Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival & Convention

Thirty concerts will take place over five days during one of Belfast's biggest music festivals with a mixture of local and American songwriters

Festival Details


Wednesday, 07 March 2018 to Sunday, 11 March 2018



A familiar song on the radio or television can transport us back to a favourite holiday or happy moment from the past, but who writes the soundtrack of our lives? In March 2018, Northern Ireland will once again celebrate the art of song writing at the 14th Panarts Belfast Nashville Songwriters’ Festival.

Glen Campbell’s daughter Ashley helped to launch the annual music event and is appearing with her band alongside Gallagher & Lyle, Una Healy, Kaz Hawkins, Texas songsmith Jarrod Dickenson and Matt McGinn, who launches his new album.

Una Healy

Una Healy

Gallagher & Lyle are also sharing their song writing skills in the Convention workshops along with American hit writer Jason Blume. Festival Patrons Benny & Graham are famous for their songs ‘Breakaway’, ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ and ‘Stay Young’, a number one hit for Don Williams. Graham Lyle went on to write ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ for Tina Turner. Panarts Director Colin Magee said:

'We’re putting talented local songwriters centre stage and for the fourteenth year, Panarts is showcasing the creative people who write memorable songs. It’s a special and unique festival and an important part of the music calendar in Belfast City'

The world famous CMA Songwriters Series is coming over from Nashville and the artists in the show have written thirty two number one hits for people like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. Representing the CMA in the opening BelNash concert on 7th March are Nashville hit writers Brett James, Natalie Hemby and Nicolle Galyon.

Outstanding Bluegrass musicians are on the way to Belfast as well. Chris Jones and the Nightriders will perform alongside Brace, Cooper and Jutz. Joining Americana artist Katie Pruitt on stage is two of the most talented local songwriters making waves in the music world, Triona and Aidan Logan. BelNash 2018 will celebrate the much loved ‘Songs Of David McWilliams’ and Panarts Young Songwriter Of The Year, seventeen year old Lucy Bell will feature in one of the headline concerts. Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

'The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is committed to providing valuable, meaningful opportunities for our artists to develop their professional careers. Panarts, through the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, not only brings the best international talent to Belfast but also showcases and celebrates our emerging artists giving them a genuine boost to their careers.'

The festival events will be held at Clayton Hotel Belfast from 7 – 11 March and is supported by Arts Council NI, Arts & Business, Downtown Radio and Forestside Shopping Centre. Tickets for the first twelve concerts are available at and from Dawsons Music Shop, Royal Avenue Belfast. Gold All Concert tickets are on sale and the Song Writing Convention features ten workshops at BelNash 2018.