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A toe-tapping festival of tunes

Published 18/02/2012

Various venues, Belfast

Wednesday-Sunday, February 22-26

During its five-day run, this busy festival celebrates the unique links between the twinned cities of Belfast and Nashville and features the best songwriters from across the globe.

This year's event features over 100 songwriters in 35 concerts including performances from top international artists like Collin Raye, John Oates (of Hall -amp; Oates fame), Nanci Griffith, Todd Snider and Mark Nevin with Clint Black (above), Bill Anderson and Bob Dipiero teaming up for one night only for the Country Music Association's Songwriters Series concert.

Now in its eighth year, the festival attracts not only songwriters of this calibre from all musical genres, but also top Irish acts like Bap Kennedy, Eleanor McEvoy, Fionn Regan, The 4 of Us, Mick Flannery and Iain Archer in addition to countless newcomers from the local scene.

As in previous years, the annual event boasts a whole range of seminars, workshops and talks aimed at helping local talent to improve their writing and performance skills, while also learning more about the business side of the industry.

With an ethos of celebrating the art of songwriting, this unique festival remains the only one of its kind in the UK and Ireland as organiser and Panarts director Colin Magee said: "We're shining a spotlight on the talented people behind hit songs and working hard to inspire local writers to improve their music skills.

"Demand for songwriter showcase spots at the festival is huge and once again we have a fantastic line-up with great solo and 'In The Round' concerts, and of course the Panarts Song Writing Convention, our annual music industry conference."

Tickets for concerts and the Panarts Song Writing Convention are available from, the Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place (tel: 028 9024 6609), the branch of Easons at 20 Donegall Place (tel: 028 9032 3744) and all Ticketmaster Outlets.

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