A new online music initiative called Music Connections launched last week. Billed as a central online hub that aims to champion and support the development and growth of the music sector in Northern Ireland. The website will host information and news on funding opportunities, events and health services, aiming to signpost musicians, freelancers, music organisations and businesses to information that will support their career.
The website will also play host to a dedicated directory, currently featuring artists and musicians but will aim to expand to include other Northern Irish roles and organisations from record labels to photographers, promotors, crew and more. Artists and bands wanting to be featured in the directory are being encouraged to sign up through the website and email. Music Connections will also run a regular newsletter, which again you can sign for through the website. Lastly, they’re encouraging artists and more to add them to your mailing lists so they can promote your news, events etc themselves.
You may also have spotted our own dedicated Northern Irish music playlist Fresh Music from Northern Ireland featured on the Music Connections homepage. “Over at Music Connections, we are big fans of Chordblossom’s work in bringing you the latest new music from Northern Ireland. If you like what you hear, visit their website for more news, gig updates and music features.“
The team behind Music Connections consists of Lynne Best (The Fourth Pillar), Joe Dougan (Shine/Belsonic), Charlotte Dryden (Oh Yeah Music Centre), Mike Edgar (Mike Edgar Production Ltd), Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), Davy Matchett (Third Bar Belfast Artist Development) and Rocky O’Reilly (Start Together Studio). Each brings their own experience and expertise to the initiative.
In a statement, Lynne Best commented,
“The music sector in Northern Ireland has a lot to be proud of. Whether it’s the award-winning talent championed at the NI Music Prize, the behind-the-scenes creators and businesses who make, promote and support musicians, or the local organisations committed to developing creativity within communities, there is no shortage of examples that demonstrate the importance of music to Northern Ireland, socially, culturally, and economically.
Music Connections will support a sector in recovery and re-emergence, providing the latest news or information to support career development, networking, and industry knowledge. The signposting to various health and wellbeing services is an important element of the site, especially given the impact of the pandemic.
Moving forward, I hope that Music Connections can be a real asset to NI’s music sector, promoting the music we produce and the professionalism of the sector. It’s not a finished product but it is the start of something that the sector can own and evolve collectively. We want to hear from anyone and everyone working in music so that, as the world opens up again, we can show it just what NI music has to offer.”
You can find Music Connections here.