The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is set to mark its 14th birthday with a specially recorded series of music performances.

Oh Yeah opened its doors to the public on 5th May 2007. The centre normally programmes a live music celebration, but due to the pandemic this will be the second year that the doors have been closed on its anniversary. The Virtual Tour of NI will instead celebrate some of our venues and artists via YouTube as we hope for a safe return to live in the coming months. The tour will set off on May 10th at The Oh Yeah Centre and will complete at The Rostrevor Inn on May 14th

Like all venues across NI, Oh Yeah has been closed since March 2020. To date there has been no indication of when live music venues might be able to reopen in the North. It has been a hugely challenging time and live music has disappeared from our lives completely. Nevertheless there is a determination and resolution that it can’t always be like this. And so, as we start to slowly emerge from the most recent lockdown, Oh Yeah is renewing plans, refreshing memories and creating new opportunities.

Thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this virtual tour has been specially recorded in five venues around NI. Some share the ethos of Oh Yeah as cultural and music development spaces, while others which are a little off the beaten track contribute greatly to our musical landscape, providing live sounds that are loved by local residents and visitors alike. Places that breath life into cities, towns and villages across NI. Places that have been silent for over a year.

The series will be broadcast on the Oh Yeah YouTube channel and will kick off on May 10th at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. The tour will then virtually weave its way to the Nerve Centre, Derry (11th), the Cornstore, Draperstown (home to Glasgowbury, (12th), Blakes of The Hollow in Enniskillen (13th) and finish up at The Rostervor Inn (14th).  

Fourteen artists from a variety of genres and musicals backgrounds will provide stunning performances. They include Dana Masters, Gemma Bradley, Susie Blue, The Wood Burning Savages, Catherine McGrath, Invaderband, Our Krypton Son, Casual Riots, Enola Gay, Justine Gormley, The Organauts, Bernadette Morris, Laytha and Matt McGinn. 

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said: “We are fortunate to have weathered the storm so far and make it to our 14th year. We are grateful the Arts Council of NI for this opportunity, and to every single person and supporter that has cheered us on, supported our work, and donated or funded our projects over the years. But it’s not been easy for venues and artists this past year and there is still so much support needed to ensure the survival of our wonderful live music venues and artistic community. All of which are crucial, yes to the economy, but also to the energy of our towns and cities, to our wellbeing, to artistic development, to community engagement, to the preservation of our music heritage and for live exchange. We just can’t underestimate how important our venues and musicians are. So for that reason we are using our birthday to say we can’t wait to welcome you back and when we can all reopen again, please get out there and support your local venues and artists.“

The Virtual Tour NI, which was recorded and produced by Mike Edgar production, kicks off on May 10th on Oh Yeah YouTube Channel. Subscribe for updates and reminders. 

Oh Yeah gratefully acknowledges support from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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