Belfast Harbour Rocks in to Power up Music Career Drive

Thanks to Belfast Harbour, young people from across Northern Ireland have been given the chance to size up their music and tech skills and scope out future musical opportunities.

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Jenni Barkley with two Urban Affinity participants.

Ever dreamt of being a DJ, musician, a sound engineer – or simply like being around music?

Thanks to Belfast Harbour, young people from across Northern Ireland have just been given a chance to get nearer to that goal, to size up their music and tech skills and scope out future musical opportunities.

Helping to nurture the next generation of talent, the Urban Affinity event at the Oh Yeah Music Centre gave 90 people from a variety of communities an unrivalled chance to jump right in to the music scene and experience what it’s like to spin discs for the day, try out an instrument, rap, produce digital music, make a film and organise a photo shoot.

Attended by experienced professionals, and with a focus on career development at its heart but in a fun environment, everyone took part in five dedicated sessions. They also created their own original CD mix, video, song or track to take away.

The Belfast Urban Affinity 2016 event was part of Sound of Belfast, a nine-day celebration of an iconic music city which is co-ordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

Belfast Harbour’s Communications & Corporate Responsibility Manager, Jenni Barkley, said:

“For almost a decade, Oh Yeah has proven itself to be a unique resource for music makers and for those interested in the business of music – and this standout event really played to its strengths and its mission to open doors to music.

Belfast Harbour has a longstanding commitment to developing young people, through the community and arts sector, this was a powerful event really brought that to life encouraging emerging musical talent for this growing local industry. It was a fantastic platform and it provided a remarkable showcase of passion and promise.”

The Urban Affinity taster sessions which were designed to introduce young people to potential employment, training and volunteering opportunities and were supported by specialists working in the sector. Jenni added:

“With new skills, raised confidence and a real sense of pride and achievement, Belfast Harbour is proud to have been directly involved and we look forward to keeping tabs on everyone’s next steps to success,”

Charlotte Dryden, CEO, Oh Yeah said:

“Thanks to Belfast Harbour, Oh Yeah was able to deliver another great year of Urban Affinity. The day is designed to bring young people closer to music through interactive sessions that give them a real taste of what it is like to work in and create music. One of the key aims of our annual Sound of Belfast festival is to provide access and encourage participation and this event does just that.”