Get Excited About Output

Andrew Moore picks out 10 must-see highlights of the upcoming music industry conference and artist showcase event in Belfast

Output returns to Belfast for the third time on Thursday February 16, once more uniting industry professionals with those hungry for enlightenment and knowledge under an umbrella of creativity and know how.

Organised by Belfast City Council and Generator NI, Ireland’s largest music conference will include immersive discussions, educational workshops, keynote speeches, hands on experiences and live performances from award winning musicians and experienced professionals at the MAC, the Oh Yeah Centre and many more venues throughout the city.

With so much going on it can become quite a task to choose which element of the day you wish to indulge yourself in. Here are a few highlights that might ease that decision-making process - and if you haven't already, click here to register to attend.

AVA x SheSaid.So present – In Conversation with Amy Lamé (London’s Night Czar) - 11.30am - 12.30pm

Belfast’s AVA Festival returns in June for its third instalment, but first they collaborate with female networking concept SheSaid.So to host a talk with London’s inaugural Night Czar, Amy Lamé.

After co-founding the Olivier Award-winning Duckie and LGBT community group RVT Future, Lamé has taken on the role of being an 'ambassador for the city after dark.' AVA founder Sarah McBriar will be covering the most important topics within club culture and music with the UK capital's nightlife representative.

Help Musicians presents: Can Music Make You Sick? - 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Adam Ficek (Babyshambles), Sally-Anne Gross (University of Westminster), Katie Richardson (artist), Christine Brown (Help Musicians) and Rachel Michaella Finn (London In Stereo) curate a discussion that shares a name with the findings of Help Musicians' study as part of their MAD campaign.

Brown was present at the Help Musicians NI launch at the Oh Yeah Centre, and here she will tackle the important mental health issues that are plaguing the arts.

Block (Chain) Party - 2.45pm - 3.45pm

'The musical revolution that will change how artists get paid.'

Block Chain is a group of inspired individuals from around the globe whose aim is to 'build an open, accessible and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time.'

The payment of creativity has always been a consistent issue within the arts. Benji Roberts of Block Chain and Graham Davies of PRS For Music, an organisation that play a pivotal role in ensuring that songwriters, composers and music publishers earn enough to make a living through their passion, reveal sonic innovation.

Ferry Gouw In Conversation - 1.30pm - 2.30pm

London-based art director, illustrator, graphic designer and video director Ferry Gouw hosts a talk on the first floor of Ulster University’s Belfast Campus (Art College).

After moving to the UK capital from Indonesia at the age of 15, Gouw began studying Art & Design at Central Saint Martins and later achieved a master's degree in filmmaking at Mike Leigh’s London Film School. He and his wife Katie would then go on to found the art-directed company Katie Ferry Ltd in 2015.

Gouw has designed for artists such as Major Lazer, Lil Silva and Trim and brands including Stussy. Here we expect the creative to be discussing his work and uniting the arts through music and design.

Metal Machine Music – Cracking Artist and Business Development in Rock and Metal - 11.30am - 12.30pm

Where exactly are the rock and metal music industries heading? This is what Daniel P Carter (BBC Radio 1), Joe Dougan (the Limelight) , Ian Rendall (manager of Making Monsters), Ally McCrae (BBC Introducing) and Ali Tant (Red Essential) will be mulling over.

AVA present Ryan Vail Live AV Show at Output Festival - 7.45pm - 9.00pm

Ryan Vail had an incredible 2016, and rightly so; his debut album, For Every Silence, was nominated for the NI Music Prize and he’s featured as part of a special documentary for BBC’s The Art Show, where he and a 90-year old piano made beautiful music together along the River Foyle.

The MAC will play host to Ryan’s debut AV show, with Plume Studios, a collaboration project between AVA’s Sarah McBriar and Guerrilla Shout/DSNT/Lumen’s Oisin O’Brien.

New Portals - 9.45pm, The Dirty Onion

The Belfast duo of Ruth Aiken and Mick Aiken enjoyed success as part of alt-folk outfit The Jepettos, most notably with their track 'Something In The Air', and now the two make up the synth pop doublet of New Portals.

Angelic, R&B influenced vocals blend together with electro production. Ruth and Mick are preparing the release of their debut EP which is due out on March 10 and recently premiered 'Stereo' on Dork, a pretty piece of nostalgic experimentation.

An act on the rise and an act not to be missed. Catch them at PRS For Music and Niallar 9’s presentation at The Dirty Onion.

Jealous Of The Birds - 11.45pm, The Dirty Onion

The musical alias of Portadown’s Naomi Hamilton maintains a playful, acoustic sound that has seen her tipped as one of the most exciting singer-songwriters to emerge from Ireland in recent years; her critically acclaimed Capricorn EP and poetically influenced Parma Violets album have cemented this even further.

Robocobra Quartet - 10.00pm, The Duke of York (upstairs)

Robocobra Quartet uniquely combine jazz, hardcore, punk and classical music to craft a distinctive and attention demanding performance.

The band, which can consist of up to twelve members at a time, began performing live in 2014 and have since performed at Electric Picnic and Brilliant Corners Festival of Jazz and also released a Music For All Occasions LP, recorded in studios and concert halls around Belfast.

A noise like no other. Robocobra Quartet are set to perform as part of Touch Sensitive and State Magazine’s curation upstairs in the Duke of York.

ELLLL - 12 midnight, Bullitt

If you’re not quite ready to go home after a long day of education and gig-going you can head to Bullit where The Greedy Pig will be presenting a performance from ELLLL, real name Ellen King, a producer from Cork.

Her dark combination of drone noise and rhythmic techno creates a soundscape that’s both intimidating and inviting. Catch ELLL not only at Output, but also later in the year at AVA Festival.