Chordblossom Presents Kickstart 2016

by / January 18, 2016


2015 was an extremely busy year for Chordblossom as we worked even harder to promote musicians from Northern Ireland. 2016 is barely a few weeks old but we are keen to keep that momentum going and continue to give local musicians a platform to reach a wider audience. With that in mind, we are pleased to say that our annual Kickstart competition is open again. Previous winners include SOAK, Lauren Bird, Those Ghosts and In An Instant, so you will be in excellent company should you take the prize in 2016!

Kickstart is open to any musicians or bands from Northern Ireland interested in pushing themselves and their careers forward in 2016. All genres and ages are welcome, the only restrictions are that you are originally from NI and that you haven’t released a full length album.

Once all the entries are received, the Chordblossom team will decide who on an initial shortlist. These shortlisted acts will be subject to scrutiny from a collection of local music industry experts to decide the final four musicians in contention. These final four acts will perform at a showcase gig on Thursday 10th March 2016 in The Eglantine Bar, in association with Shizznigh Promotions, after which the organisations who are donating prizes will decide the winner of Kickstart 2016!

Prizes ► 

 Professional Career Advice – Courtesy of Third Bar Artist Development
Before you begin collecting the rest of your prizes you will sit down with Third Bar Artist Development, a joint enterprise between Davy Matchett & Gary Lightbody, to decide which song you should record as a single and develop a plan for taking your career to the next level.

► Single Recording – Courtesy of Millbank Studios
You will have the privilege of recording a single at the prestigious Millbank Studios. When you consider that artists like Rams’ Pocket Radio, The Rupture Dogs, A Plastic Rose and Malojian have all recorded here, you know your release is going to sound sumptuous.

►  Video for your Single – Courtesy of Dog Kennel Productions
To accompany your single you will work with Dog Kennel Productions to produce a stunning video. 2014 was a busy year for the company as they produced videos for Escobar, Owen McGarry, Amanda St John & LORIS, to name but a few.

 Festival Slot – Courtesy of Stendhal Festival of Art
Limavady’s Stendhal Festival of Art continues to win plaudits for being the best summer festival on Northern Irish shores. Renowned for bringing in established artists like Turin Brakes, Frightened Rabbit, The Undertones along with the cream of Northern Irish music, you will have the privilege of joining the bill in 2016 .

 First Play of your Single – Courtesy of Electric Mainline
To ensure your single gets some much needed radio airplay, Stephen McCauley of BBC Radio Foyle’s Electric Mainline will play it live on air as soon as it has been recorded.

 CD Duplication – Courtesy of Botanic Media
Your single has been recorded but you fancy having a few physical copies to distribute to blogs, radio and of course the punters at your next show. Botanic Media will provide you with 50 copies of your new single for you to distribute how you see fit. Previous clients include LORIS, Ben Glover and The Bonnevilles.

 Single Artwork – Courtesy of This Is Work
Your single is recorded, the video is good to go but there is one more thing you need before revealing it to the world: artwork. Alexander McCooke of This Is Work has kindly agreed to design your single sleeve. Current clients include Clockwork Orange, the Ulster Festival and Slemish Market Gardens.

 Professional Photoshoot – Courtesy of Ciara McMullan Photography
You’ll find Ciara McMullan at hundreds of local music shows across Northern Ireland every year and quite a few of our bands use her images as promotional material. Lucky for you, she’ll make sure you have your own quality images as part of a professional photoshoot.

 Single Launch Gig in Belfast – Courtesy of Chordblossom
Not only are we offering you all these wonderful prizes but we will also host your illustrious single launch. Over the past 18 months we hosted shows with the Wood Burning Savages, LORIS, Silences, R51 and more.

 Support Slot in Portrush – Courtesy of Atlantic Live Lounge
Since we are Belfast-based, it is only natural we will host your single launch but we are also giving you the opportunity to spread your gigging wings. The Atlantic Live Lounge in Portrush will find a support slot for you at one of their gigs in 2016.

 Single Stocked in Shop & In-store performance – Courtesy of Head Belfast
Your newly recorded single will be stocked in the Northern Irish music section of the Head store in Castle Court and you will also be invited to perform in-store to promote it.

 Support Slot in Derry/Londonderry – Courtesy of Bennigans Introducing
You will also be able to add a Derry/Londonderry date in to your diary as Bennigans Introducing will also put you on the bill of one of their renowned Introducing gigs later in 2016.

How To Enter ► 

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

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

– An MP3 of your best track (if you entered in a previous year please send in a different track)

Timeline For The Competition ► 

– Monday 18th January 2016 – Competition announced and entry opens
– Sunday 7th February 2016 – Entries Close at 8PM
– Monday 15th February 2016 – Top 20 Announced
– Monday 22nd February 2016 – 4 Finalists Announced
– Thursday 10th March 2016 – Showcase Gig & Winner Announced

Kickstart 2016 (update)


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