Essential festival: Output Belfast 2018

NI Music Prize winner Joshua Burnside will be one of over 40 live acts performing at the one day event in Belfast

BELFAST'S annual Output festival returns on February 8 for a day of music-themed seminars, panels and keynote speeches at Belfast's MAC followed by a selection of free live local showcase gigs at various city centre venues.

Over 40 live acts will be playing at this year's event: confirmed names to date are NI Music Prize winner Joshua Burnside, Unsigned Heroes veteran Sam Wickens, Derry teen Roe and Belfast prog-punks Empty Lungs.

Showcases will take place between 8pm and midnight and will be followed by an official Output Belfast after-party featuring Everything Everything DJs at Babel Rooftop Bar.

Showcase hosts include blogger Nialler9, music site/zine The Thin Air, Dublin film-makers Feel Good Lost, PRS for Music and IMRO.

Output 2018's conference event “will address the challenges and opportunities that the music industry presents, highlighting the key role that music and performance plays within Northern Ireland's buoyant creative industries sector”.

Confirmed conference guests include Everything Everything man Jeremy Pritchard, Peter Bradbury (Head of Music, Sky) and Nicky Bignall (Head of Music licensing, BBC), mastering engineer John Davis (U2, REM, Jimmy Page) and Rocky O'Reilly of Belfast's Start Together Studios, journalists Remfry Dedman (The Independent), Adam Reiss (Metal Hammer) and publicists Simon Glacken (I Like Press) and Becky Laverty (Pioneer Press), Shane Dunne (Music Cork), Ed Smith (Today FM), Niall Byrne (Nialler 9), Michael Roe (Faction), Beoga manager Sarah Casey and lawyer William Ryan.

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