Kickstart 2018 feature

Chordblossom Presents: Kickstart 2018

by / April 2, 2018

We are announcing a little later than normal but we are delighted to confirm the return of our Kickstart competition for 2018. As ever our focus is on giving bands and musicians from across Northern Ireland a platform by which they can “kickstart” their careers.

Once again we are thrilled to be partnering with Help Musicians NI to deliver an exceptional opportunity for musicians across Northern Ireland. With their assistance and that of all our wonderful partners, we are confident that we can transform the fortunes of one lucky band or solo musician. Previous winners of our competition have gone on to remarkable things with Bridie Monds Watson aka SOAK and more recently Brand New Friend being prime examples.

Nikki MacRae of Help Musicians NI had this to say about our partnership: “One of the greatest strengths of the Northern Irish music industry lies in the opportunities that arise for artists from groups of individuals with a passion for promoting local music. The Chordblossom Kickstart initiative is a wonderful example of this passion. Help Musicians NI is dedicated to supporting professional artists from starting out in their careers through to retirement and, by working in association with Chordblossom, we are delighted to support this opportunity for artists to “kick-start” their career in music.


Chordblossom Kickstart 2018 poster


Professional Career Advice – Courtesy of Third Bar Artist Development

Single Recording – Courtesy of Start Together Studios

Video for your Single – Courtesy of Empty Horoscope Media

Festival Slot – Courtesy of Stendhal Festival of Art

Festival Slot – Courtesy of Sunflowerfest

Festival Slot – Courtesy of Atlantic Sessions

One Month PR – Courtesy of Lemon PR

First Play of your Single – Courtesy of Electric Mainline

Music Industry Contacts – Courtesy of The Unsigned Guide

Professional Photoshoot – Courtesy of Conor Kerr Photography

Single Launch Gig in Belfast – Courtesy of Chordblossom

Support Slot in Portrush – Courtesy of Atlantic Live Lounge

Support Slot in Derry/Londonderry – Courtesy of Bennigans Introducing

Support Slot in Omagh – Courtesy of HenCav Events

Support Slot in Bangor – Courtesy of Goat’s Toe

How To Enter

You must be a musician or band originally from Northern Ireland and have not released a full length album. If you meet this criteria please send an email to with the following information:

– Band/Musician Name
– Hometown
– Brief Biography
– Influences
– A Social Media Link

– An MP3 of your best track

Applications without all the information listed above will be rejected.

Timeline For The Competition

– Monday 2nd April 2018 – Competition announced and entry opens
– Sunday 15th April 2018 – Entries Close at 8PM
– Monday 23rd April 2018 – Initial Shortlist Announced
– Monday 30th April 2018 – 4 Finalists Announced
– Saturday 12th May 2018 – Showcase Gig in association with Shizznigh Promotions & Announcement of Winner

Frequently Asked Questions

– I have entered the competition before, am I still eligible to enter this year?

Yes, as long as you meet the normal criteria. However, please send through a different song.

– Is there a restriction on the genre of music for Kickstart?

No, we welcome applications from musicians and bands of any genre.

– I don’t have a studio quality recording, can I still enter?

Yes, we aren’t looking for the most polished of singles. We will listen to all tracks and demos that are sent in.

– Can I send through a link to my music on Spotify/Youtube/Soundcloud/Bandcamp or WAV file rather than an MP3?

NO! We are only able to accept an MP3 version of your track. If you have a file in a different format, please convert it using software available like

– Do I/we have to be available to play the showcase gig?

Yes, the showcase gig is a vital part of the competition. The showcase will be at a venue in Belfast and will take place on Saturday 12 May 2018. Full details will be announced in due course.

– Who will judge the different stages of the competition?

For the initial shortlist, the decision will be taken by the Chordblossom team of contributors.

For the final four, a panel of people who work in the music industry here will take a decision. Previously this has included local promoters, journalists and other industry professionals.

– I have a question that you haven’t answered, what should I do?

If you have any other questions, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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