Belfast Telegraph

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'Exciting times' for multimillion-pound music industry

Published 26/04/2016

Ciaran Lavery, a songwriter and guitarist, performed earlier this year at the South By South West Festival in Texas
Ciaran Lavery, a songwriter and guitarist, performed earlier this year at the South By South West Festival in Texas

Northern Ireland's music industry is worth more than £61 million to the economy every year, analysts said.

It employs almost 4,000 people and has been showcased around the world.

Last month Aghagallon-born Spotify sensation Ciaran Lavery was invited by country legend Willie Nelson to play as a guest artist at his ranch event just outside Austin, Texas.

A spokesman for Generator Northern Ireland, the government-funded music business support body, said: " The next few months look equally exciting - five leading Northern Ireland artists will be showcasing at Europe's biggest industry event - The Great Escape.

"Ciaran Lavery, Pleasure Beach, Ex Magician, REWS, and online sensation Bry make up the Northern Ireland show.

"This line-up promises to be one of the strongest international showcases at the Brighton based event.

"Belfast's biggest electronic music festival and conference, AVA Festival, returns for a second year to the Titanic Quarter in June, with a global online live music broadcast on the market leading Boiler Room network to hundreds of thousands of fans around the world."

He said the music industry in Northern Ireland contributes £61.5 million to the local economy per year, and employs more than 3,820 people.

Ciaran Lavery, a songwriter and guitarist, performed earlier this year at the South By South West Festival in Texas.

A torrential and potentially fatal storm was brewing as the festival was in full swing, organisers said.

He was forced to cancel his slot when state troopers arrived at the farm to close it down immediately as the fierce storm was due to hit the festival within 10 minutes. Winds had whipped up to 80 mph (nearly 130 kph).

Shelter was sought in the band's tour bus - which had to be covered in duvets and blankets to prevent huge hailstones from shattering the glass.

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