Belfast Telegraph

Oh Yeah - we're 10! Belfast music hub plans festival celebration

Belfast's Oh Yeah Music Centre for developing emerging talent is celebrating its 10th birthday next month.

It has become a hub of the local music scene and helped promote Northern Ireland songwriters on a global stage.

The Cathedral Quarter venue is planning a party to celebrate during the Sound of Belfast festival in November.

Chief executive officer Charlotte Dryden said: "We will treat it like a house party where everyone gets up with a guitar.

"It has been a great big party.

"We have become what we wanted it to be, which was a dedicated music hub for Belfast."

Oh Yeah has provided a recording studio, rehearsal rooms and advice for young music artists as well as contacts with industry professionals.

Among those to pass through its doors are singer/songwriter Katharine Philippa, who has performed at the Ulster Hall with the Ulster Orchestra.

Her tracks have been played many times on BBC Radio 1, Radio 3 and 6 Music.

The centre has helped young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and enabling artists to showcase their bands.

Ms Dryden added: "This has helped elevate emerging talent.

"We have had a blossoming industry set up in the building."

The Sound of Belfast festival will include discussions about what makes great Northern Ireland music and songwriting.

There will also be a debate on what Brexit means for the industry.

A Def Leppard guitarist will receive one of Northern Ireland's top music prizes for his exceptional contribution.

Co Antrim-born Vivian Campbell, 54, will be awarded the Oh Yeah Legend Award after a stellar career during which he has scaled the heights of rock.

The musician celebrates 25 years with Def Leppard this year and has also been a member of Whitesnake, Dio and Thin Lizzy.

Belfast songwriter Bap Kennedy's last album has been shortlisted for a local music prize as part of the festival.

In a career spanning 40 years, he enjoyed acclaim as a solo artist but also collaborated with Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler and Steve Earle

Twelve albums are in the running for the Northern Ireland Music Prize In Association With Blue Moon 2017, including Kennedy's Reckless Heart.

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