. Thanks to all our supporters and funders for believing in us and to all that that helped us to deliver the show online. Huge congratulations to Kitt Philippa, New Pagans, Sasha Samara and Arborist. They are all brilliant and worthy winners, we are delighted for them and well done to all the nominees this year. It was also a real honour to be able to add Bap Kennedy to the Legend series here at Oh Yeah.”

The NI Music Prize is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, PPL, YouTube Music, Help Musicians and Belfast City Council.

The event took place during the Sound of Belfast 2020 virtual festival, which ran 6th – 12th November. All events are still available to view on the Oh Yeah YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/ohyeahcentre

Oh Yeah on YouTube

We’re excited to have partnered with YouTube Music this year.

There is plenty scheduled for our dedicated channel in the lead up and during Sound of Belfast and The NI Music Prize.

Subscribe and tune in between 6th-12th November for great music, conversations and of course the NI Music Prize on 12th November!