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Belfast to have its own soundtrack of the summer

20 Jul 2018
Belfast is set to have its own summer soundtrack thanks to a new City Council initiative aimed at animating the city through music.

The pop-up summertime animation programme will shine a spotlight on Belfast’s rich musical heritage and local music scene, bringing music to all corners of the city over the coming weeks.

From acoustic picnics and music tours, to morning raves, busking competitions and even opera, the programme has something for everyone, catering for all ages and musical tastes.

And to celebrate the launch of the Belfast Music Summer Season, Spotify users will also be able to access a specially-curated Belfast Music playlist by the Oh Yeah Music Centre, capturing the sounds of summer 2018.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: “When we consulted on our Belfast Agenda and asked citizens how they wanted to see the city develop over the next 20 years, the overwhelming response was that they wanted to live in a city which is bold and vibrant, and lively.

“Culture and the arts play a huge part in city life and a vibrant arts scene has the potential to further transform Belfast, whilst also contributing positively to our tourism offering.”

She added: “From punk to proms, trad to rock legends, Belfast boasts a colourful and varied music scene, past and present; and this project is aimed at galvanising the potential of our local music-makers and strengthening our claim to being a music destination.”

Today (Friday) local singer-songwriter Davy Watson – who has enjoyed huge success since his days touring with Phil Lynott and Bob Geldof in the 70s – and members of ACSONI (African & Caribbean Support NI) joined the Lord Mayor for a game of musical ping pong at City Hall to officially launch the programme.

The specially-adapted table is the brainchild of artist Robin Price and each bounce triggers an audio-visual effect creating an interactive and fun game. The ping pong table will be popping up across the city throughout the summer.

Welcoming the Summer Season initiative, R&B musician Davy who will play a special gig with the Ulster Orchestra at the Ulster Hall on August 31, said: “I am flattered to have been invited to collaborate with the Ulster Orchestra.

“Performing your own music with your national orchestra is a privilege for any musician, and to do so in the iconic Ulster Hall is incredible. It will be a special night and I have a few guests joining me in what will be for me, the gig of a lifetime.”

Gareth Neill, Manager of Destination CQ Business Improvement District which is supporting the Caribbean Social event on August 19, said: “We are really excited to support ACSONI (African & Caribbean Support NI) and partners in bringing this event into the city centre. We look forward to offering an alternative and vibrant Sunday activity for residents and visitors.”

A host of music-related activity is already in the pipeline over the coming weeks and months as Belfast’s music scene takes centre stage. Some of the programme’s highlights include:
• A performance by Hex Hue, a new musical project by Katie Richardson at the recently-restored Tropical Ravine in Botanic Gardens, 16 August;
• Belfast Music bus tour, 28 July & 25 August;
• ‘Dance Yourself Happy’ Morning rave at Sonic Lab, 18 August;
• The Great Belfast Busk-Off, Belfast city centre, 18 August;
• Caribbean Social, Writer’s Square, 19 August;
• Floral Hall comes to City Hall, 24 August.

For more details on all the events and to download a copy of the programme, visit and join the conversation on social media using the #belfastmusic hashtag.
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