The Prize is an annual recognition of new and outstanding musical talent from Northern Ireland. This year the event returns to the Ulster Hall after a hugely challenging time for music. The evening will mark the rebuilding and revival of our industry and artists as we finally emerge from the pandemic. It will be a chance to reflect but it’s also an opportunity to look to the future with a renewed optimism. And of course it will be a night to celebrate the great music that our musicians have produced over the last twelve months.
The evening will feature live performances from shortlisted acts and special guests. Presenters will announce awards for Best Album presented by PPL, Best Single (supported by YouTube Music) and the ATL Contender Award. The evening includes the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award presentation to Mike Edgar and there will be a spotlight on the work of Help Musicians. There will also be a special dedication to the late Steve Strange who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The evening will also mark the recent designation of Belfast as UNESCO City of Music. Belfast has been awarded the coveted City of Music status celebrating the city’s rich musical heritage and recognising the importance of music to its future. Belfast is only the third city in the UK to become a City of Music with Liverpool receiving it in 2016 and Glasgow in 2008. It is also the first city on the island of Ireland to receive the accolade. There are now 59 Cities of Music forming part of the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
The Northern Ireland Music Prize is supported by Belfast City Council, YouTube Music, Arts Council Northern Ireland, PPL, PRS for Music, and in association with BBC Across The Line.
The event will also be streamed live on the Oh Yeah YouTube Channel.
The NI Music Prize is coordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and was established to celebrate and promote the rich and diverse home grown, world-class music of Belfast and Northern Ireland.
The event takes place during the Sound of Belfast festival, an annual 10-day showcase of the music of the city, from grassroots acts to celebrated names.
Sound of Belfast is dedicated to celebrating the tireless efforts of local musicians, promoters, industry, community, media, supporters and audiences – this passion combined is what makes Belfast a great music city. It takes place 4th – 18th November 2021.