Launch of Northern Ireland Music Awards

AU Magazine and Oh Yeah bring Stiff Little Fingers, General Fiasco and more to Belfast for inaugural award ceremony

AU Magazine and The Oh Yeah Music Centre, with the support of Belfast City Council, Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, are proud to present the first ever Northern Ireland Music Awards on November 2 at the Ulster Hall.

Voted for by a broad range of stakeholders in NI music, the awards will recognise the diverse and high level of talent that heralds from our corner of the globe. Hosted by MCs Rigsy (BBC Across The Line) and Emma Fitzpatrick (Citybeat), the event will also feature a number of performances from our most prominent Northern Irish acts, including And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco, Stiff Little Fingers and more.

The musical landscape in Northern Ireland is currently enjoying the most fertile and rich period it has ever experienced, with acts from a wide range of genres enjoying huge success right across the globe. Two Door Cinema Club are selling out shows as far away as Australia, And So I Watch You From Afar are rolling their rock juggernaut across continents, and The Japanese Popstars are ripping up massive dance festivals the world over with their storming live set.

Add to this the strong heritage from bands such as Snow Patrol, The Undertones, Ash, and Stiff Little Fingers and it is clear that Northern Irish music is riding atop a giant wave of success.

The NIMAs will bring together the established legends of Northern Irish music and the young guns of the scene in an evening of much deserved celebration and recognition. The historic and glorious Ulster Hall is the ideal setting for such a momentous occasion, and there isn’t a better time to shine a light on this part of the world.

Jonny Tiernan, Publisher of AU Magazine said: 'Northern Irish music is in the rudest of health right now, with young bands like Two Door Cinema club and And So I Watch You From Afar gaining global recognition, as well as a vibrant local scene. Not only that, we have a better support network than ever before, with great recording studios, media outlets, photographers, filmmakers, mentoring services and more, all helping Northern Irish musicians reach ever greater heights.

'These awards are a reflection and a celebration of all of that. What's more, we've been really lucky in that we've been able to secure a real wish list of Northern Irish acts to play at the event, and it's incredibly exciting to think that they're all going to be on the Ulster Hall stage on the night.'

Stuart Bailie, CEO of Oh Yeah Music Centre, said: 'Oh Yeah and AU were both thinking about an awards night at the same time, so the smart idea was to combine energies. Overall, the awards are proof that we rock, fantastically well. We have a wonderful spread of talent at the moment and a legacy behind us that we should be awful proud of.'

Stephen Wightman of Invest NI said: 'Northern Ireland has a vibrant creative industries sector and this event is a unique opportunity to showcase the very best of our home grown music talent on the world stage. Invest NI is delighted to sponsor the Northern Ireland Music Awards which aims to celebrate the creativity and commercial success of this internationally focused sector.'

Helen Carey, Culture & Heritage Officer, NITB said: 'The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is delighted to support the first Northern Ireland Music Awards as part of Belfast Music week 2011. The event is a true celebration of our rich heritage and the bright future that music offers us. We at NITB are pleased to see our local musicians being recognised for the contribution that the music scene makes to our international appeal.'

Belfast Music Week - a celebration of local bands, industry, venues and our musical community - runs from 30 October to 5 November 2011 and will provide an exciting run-up to the MTV EMAs on November 6.

Belfast Music Week is organised by Belfast City Council with support from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Tourism Ireland, Invest NI, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007-2013.

The Northern Ireland Music Awards will take place on November 2 at the Ulster Hall. For more information check out Belfast Music's What's On Guide.