The Biggest Weekend Fringe is celebrated in Belfast with 10 days of broadcasts, Q&As, panels, workshops and live gigs. BBC Radio Ulster will showcase emerging and established talent with live events on shows including, Ralph McLean, Blas Ceoil and Across the Line.
A series of panels and Q&As, based in The Oh Yeah Music Centre, will offer advice on the creative industries and discussions on the wider music scene. Among these the Arts Show on BBC Radio Ulster will examine the power of lyrics in music and BBC Radio 6 Music will remember the relationship between John Peel and the music makers of N.Ireland.
Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley will be broadcasting live from The Limelight for BBC Radio 6 Music with performances from Therapy? and Django Django. In addition, the city will play host to various live gigs and events organised by independent promoters, venues and musicians.
Friday 18 May
Blas Ceoil Live from An Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich
Lynette Fay kicks off the Biggest Weekend Fringe with a special live broadcast ‘as Gaeilge’ from An Cultúrlann, with short performances from Colm Mac Con Iomaire, In Their Thousands, Lemoncello and Inni-K.
Sunday 20 May
BBC Radio 4 presents Four Thought at The Palm House, Botanic Gardens
A series of thought-provoking talks and personal stories in which speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and our lives.
The Four Thought discussion will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Monday 21 May
Breaking Sounds (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
Music journalism panel hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Elizabeth Alker.
What does the future hold for music journalism and tips on how to break into the industry.
Panellists also include: Sean Adams (founder of Drowned in Sound & The Quietus and Social Media Producer for BBC Radio 6 Music), Ruth Medjber (professional music and journalist).
Wax Lyrical (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
A discussion on how lyrics can define and elevate a song, leaving us jubilant or in tears.
Hosted by Radio Ulster Arts Broadcaster Marie-Louise Muir and featuring Iain Archer, Glenn Patterson and Jan Carson, the discussion will be recorded for broadcast on The Arts Show, BBC Radio Ulster.
Across the Line for The Biggest Weekend Fringe (BBC Blackstaff House)
Across the Line celebrates The Biggest Weekend Fringe with two hours of live music supported by BBC Music Introducing.
During the two hour live radio broadcast, the intimate floor show will feature short, sharp live sets from Girls Names, Roe, Kitt Philippa, And So I Watch You From Afar, Cherym and Joshua Burnside.
Tuesday 22 May
Financing the Band (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
Where does the money come from and how can you make it work? A panel of music professionals discuss how to make the most of revenue streams.
Featuring Rocky O’Reilly (producer, musician), Stuart Fleming (senior manager Scotland and Northern Ireland, PRS for music writer relations), Eoin O’Callaghan (songwriter/ producer/ composer/label owner), Charlene Hegarty (artist manager/talent development coordinator at The Oh Yeah Centre), Angela Dorgan (CEO First Music Contact – HWCH and Music from Ireland Export Office).
Iain Archer song writing workshop (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
The acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer shares some of the knowledge and song-writing skills which helped him win two Ivor Novello Awards, as well as working through ideas with those in attendance.
Peel, Punk, Belfast and Beyond (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
How the punk scene of Northern Ireland found an ally in John Peel, with the music of the period inspiring future generations of noise makers who themselves went on to gain support from the iconic broadcaster.
Hosted by BBC producer and Undertones bass player Mickey Bradley with Terri Hooley, Brian Young, Tanya Mellotte and Andy Cairns.
Wednesday 23 May
Beyond Belfast (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
Panel discussion about how to book the dates and tour your band or DJ set outside of your home city. How to secure the shows, get an audience and make it pay. Hosted by David O’Reilly (Across the Line) with Rory Friers (musician/composer/producer) Aoife Ahern (advance manager, production co-ordinator, and facilities manager), Linda Coogan Byrne (music and entertainment publicist) and more TBA.
No more gigs? (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
With live music venues closing and the cost of touring and hosting live music increasing, what is the future for the live gig and what can be done to ensure a healthy landscape for promoter, venue and musician? Panel is hosted by BBC Radio Ulster/BBC Radio Foyle broadcaster Steven McCauley with Joe Dougan (promoter) Sybil Bell (founder, Independent Venue Week and co-founder CAN YOU CIC IT (CIC)) James Loveday (owner/operator – The Distortion Project) and Hannah Peel (artist/composer).
Ralph McLean Live from The Palm House, Botanic Gardens
Ralph McLean celebrates the Biggest Weekend Fringe by welcoming some of his favourite local musicians to perform short acoustic sets in the unique surroundings of the Palm House, Botanic Gardens Belfast. Performing on the night will be Arborist, Sonja Sleator, Malojian, Iain Archer and Ciara O’Neill.
Thursday 24 May
6 Music Live at The Limelight
Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley welcome Therapy? and Django Django live to the stage at The Limelight for a special broadcast with 6 Music as part of The Biggest Weekend Fringe Belfast.
Therapy? Q&A (Katy’s Bar at The Limelight)
Join Therapy? for an intimate Q&A about their incredible career to date and plans for the future.
Deconstructing the Song with Django Django (The Limelight)
A fascinating insight into the musical workings of a Django Django track with demonstrations of the guitars, pedals, synths and equipment that make the sound of the band.
How to be Fearless (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
Hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs and Matt Everitt, music professionals with experience of and insight into audacious creative thinking will discuss the risks and rewards of bold decisions and daring plans when releasing music and booking gigs.
Featuring Sarah McBriar (AVA Festival Director and founder of UP Productions), Charlene Hegarty (artist manager/talent development co-ordinator), Tom Robinson (broadcaster, songwriter and activist) and Julie McLarnon (producer /analogue engineer).
The Art of the Interview (Start Together Studios, Gordon St)
An intimate workshop hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs and Matt Everitt on how to book, conduct and get the best stories from your music heroes.
Mixing Pop and Politics (Oh Yeah Music Centre)
A panel hosted by activist, songwriter and broadcaster Tom Robinson will ask whether there is a place for politics in modern music, and how, where and when should bands be activists as well as artists.
Featuring Paul Connolly (The Wood Burning Savages, vocalist, lyricist and songwriter), May Kay (Le Galaxie/ex-Fight Like Apes), Stuart Bailie (music journalist and broadcaster) and Steven Rainey (presenter/producer
More details and ticket applications here