Belfast Telegraph

Belfast taking tips from Nashville

Music experts who helped create thousands of jobs at America's top country music destination are to visit Northern Ireland during Belfast Music Week.

While the home grown sounds of Van Morrison will draw crowds next month, the Music City Council of Nashville business leaders will pass on tips during a gathering of influential global powerbrokers aimed at helping build Belfast's reputation for emerging talent.

Expert Chris Parham will talk about producing new ideas and identifying key prospects.

It is estimated that the music industry helped create 56,000 jobs within the Nashville area and had a total economic impact of 10 billion US dollars (£6.2bn).

This is the fourth year of the Belfast Music Week festival. Radio One new music presenters Jen Long and Ally McCrae, who gave bands and producers from Belfast their first play on the station, will answer questions on the music industry.

Broadcasters, directors, designers and record label managers will be among those participating in talks about how to make music pay and how to represent bands visually.

Matthew Cooper, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, has worked with Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys. He will join Jamie Thraves, who has made videos for Blur and Radiohead.

Van Morrison is to be made a freeman of Belfast and he will hold a free concert for city residents in the Waterfront Hall to crown the music week.

The creative and cultural industries in Belfast have a turnover worth an estimated £527 million to the economy, the City Council said.

The purpose of the music week is to give a concentrated focus on the promotion of local musicians as well as showcase Belfast's rich musical heritage and contemporary scene.

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