Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

A host of world-class songwriters converge on Belfast in 2014, with a focus on Northern Irish artists

The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival and Conference returns in 2014 to celebrate it's tenth birthday, with more than 50 events taking place in the Holiday Inn Belfast and Empire Music Hall from February 28 to March 9. 

A celebration of the art of songwriting, the festival will feature more than 100 artists performing over ten days. From Americana to blues and rock, country to traditional folk, all tastes will be catered for.

With support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the 2014 festival has a focus on Northern Irish artists, with Gareth Dunlop, Bap Kennedy, Simon McBride, Chris Keys, Sara Crockett, Amanda Agnew, Triona, Farriers and Wilfie all performing.

They will share a stage with international hit-writers Donovan – watch this space for a feature interview after the Christmas holidays – Midge Ure, Chip Taylor, Jim Lauderdale, Billy Yates, Bagatelle and Lee Roy Parnell.

'When we started the songwriter’s festival back in 2004 we could only dream of having such a line up of local and international artists,' said Panarts director, Colin Magee.

'It’s our chance to focus on the people who create the songs we love and to put them centre stage. We’re shining a spotlight on their talent and our special tenth anniversary event is going to be another great year for BelNash concerts and songwriting workshops.'

The songwriter’s festival is now in its tenth year and Panarts are working in partnership with Tourism Ireland and Nashville-based Music City Roots Show to make a one-hour television special that will be broadcast into 60 million homes across America on PBS channels.

Presenters from Nashville’s WSM Radio are also travelling to Belfast to produce a show that will promote local artists in one of the largest music markets in the world. Ciaran Scullion, head of music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, was 'thrilled' to be involved with the festival in 2014.

‘As funders of Panarts we are thrilled to see the return of this outstanding music festival and convention. There is no doubt it is a vibrant addition to the music calendar, and has become a key date for those professionally involved in the industry and those with a passion for music. We look forward to another ten years of inspiration.’

The Panarts Songwriting Convention will again be held at Holiday Inn, a series of workshops and music industry seminars featuring several festival artists and hit-writer Jason Blume, PRS for Music, IMRO and the Musicians Union.

Working in partnership with Dawsons Music, the festival will also feature a two-day music gear exhibition on March 7 – 8. BelNash Songtech with Dawsons is supported by Arts and Business NI and will feature masterclasses and demonstrations from some of the world’s leading music gear suppliers including Nord, Roland, Avalon Guitars, Gibson, Fender, AKG, Neumann, Sennheiser and Shure.

For more information, visit the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival website.