Northern Ireland Music Prize set for return to Ulster Hall

The annual awards night is back on Belfast's most famous stage for the first time since its inaugural year with six live performances on November 15

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey is joined by Chief Executive of the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Charlotte Dryden, BBC Radio Ulster DJ, Rigsy as well as some of the nominees

One of Belfast’s biggest and most prestigious music events will take centre stage at the historic Ulster Hall on Thursday, November 15.

The NI Music Prize will mark its sixth year by taking over Belfast’s famous music venue. The event celebrates the most exciting up and coming musical talent across the North and crowns the Northern Ireland album of the year.

Belfast City Council is supporting the event through its Amplifier project, which aims to enhance the city’s musical offering in line with the aspirations of its Belfast Agenda.

As the NI Music Prize continues to grow in stature year on year, organisers have introduced a number of new categories. Nominees have now been shortlisted for Best Single; Best Live Act and the Oh Yeah Contender Award, with winners being announced on the evening by a number of special guests.

In addition, one of the highlights of the evening will see Snow Patrol front man, Gary Lightbody awarded with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award.

BBC Radio Ulster’s Rigsy will compare the event, which promises to shine a light on local talent with many of the nominees across all four categories taking to the stage to perform.

Looking ahead to a packed night of entertainment Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, said; 'The NI Music Prize shines a light on the amazing musical talent across Belfast and the wider region. The awards are growing from strength to strength, and it is fitting that they will now take place in the historic and unique surrounds of the Ulster Hall.

'Some of the world’s best known musicians have performed on that stage, and I have no doubt that the NI Music Prize will act as a springboard for our local talent to experience bigger things in their musical careers.

NI Music Prize 2018

'It promises to be a fantastic night and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the show.'

The Ulster Hall has welcomed world famous acts through its doors, with artists and bands such as U2, Coldplay, Thin Lizzy, The Clash, The Rolling Stones, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, The Who, AC/DC gracing the stage to perform.

Charlotte Dryden, Chief Executive of the Oh Yeah Music Centre is excited about hosting the event in Ulster Hall. She said; 'The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to be able to bring the NI Music Prize back to the Ulster Hall. There is a tremendous amount of high quality music being produced in this part of the world, so much so that we felt confident enough to extend the number of categories to four this year.

'We are very proud of our music community and to be able to showcase just a small fraction of our best talent on one of the most iconic stages in Belfast is fantastic.

'Thanks to Belfast City Council and the Amplifier Fund for getting behind our plans to celebrate our very own home-grown and world class talent right here in Belfast.'

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council, PRS, PPL, Invest Northern Ireland, Help Musicians NI and Tourism Ireland also support the NI Music Prize.

The NI Music Prize is part of a wider programme of events as part of the Sound of Belfast 2018. Organised by Oh Yeah Music Centre and supported by Belfast City Council, it aims to highlight and promote a great musical city. To find out more visit www.soundofbelfast.com.

The event is open to the public and tickets for the evening cost £10. They are available via Ulster Hall website at tinyurl.com/NIMPrize.