Sound of Belfast music festival brings over 40 music events to city

The Sound of Belfast music festival is back with another eclectic selection of live music and music-related events. Scene takes a look at some of the highlights taking place over the next nine days...

Gareth Dunlop performs during Sound of Belfast tonight. Picture by Jamie Neish
David Roy

THE Sound of Belfast festival is currently underway, bringing over 40 music-related events to venues across the city during the next few days to highlight Belfast's new UNESCO City of Music status and its vibrant local music scene.

Festival organisers and hosts the Oh Yeah Centre will be celebrating their 15th birthday with DJs, cake and more (tonight, 8pm), while the annual NI Music Prize awards night (November 16, The Ulster Hall) will see the presentation of this year's Oh Yeah Legend Award to Horslips frontman Barry Devlin, who will also be performing some of their best-known favourites on the night with some of his Horslips friends.

Other festival highlights include a tribute concert for Ottilie Paterson with Dana Masters, Winnie Ama and Siobhan Brown (November 17, Mandela Hall) and the Foodstock Festival with special guest John Power (November 19, Mandela Hall) where the audience will be encouraged to bring along food items for donation.

Following on from the recent Freedom of The City concert, We're All In This (November 20, Oh Yeah) will feature performances from Ferna, Robin Price, Anselm O'Donnell, Cheylene Murphy, Stephen Loughran and Brigid O'Neill, who were partnered in a residency with Open Arts, ANAKA, ACSONI, Hosford Project, Victoria Park Primary School and Newington Day Centre.

The Music Cities Afternoon (November 16, Oh Yeah) presented in partnership with Music Connections will feature Serenade, Water & Music, Musicians Union, PRS Foundation MOBO Unsung and more, there's an all-ages hip-hop night at Oh Yeah (November 19), plus concerts from Gareth Dunlop (tonight, The Empire), David Lyttle presents Jazzlife (tomorrow, Oh Yeah, 1.30pm), Virgins EP launch (tomorrow, Oh Yeah), Villagers (tomorrow, The MAC), Modernlove (tomorrow, The Deer's Head), Ciara O'Neill (tomorrow, The Sunflower) and Joel Harkin (Nov 17, The Duncairn).

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah says: "We are really proud of our UNESCO status, it proves beyond doubt that music plays a significant role in our community life, is woven into the fabric of our vibrant and welcoming nightlife and demonstrates the rich heritage, present strength and future potential of our music scene.

"The Sound of Belfast festival is about being proud of what we offer as well as taking the time to talk about the challenges. Thanks to all that have contributed to this year's events, it's a fantastic snapshot of a thriving music city."

:: Sound of Belfast runs until November 20, full programme details at