Ash frontman, Tim Wheeler ‘in conversation with’ announced as Closing Keynote at next weeks Output Belfast

Ash frontman, Tim Wheeler ‘in conversation with’ announced as Closing Keynote at next weeks Output Belfast | telling the story of the iconic Ash and U2 concert that took place in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on 21 May 1998 after the Good Friday Agreement

Output Belfast x AVA Festival have joined  forces to bring the biggest music conference Belfast has ever seen to the Cathedral Quarter on Thursday 1st June 2023 (10am-5pm), followed by a full evening of live music for the Output Belfast Evening Showcase (7.30pm – Late), taking place across 9 Cathedral Quarter venues.
Supported by Belfast City Council, Belfast City of Music and Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Conference and Evening Showcase are both completely free to attend and open to all.

The conference will present more than 80 music industry experts speaking across panels, workshops and sessions at The MAC and Oh Yeah Music Centre (10am – 5pm), offering delegates a chance to learn about creative skills (writing, performing and producing) and business skills (management, streaming, music and image, networking and wider creative industry partnerships).
We’re proud to announce the conference’s Lyndon Stephen’s Closing Keynote (4-5pm, Downstairs Theatre, The MAC) will feature Ash frontman, Tim Wheeler in conversation with BBC’s Marie-Louise Muir telling the story of the iconic Ash and U2 concert that took place in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on 21 May 1998 (25 years ago), after the Good Friday Agreement.
Following this, the Output Belfast Evening Showcase (7.30pm – Late) will offer delegates a full evening of live music – for free – featuring 36 music acts (including two special guests) from across the North and South of Ireland performing at Cathedral Quarter venues: Duke of York, Bullitt Courtyard, Tetto Rooftop, Oh Yeah Music Centre, Ulster Sports Club (Upstairs and Downstairs), Dirty Onion, Black Box and The Deer’s Head.
The showcase will also include live performances from the four winners of the recent Output Belfast Emerging Artist Stage competition, for which more than 80 incredible emerging NI artists applied. The winning artists, who will perform live at Dirty Onion from 8.30pm-Late, are: Róise, Brother Vice, Susi Pagel and Con and the Éire Jordans.

Sign Up and Attendance: We ask that delegates sign up before the event to help us gauge numbers, however delegates can also arrive on the day (even if they haven’t signed up) and attend the panels they wish to see – we just ask that everyone, including those who have signed up, arrives early to avoid disappointment as seats will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Sign up here for the 2023 edition of Output Belfast & AVA Music Conference

10.00 – 11.00

Opening Keynotes
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC

Economics Of Music Streaming – The Story So Far’
Chris Cooke (Founder & Managing Director, CMU)
Chris Cooke provides a speedy update on the ongoing economics of streaming debate, including the five key priorities recently set out by the Council Of Music Makers, which is campaigning for more transparency in streaming, improved data management and a better deal for how music-makers share in digital income. 

How You Can Be A Culture Changer?’
Linda Coogan Byrne (DEI & Culture Change Expert | Leader of Why Not Her? Movement)
Linda will delve into our individual and collective power to become culture changers. She’ll provide tools for empowering delegates to make positive changes in their own lives, industries and communities; that will ultimately help instigate structural and cultural changes in the music and media industries.
Will AI change the music industry forever?
Matt Hervey (Partner / Head of Artificial Intelligence Law, GOWLING WLG (UK) LLP)
AI is being trained on the lyrics, music, voices and likenesses of musicians to generate new music and performances. Should artists invite it like Grimes, use it like David Guetta, cancel it (as was FN Meka), enforce your rights or licence them? Matt will cover all in this fascinating talk.
11.30 – 12.30 SESSIONS

Breaking Tradition – New Adventures in Trad Music in Ireland (Traditional Music)
Room: Artist Room, The MAC
Traditional and Folk artists discuss breaking barriers, driving ambition, international showcasing, and career longevity, as well as defying norms in the face of wider music industry challenges, by showcasing at SXSW, transforming their industry and paving the way for the next generation.
Moderator: Jo Wright (Music and Traditional Arts Development Officer, ACNI) 
Danielle Carragher (Artist, Dani Larkin) 
Clare Sands (Artist) 
Brìghde Chaimbeul (Artist) 
Rónán Ó Snodaigh (Artist, Kila)

RA Roundtable: “Reimagining Nightlife” Policy, Community and the Creative Night Time Economy

Room: Upstairs Theatre, The MAC
Resident Advisor presents a roundtable discussion on the intersection of policy and community in the late-night creative economy. A diverse panel of experts aim to shed light on the challenges faced by the nightlife sector and explore opportunities for growth, innovation, and collaboration.
Host: Michael Lawson (Journalist, Resident Advisor)

Ciara Power (Lead Researcher, Free The Night / PhD Candidate, Queen’s University Belfast)
Boyd Sleator (Co-Founder, Free The Night – Northern Ireland)
Robbie Kitt (Musician / Co-Founder, Give Us The Night – Ireland)
Gunnar Geßne (Project Development Manager, Hanover Night Council – Germany)

Legal 101 – Top 10 Most Frequently Misunderstood Legal Terms in Music
Room: Oh Yeah Centre
From how to dissect legal language and terms used in recording contracts, sync licences and agreements, to making sure you get fair deals, this talk will provide artists, managers and any music industry professionals with crucial knowledge for the industry.
Speaker: Jonathan Tait (Rights Manager, STV)

Screen Composers Guild of Ireland presents: Scoring Brendan Fraser – Inside the composed and supervised music for ‘Professionals’
Room: The Works, The MAC
Meet the team behind the music for hit 2020 TV series ‘Professionals’ and hear the process of how they created the soundtrack – from carefully curating the commercial music choices, to composing original music that brought the director’s vision to life.
Sarah Glennane (CEO, SCGI)
Dina Coughlan (Music Supervisor / Co-Founder, Planet of Sound) 
Kormac (Artist / ‘Professionals’ Composer)

Rory McPartland (Music Supervisor / Co-Founder, Planet of Sound)

Irish Music Industry Podcast Presents: The Rise and Fall of BalconyTV
Room: The Hub, The MAC
This discussion will cover the remarkable journey of BalconyTV – from its humble beginnings on Irish TV to becoming a global cultural phenomenon syndicated with 100 cities worldwide and securing million-dollar deals, to its eventual and sudden decline in the 2010s.

Mark Graham (Podcast Presenter: ‘The Untold Story of BalconyTV’)

Stephen O’Regan (BalconyTV Founder) 

Joanne Collins (Producer of BalconyTV Cork)

Stephen McGrath (Artist: Crow Black Chicken) 

CMU Presents: The Economics of Streaming – Where Next?
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC
Carrying on from the opening keynote, this panel will discuss the UK government’s promise of “meaningful and lasting improvements” to ensure the digital music business works for both music-makers and the music industry. Hear from panellists on progress made so far and what still needs to be done.
Moderator: Chris Cooke (Founder & Managing Director, CMU)
Jenny Goodwin (Policy Officer, IVORS Academy)
Naomi Pohl (General Secretary, Musicians’ Union) 
David Martin (CEO, FAC)

Resident Advisor: Broadcast Journalism Workshop
Room: David McWilliams, Oh Yeah Centre
Please note, this is a limited capacity session.
Interested in podcasting and multimedia journalism? Resident Advisor’s Senior Producer, Chloe Lula, will teach the basics of audio production and editing for broadcast. Participants will also come away with tools to adapt stories for the air, create compelling scripts and work with music and recorded audio.
Host: Chloe Lula (Senior Producer, Resident Advisor)
AVA Emerging Talent Programme – 2 Sessions
Please note, these are closed sessions – for information email:
Producers Room: The Lab, The MAC
Visual Artists Room: Backstage Green Room, The MAC

AVA’s Emerging Talent Programme returns for 2023 offering a creative opportunity for one DJ, Music Producer and Visual Artist in each category. Please note: this is a closed workshop session for the applicants of the programme to meet with mentors from their categories. 
Producer Host: Timmy Stewart (DJ / Producer)
Visual Artist Host: Kev Freeny (Visual Artist & Creative Director)

12.40 – 13.20 SESSIONS
Self-Releasing Classical Music as a Composer or Performer
Room: Artist Room, The MAC
Join Matthew Whiteside (Self-Release Guide Book for Composers & Musicians) to hear tips and tricks for setting realistic budgets, running recording sessions and getting your music on major streaming platforms in the Classical sector.
Speaker: Matthew Whiteside (Composer / Author / Artistic Director of ‘The Night With…)
Introduced By: Jo Wright
ATL Introducing: Dance Music – How to get started and how to break through
Room: Upstairs Theatre, The MAC
BBC Radio Ulster’s Across The Line Introducing brings together industry experts to discuss how artists can break into the music industry as EDM, Electronica or Dance acts. They’ll touch on how to build up an audience, make contacts, book gigs, and the experiences of women who have paved the way in this field.
Moderator: Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1 Presenter & Artist)
Sarah McBriar (Founder of AVA Music & Arts Festival)
Caoimhe Moreland (Academy-Winning DJ)
Sally C (DJ)
Tara Kumar (DJ & Broadcaster)
Your press release sucks! How to write a press release that works
Room: Oh Yeah Centre
Writing a great press release is an art form – and is a vital tool for bringing artists publicity. Join us to hear the best tips for how to write a killer press release that will get you noticed and help you publicise yourself.
 Élise Mollé (Recording and Mixing Engineer)

Brian Coney (Editor, The Thin Air)
Niall Byrne (Founder, Nialler9)

PRS for Music Presents: Get Played Get Paid – Royalty Collection In Electronic Music with PRS 
Room: The Works, The MAC
Join panellists to hear about music copyright in the realm of Electronic music, and the roles collection societies, record labels, artists, music managers and radio broadcasters play in helping artists get paid / collect royalties for their music.
Moderator: Stuart Fleming (Head of Membership Development Scotland & Northern Ireland, PRS)

Robin Buckley (Senior Creative, Ninja Tune / Just Isn’t Music) 

Phil Taggart (Broadcaster, BBC Radio Ulster) 

Suze Gurusinge (Artist / Manager, One House Artists)
On Music Presents: Kind of Blue – Placing Northern Ireland bands in BBC 1’s series ‘Blue Lights’
Room: The Lab
Hear from the creative team behind the hit 2023 BBC TV series ‘Blue Lights’ on their process for selecting music, including an array of NI artists to enhance the script, with crucial tips from experienced industry experts Simon Pursehouse of Sentric Music and Abbie Triggs of On Music.
Moderator: Abbie Triggs (Director of Operations and Business Development, On Music)
Catherine Grimes (Music Supervisor, ‘Blue Lights’)
Louise Gallagher (Producer, ‘Blue Lights’) 
Simon Pursehouse (Global Director of Music Services, Sentric Music)
Get in the Vans – How Vans work with emerging talent in Music
Room: The Hub
What can brand partnerships do for artists? How have globally renowned brand, Vans, ventured into the music industry, creating incredible opportunities for emerging artists? Hear about their ‘Musicians Wanted’ competition which gave NI artist Lemonade Shoelace the opportunity to support Yungblud in Mexico City in 2022.
Moderator: Charlene Hegarty (Talent Development Manager, Oh Yeah Music Centre)

Tony Arthy (
Director, Worn Out Creative / Vans Music)
Benjamin McGee (Artist manager: Lemonade Shoelace, Chalk, Joshua Burnside)
Go Fund Me – Opportunities for Funding for Artists and Music Businesses
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC
Hear from key UK music funding organisations who offer support, advice and opportunities for music projects. Whether you’re a music creator, organisation, or working across creative disciplines, this panel will provide an insight to funding, grants and upcoming schemes available in a range of creative sectors.
Moderator: Lynne Best (Managing Partner, The Fourth Pillar)

Ciaran Scullion (Head of Music & Opera, ACNI)

Westley Holdsworth (Grants and Programmes Manager, PRS Foundation)

Hannah Gibson (Engagement Officer, HMNI)
13.30 – 14.30 SESSIONS
AIM Ireland Presents: Top Tips for Self-Releasing Artists
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC
Hear from independent label experts on the new, forward-thinking approaches they’re taking to running indie labels. They’ll look at how indie labels have changed over the last decade, and the innovative business approaches that are helping break artists in 2023.
Gill Dooley (CEO, AIM Ireland) 

Brian Scally (
Director, Paragon Records)
Aine Cronin-McCartney (Label Manager, Bloom Records)
Julie Hough (Co-Founder and Label Coordinator, VETA)
Solomon Adesiyan (CEO, Trust It Entertainment)

The Art Of Event Curation
Room: Upstairs Theatre, The MAC
Programming line-ups, nailing creative direction, championing visual arts, representing marginalised communities and grassroots movements from homegrown talent to unsung heroes – this panel brings together four promoters working across different areas of the industry to talk about what makes a great festival tick.
Moderator: Dylan Murphy (District Magazine)

Emmett Costello (AVA Festival, Inside Moves)
Molly King (Other Voices)
Rich McGinnis (
MAMA Festivals, Warehouse Project, Parklife, Circus)
Will Rolfe (All Together Now, Forbidden Fruit)
Marshall Law – Inside the Marshall Playbook for Management, Music and Touring
Room: Oh Yeah Music Centre
Hear from Marshall reps on how they’re disrupting the music industry with radically new ways of operating their label, artist management and live agency. The panel will delve into the ways they work with bands to structure deals and offer resources in a way that’s artist-friendly.
Moderator: Aaron Casey (Music Rights & Royalties Consultant, BIMM Dublin)

Steph Carter (Head of Education, Marshall)

Megan Devereux (Education Coordinator, Marshall)

Hannah Richardson (Artist, CHERYM)
Ivors Academy presents: Composing for Feature Documentaries
Room: The Lab, The MAC
Hear from composer of Oscar nominated, BAFTA and Cannes-winning feature documentaries, Nainita Desai, on the nature of scoring music for documentaries with delicate subject matters and how she creates music that honours the rawness of storylines.
Moderator: Sarah Glennane (CEO: Screen Composers Guild of Ireland)
Speaker: Nainita Desai (Award-Winning Composer)
Music Minds Matter present: ‘I get knocked down’ Q and A with Dunstan Bruce (Chumbawamba)
Room: The Hub, The MAC
Hear about the journey that led to the creation of 2023 feature documentary ‘I Get Knocked Down,’ which explores the rise of band Chumbawamba and their epoch defining anthem with the same name, including the struggles experienced by their frontman, Dunstan Bruce, in his attempt to “get back up again.”
Speaker: Joe Hastings (Head of Music Minds Matter, Help Musicians)
In Conversation With: 

Dunstan Bruce (Director / Artist, Chumbawamba)
Sophie Robinson (Director)
Sing When You’re Winning – Top Tips to Sing Harder, Better, Faster and Longer
Room: Artist Room, The MAC
Join singer and The Voice contestant, Dave Jackson, for the best tips in singing – including how to warm up correctly and getting the best from your voice in every performance. This is an unmissable vocal masterclass on how to use your voice.
Speaker: Dave Jackson (Singer/The Voice Contestant)
The Convergence Of Music And AR
Room: The Works, The MAC
Join the futuristic-focussed and forward-thinking creative agency behind the Gorillaz Skinny Ape immersive AR Experience and artist/director behind The Metaverse & Me AR and AR Street Art to discuss the opportunities that are giving artists and creators unlimited opportunities for creative expression in three dimensions.
Moderator: Nigel McAlpine (Immersive Technology Lead, Catapult Digital)
Alex Jenkins (Executive Creative Director, Nexus Studios)
Deepa Mann-Kler (CEO, Neon)
14.45 – 15.45 SESSIONS
How do you manage THAT? Pitching New Music to Established Artist Managers
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC
How can an artist successfully get the attention of an established manager? This panel will offer advice and tips on finding a manager who shares your vision, to taking steps towards approaching them and building up a rapport – as well as what to expect from the artist-manager relationship. 
Moderator: Bekah Molony (Artist Manager: Celaviedmai, Negro Impacto)
Phil Jones (VP Artist Management, MNRK: Anand Wilder, Ailbhe Reddy)
Maria Torres (Artist Manager, MOTHER ARTISTS: IDLES, Heavy Lungs, 86TVs)
Conor Cusack (Artist Manager: Saint Sister, THALA, Jed Holland)
Resident Advisor: Exchange Live
Room: The Lab, The MAC
In partnership with Resident Advisor, the RA Exchange Live returns for an in-depth interview with Electronic Artist, Héctor Oaks.
Host: Chloe Lula (Senior Producer, Resident Advisor)
Speaker: Héctor Oaks (DJ)

Women’s Work Presents: Artist Development Opportunities in 2023
Room: Oh Yeah Music Centre
Industry experts discuss current and upcoming opportunities available to help artists develop their craft and learn new skills for the music industry. Panellists will deep dive into the steps you can take to make sure you are covering all the bases and making sounds in all the right places.
Charlene Hegarty (Talent Development Manager, Oh Yeah Music Centre)
Gill Dooley (CEO, AIM Ireland)

Lea Heart (Artist) 

Priscilla Kotey (SVP, Warner Ireland)
Angela Dorgan (CEO, First Music Contact)
PRS for Music  Presents: Stop, Collaborate and Listen – Developing a Career as a Producer/Co-writer 
Room: Upstairs Theatre, The MAC
In a landscape where collaborations are increasingly popular across all genres, this panel will touch on everything from where to start when developing a producer / co-writer relationship, to how to prepare for, and bring your A-game to, co-songwriting sessions.
Moderator: Aaron Casey (Music Rights & Royalties Consultant, BIMM Dublin)

Rocky O’Reilly (Founder of Start Together Studio)
Iain Archer (Grammy-Nominated Songwriter)
Hannah Peel (Composer / Producer)
Stuart Fleming (Head of Membership Development Scotland & Northern Ireland, PRS)

From Bedroom Beats to Timbaland Tunes – Making Cuts for Global Hip-Hop Tunes
Room: The Hub, The MAC
An in-depth discussion on the realities and growing pains involved with starting out as an emerging artist / bedroom producer and paving the way towards pursuing a serious career in music; featuring an insight to the extraordinary journey of NI artist, WhipitConall.
Moderator: Pamela McCormick (Director, UD Music)
Dylan Murphy (Head of Content, District Magazine, Manager: WhipItConall)
WhipitConall (Artist)

CMU Presents: Pathways Into Music
Room: The Works, The MAC
CMU’s Pathways Into Music Foundation seeks to build bridges between everyone involved in educating and supporting new, exciting music talent. The Foundation’s directors will update you on their latest developments and discuss the ways they hope to support anyone pursuing creative disciplines.
Moderator: Chris Cooke (Founder & Managing Director, CMU)
Panellist: Phil Nelson (Music Lecturer, BIMM Institute)
16.00 – 17.00

Lyndon Stephens Closing Keynote – YES – The inside story of the legendary U2 / ASH Referendum Concert of 21 May 1998
Room: Downstairs Theatre, The MAC
An unmissable deep dive into perhaps the most iconic concert of the last 25 years. After the Good Friday Agreement had been drafted, a referendum was put to the people of Northern Ireland to adopt it and signal a roadmap to a new future. At a critical moment before the vote and in order to achieve a “Yes” outcome – an unprecedented concert took place for 300 young people in The Waterfront, Belfast. This is the story of that event.
Tim Wheeler (Ash)
Moderator: Marie Louise Muir
23:30 – CHALK
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