A new online music initiative dedicated to championing Northern Ireland (NI) music has launched today. Music Connections is a central online hub created to support the development and growth of NI’s diverse and talented music sector.

From the latest funding opportunities and events to health services and news, Music Connections signposts musicians, freelancers, music organisations and music businesses towards vital information to support their career. It is an open forum for all genres, at all career levels, across all of NI, which seeks to champion, promote, and connect the NI music sector, locally, nationally, and internationally.

The launch comes with three calls to action for those working in music in NI:

  • Get featured in the Music Connections Directory to promote your music, business or initiative.
  • Sign up to the Music Connections Newsletter via the website to get regular updates on news and events.
  • Add Music Connections to your mailing lists to ensure your news and activities are promoted on the website. Send any relevant stories and events through to news@musicconnections.com.

The Music Connections Directory provides a platform for NI artists, bands and freelance musicians to promote their activities. In the coming months, the Directory will expand to include other businesses and organisations including but not limited to:

  • Community-Based Music Organisations
  • Community Choirs
  • Crew (all roles)
  • Equipment Hire Companies
  • Musical Instrument Retailers
  • Music Managers
  • Music Magazines and Media
  • Music Publishers
  • Music Tuition
  • Photographers
  • PR Agencies or Professionals
  • Production Companies
  • Promoters
  • Record Labels
  • Record Shops
  • Rehearsal Spaces
  • Songwriters
  • Talent Development Organisations
  • Venues
  • Videographers

If a company or organisation type is not listed, Music Connections would like to hear from you for the purposes of expanding its categories and promoting and connecting as much of the NI music sector as possible. 

The website will also promote the popular Chordblossom playlist which directs music fans to the freshest music coming out of NI. 

Commenting on the launch of Music Connections, the coordinator of the initiative, Lynne Best of The Fourth Pillar said,

“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.”

The team behind the initiative comprises 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).

Visit the site at www.musicconnections.com