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AVA Festival & Output Belfast are teaming up for a music conference this June

AVA Festival & Output Belfast are teaming up for a music conference this June


Output Belfast and AVA Festival are joining forces for a one-day conference on Thursday June 1st in Belfast before both of the festival’s respective live programmes, which happen at venues in the city Thursday (Output) and Friday / Saturday at Titanic Slipways (AVA).

The joint conference takes place at The MAC and The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter in the morning and afternoon of Thursday June 1st.

Over 800 people are expected among the 30 sessions, workshops, masterclasses, panels, keynotes and state of the nation addresses across all aspects of the music industry – with a focus on creative skills (writing, performing and producing) and business skills (management, streaming, music and image, networking and wider creative industry partnerships).

See the full list of announced panels below:

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

Output Belfast & AVA Music Conference, is supported by Belfast City Council, Belfast City of Music and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and with sessions delivered in partnership with organisations such as The Ivors Academy, PRS for Music, Help Musicians, Resident Advisor, BBC Introducing, SCGI, CMU and On Music, delegates can expect the most diverse programme of music industry education and networking the city has ever seen. The conference is free to attend and open to all.

“AVA, under Sarah McBriar’s leadership, has been instrumental since 2015 in amplifying the extraordinary talent and skills in Northern Ireland’s thriving electronic music scene – and it’s brilliant for me personally that having been a part of their conferences in Belfast, London, and as far away as India – that we now get to bring their expertise, networks and skills to what has now become Ireland’s leading music conference. This promises to be by some considerable distance the most important music conferencing day Belfast or Ireland will ever have seen, and I’m delighted with our partnership.”

Mark Gordon, Founder of Output Belfast.

“Mark Gordon and I have worked together since AVA began in 2015. We understand the great potential of the music industry across the Island of Ireland, and we believe that bringing our two conferences together will further boost what’s possible for the event, the conference content, and its ability to inspire and elevate both artists and the industry. We plan to instigate greater education, greater support, and greater attention to what is creatively possible.”

Sarah McBriar, Founder of AVA


‘Economics Of Music Streaming – The Story So Far’
Chris Cooke Founder & Managing Director, CMU

Discussion on the campaign 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 (Music, Brand & Event Consultant + DEI & Culture Change Expert | Leader of Why Not Her? Movement)
A talk to empower audience members with knowledge for making positive changes in their industries, workplaces, wider communities and more.


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

  • Chloe Lula (Resident Advisor)
  • Boyd Sleator, Free The Night (Northern Ireland)
  • Ciara Power, Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland)
  • Robbie Kitt, Give Us The Night (Ireland)
  • Gunnar Geßner, Hanover Night Council (Germany)

Resident Advisor presents a roundtable discussion on the intersection of policy and community in the late-night creative economy.

Your press release sucks! How to write a press release that works

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

Music journalists talk us through the art of writing a press release, from what to include to who you should approach and how best to approach them.

Self-Releasing Classical Music as a Composer or Performer

  • Matthew Whiteside (Composer, Author and CEO / Artistic Director of The Night With…)

Tips for self-releasing Classical music, including budgeting, running recording sessions and getting your music on streaming platforms.

PRSfM Presents: Stop, Collaborate and Listen – Developing a Career as a Producer/Co-writer

  • Rocky O’Reilly (Founder of Start Together Studios)
  • Stuart Fleming (Head of Membership Development Scotland & Northern Ireland, PRS)
  • More TBA

How to get started in producing and co-writing music.

On Music Presents: Kind of Blue – Placing Northern Ireland bands in Blue Lights

  • Catherine Grimes (Music Supervisor, ‘Blue Lights’)
  • Louise Gallagher (Producer, ‘Blue Lights’)
    Simon Pursehouse (Sentric Music)

BBC Introducing: Dance Music – How to get started and how to break through in electronic music

  • Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1 Presenter & Artist)
  • Sarah McBriar (Founder of AVA Music & Arts Festival)
  • Caoimhe Moreland (Academy-Winning DJ)
  • Sally C (DJ & Label Owner)
  • More TBA

The Art Of Event Curation

  • Dylan Murphy (District Magazine)
  • Emmett Costello – (AVA Festival, Inside Moves)
  • Molly King – (Other Voices, South Wind Blows, Ireland’s Edge)
  • Rich McGinnis – (MAMA Festivals, Warehouse Project, Parklife, Circus)
  • Will Rolfe – (All Together Now, Forbidden Fruit)

AVA assembles four promoters working across different areas of the industry to talk about what makes a great festival tick.

SCGI Presents: Scoring Brendan Fraser – Inside the composed and supervised music for “Professionals”

  • Dina Coughlan (Music Supervisor/Co-Founder, Planet of Sound)
  • Kormac (Artist / ‘Professionals’ Composer)
  • Rory McPartland (Music Supervisor/Co-Founder, Planet of Sound)

‘I get knocked down’ documentary Q and A with Dunstan Bruce (Chumbawamba) and Sophie Robinson
Sophie Robinson (Director, ‘I Get Knocked Down’)
The creation and reception of 2023 documentary ‘I Get Knocked Down’ – a story of the rise of Chumba and their epoch defining anthem “I get Knocked Down”.

Legal 101 – Top 10 Most Frequently Misunderstood Legal Terms in Music
Jonathan Tait (Rights Manager, STV)

Ivors Academy Presents: Composing for Feature Documentaries
Nainita Desai (Award-Winning Composer)
Composer of Oscar nominated feature documentaries discusses the nature of creating scores that honour the rawness of feature documentaries.

  • Irish Music Industry Podcast Presents: The Rise and Fall of BalconyTV
  • 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)

Based on 2023 podcast ‘The Untold Story of BalconyTV’ – A deep dive into the fascinating rise and fall of the global live concert music platform.

Get in the Vans – How Vans work with emerging talent in Music

  • Tony Arthy (Vans)
  • Benjamin McGee (Artist manager: Lemonade Shoelace, Chalk, Joshua Burnside)

How do you manage THAT? Pitching new music to established artist managers

  • 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)

CMU Presents: The Economics of Streaming – Where Next?

  • Chris Cooke Founder & Managing Director, CMU
  • Jenny Goodwin (Policy Officer, IVORS Academy)
  • Naomi Pohl (General Secretary, Musicians’ Union)
  • David Martin (CEO, FAC)

An in-depth discussion on the steps that must be taken to ensure the digital music business works for both music-makers and the music industry.

Sing When You’re Winning – Top Tips to Sing Harder, Better, Faster and Longer

Dave Jackson (Singer/The Voice Contestant)

Womens Work Presents: Artist Development Opportunities in 2023

  • Charlene Hegarty (Talent Development Manager, Oh Yeah Music Centre)
  • Gill Dooley (AIM Ireland)
  • Lea Heart (Artist)
  • Priscilla Kotey (Warner Ireland)

From Bedroom Beats to Timbaland Tunes – Making Cuts for Global Hip-Hop Tunes

  • Pamela McCormick (Director, UD Music)
  • WhipitConall (Artist)
  • Dylan Murphy (Head of Content, District Magazine, Manager: WhipItConall)

Go Fund Me – Opportunities for Funding for Artists and Music Businesses

  • Ciaran Scullion (ACNI)
  • Westley Holdsworth (PRS Foundation)
  • Hannah Gibson (HMNI)

An insight to funding opportunities available for musicians, creatives and music businesses – including schemes by the Arts Council, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians.

AIM Ireland Presents: Top Tips for Self-Releasing on a Budget

  • 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)

Indie Label experts discuss ways for emerging and established artists to record albums, release music and market themselves on a budget.

Breaking Tradition – New Adventures in Trad Music in Ireland (Traditional Music)

  • 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)

Irish Traditional and Folk artists discuss how to break through barriers, secure international showcasing opportunities and achieve career longevity.

Marshall Law: Inside the Marshall playbook for management, music and touring

  • Steph Carter (Head of Education, Marshall)
  • Megan Devereux (Education Coordinator, Marshall)
  • Hannah Richardson (Artist, CHERYM)

CMU Presents: Pathways Into Music

  • Chris Cooke Founder & Managing Director, CMU
  • Phil Nelson (Music Lecturer, BIMM Institute)
  • How the music industry, and music education sector, can better support anyone on their own pathway into music as frontline artist, portfolio musician, industry executive or music entrepreneur.

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