Belfast Music Week Hailed as 'Best Yet'

Lord Mayor congratulates the artists and venues that took part during the 2013 celebrations

The fourth annual Belfast Music Week, which finished on Sunday past, has been the most successful yet, according to early feedback. Commenting on the week of activities – which saw more than 250 events in 70 venues all across the city – Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir commented:

'While we do not yet have the final figures back, it looks like Belfast Music Week 2013 was another huge success story for the city and its music, with more people attending more events in more venues in every corner of our magnificent city.

'While there obviously were the high profile events – such as the fantastic evening to celebrate Van Morrison receiving the Freedom of the City – tribute must be paid to the hundreds of artists and promoters who stepped up to the mark and helped make this year even bigger and better than before.

'From pubs and clubs to the magnificent surroundings of St Anne’s Cathedral, Crumlin Road Gaol to An Chultúrlann, the Strand Cinema and the T13 skate park in Titanic Quarter, every corner of Belfast echoed with seven days of magnificent music from the finest artists right here on our doorstep.

'And, with journalists from many international publications having taken up residence in the city for the week, alongside some of the top names in the music industry – from Dublin, London, Nashville and elsewhere – Belfast Music Week proved once again to be a fitting global showcase of the best that we have to offer the world.'

In addition to the Freedom ceremony for Van Morrison on Friday November 15, other highlights of the week included a celebration of the life of Seamus Heaney by the Ulster Orchestra and featuring Stephen Rea; the awarding of the first ever Northern Ireland Music Prize, which was won by Foy Vance.

The ‘Belfast Music Showcase’ at the Limelight complex, which featured 11 acts over three stages and was attended by more than 1,000 people; and Selector Radio, which broadcast a one hour special on NI musicians to an audience of three million people in 40 countries.

Among the dozens of journalists visiting the city during the week were representatives of The Observer, NME, Mojo, Music Week, Louder Than War, The Irish Times, RTE and BBC Radio 1 Introducing, as well as reporters from Germany, Italy and India.

Among the many trade bodies and industry professionals who took part in workshops during the week were representatives of the BPI, PRS For Music, PPL, Association of Independent Music, First Music Contact, the Nashville Music City Music Council, the PRS for Music Foundation and Generator.

Belfast City Council's Belfast Music Week is co-ordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.