7th Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

Watch a video interview with festival favourite Nanci Griffith and find out which artists top the bill this Feburary

Behind every great song there’s a great writer, and Belfast is again gearing up for a unique festival to celebrate the art of song writing. The Belfast Nashville Songwriters' Festival is an annual music event, the only one of its kind in the UK and Ireland, that draws music industry professionals from around the globe from February 23-27, 2011.

At the launch of the 7th Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, Panarts Director Colin Magee explained about the ethos behind the festival: 'We’re shining a spotlight on the talented people behind hit songs and working hard to inspire local writers to improve their music skills.

'It’s the seventh year of our event and the demand for songwriter showcase spots at the festival is huge. Once again we have a fantastic line up with great solo and In The Round concerts, and of course the Panarts Song Writing Convention™, our annual music industry conference.'

Appearing for the first time is Belfast’s own Brian Kennedy, who will be joined by rising stars Foy Vance, Joe Echo, Gareth Dunlop, Shauna Tohill (aka Silhouette), Gerry Creen and Wes Grierson. Hit writers Billy Bragg, Nik Kershaw, Cerys Matthews, Tony Hawks and Karima Francis will also make appearances.

They’re joined by several successful artists from Belfast’s Sister City, Nashville including John Brannen (who has written songs for Reba McEntire, Richie Havens and The Eagles), James House (who has written for Martina McBride, Dwight Yoakam, Rod Stewart and Kylie Minogue) and festival favourite, Grammy Award-winning performer Nanci Griffith. Making a special appearance is one of Ireland’s finest poets and musician, Paul Muldoon.

Several Northern Irish writers are coming home to take their place on stage, including LA based Thin Lizzy frontman Ricky Warwick and globe-trotting Lisburn artist Aaron Shanley.

Tickets for concerts and the Panarts Song Writing Convention™ are available from www.belfastnashville.com or the Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place, on 028 9024 6609.

The international songwriters’ event is sponsored by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Department for Social Development, American Consulate, Madison's Hotel, Avalon Guitars and PRS for Music.