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Largest all-Ireland music conference returns in February 2018

7 Dec 2017
Top names from the global music industry are being lined up to speak at Ireland’s largest music conference, ‘Output Belfast’, which takes place for the fourth year in a row on Thursday 8 February 2018.

Organised by Belfast City Council in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland’s Music Business Support Programme, the conference will include panel discussions, music sessions, workshops and speed networking events as well as keynote speeches from award-winning musicians and managers of globally recognised talent.

Based at The MAC and The Oh Yeah Centre, the conference is expected to be attended by around 600 local artists, businesses and students, and will address the challenges and opportunities that the music industry presents, highlighting the key role that music and performance plays within Northern Ireland’s buoyant creative industries sector.

Announcing the details of this year’s event, Councillor Mairead O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, commented:

“Since its inception in 2015, ‘Output Belfast’ has been an invaluable event for those working, or seeking to work, in the local music industry, and the wider creative sector, by providing them with invaluable insights into every aspect of the business, from tips on writing to how to get the results in front of the right people.

“Through our support for events such as ‘Output Belfast’ and South By Southwest, Belfast City Council is clearly demonstrating our commitment to the creative industries and they benefits they bring to our economy and wider community.”

Invest NI’s Music Business Support Programme has been designed to develop the music industry in Northern Ireland and focuses on increasing music exports and accelerating entrepreneurship within the creative industries sector.

Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business and Sector Development said: “We are delighted to support the 2018 Output Belfast music conference through our Music Business Support Programme.

“Northern Ireland’s creative industries sector is highly entrepreneurial and employs nearly 24,000 people, contributing £797million in annual GVA to the local economy. To build on this, we have created a programme of practical support that will enable companies to promote their music on a global stage and strengthen the local music sector so it can compete globally and realise its significant economic potential.”

Among the speakers and panels at the 2018 event will be:

• Everything Everything’s Jeremy Pritchard on recorded music and streaming in 2018;
• Christian Tierney (a 20-year old videographer who has worked with The 1975, The Weekend, Kendrick Lamar, James Bay and Conor McGregor on ‘The Sound Of Success’);
• Peter Bradbury (Head of Music, Sky) and Nicky Bignall (Head of Music licensing, BBC) on placing music in UK television;
• A ‘Music for Trailers’ panel featuring Connie Farr (Think Sync);
• A ‘Music for Games’ panel featuring Ben Sumner (Feel For Music), Hyperduck Soundworks and Janesta Boudreau;
• John Davis (mastering engineer whose credits include U2, Lana Del Rey and Jimmy Page) and Rocky O’Reilly on tips and techniques for bedroom mastering;
• ‘The Digital Dollar Deals Guide’, presented by CMU, plus two CMU speed briefing sessions;
• ‘Topliners - how to write hooks’, presented by PRS For Music, with Stefan Abingdon (Selena Gomez/Jess Glynne), Marli Harwood (Tileyard), Flash Taylor (Bucks), Stuart Fleming (PRS for Music) and Callum Stewart;
• ‘Cracking the media in rock and metal’, featuring Remfry Dedman (The Independent), Adam Reiss (Metal Hammer), Simon Glacken (I Like Press) and Becky Laverty (Pioneer Press);
• ‘20 Feet from Stardom - making it as a session musician’, featuring Si Francis (Ellie Goulding), Alana Henderson (Hozier cellist), Michael Keeney (Van Morrison) and Gerry Morgan (2017 “Live Session Drummer of the Year” with Niall Horan);
• ‘Anatomy of a successful music video premiere’, featuring Nadia Khan (manager Lethal Bizzle), Caroline Bottomley (Radar Music Videos) and Karim Khan (Lucid PR);
• The 2018 Talent Development Toolkit, presented by The Oh Yeah Music Centre featuring Tom Packer (Motive Unknown), Joel Borquaye (AWAL) and Elizabeth Sills (PRS Foundation);
• ‘How to break open Ireland as a territory’, featuring Shane Dunne (Music Cork), Ed Smith (Today FM), Niall Byrne (Nialler 9), Michael Roe (Faction), Sarah Casey (agent - Beoga) and William Ryan (lawyer);
• 'Meet The Irish Festivals', with Castlepalooza, Hard Working Class Heroes, Stendhal Festival, Moira Calling and more;
• ‘Meet the Performing Rights Organisations’, with PRS, PPL, MCPS and IMRO;
• ‘Meet the funders’, with PRS Foundation, Invest NI and Help Musicians and more; and
• ‘How to produce a pop record’, featuring Paul Whalley (collaborator with Mumford and Sons, Ellie Goulding, Nao, Wretch 32, Little Mix) and Pip Newby (producer, manager).

In the evening there will once again be a raft of free showcasing, featuring the most exciting new Northern Ireland artists, taking place across Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Confirmed hosts include Champion Sound, Nerve Centre, Help Musicians Northern Ireland, Rally, Oh Yeah Talent Development, Scratch Forfey, The Live Room Belfast, 4 Acre Music, Stendhal Festival, Mirador, Jeff Robinson PR, The Thin Air, Feel Good Lost, Chordblossom, Music Cork, Nialler9, IMRO and PRS for Music.

To sign up for priority updates on the 2018 edition of Output Belfast, visit
Top names from the global music industry are being lined up to speak at Ireland’s largest music conference, ‘Output Belfast’, which takes place for the fourth year in a row on Thursday 8 February 2018.