An amazing night for local talent, the iconic Ulster Hall played host to this year’s NI Music Prize. The atmosphere was electric as musicians and fans celebrated the biggest event on the NI music scene.
The evening greatly acknowledged home grown heroes for their music, from rising stars to “the most successful band to come out of Northern Ireland with 16 million records”, Snow Patrol. Amongst the standing audience were solo performers, bands and fans alike. You could feel the sense of community and support for each other from the beginning to the end of the night.
It was an emotional night of speeches, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol presented Steven Strange, a life-long friend and agent, with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award.
To the audiences’ surprise, Steven’s clients including Coldplay, Kodaline and Van Morrison graced the big screen with special messages congratulating him on winning this prestigious award. They also expressed their thanks for all his support and dedication throughout the years. By the look on Steven’s face, he was delighted to accept his award in the iconic venue in the heart of Belfast.
“one of my favourite venues in the world is Ulster Hall in Belfast” Steven Strange
Presenters David O’ Reilly and Hannah Peel got the crowd going with their energy and excitement from the start of the show right to the closing act. For anyone who missed it, BBC Radio Ulster had you covered, broadcasting the entire night from the awards ceremony to the stunning performance from Snow Patrol.
There were six awards in total, three of which were dedicated through a public vote. At Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall, we were very proud that our very own Kitt Philippa, a member of staff who had two singles ‘Grace’ and ‘You’ in the Best Single category! Cherym picked up the Oh Year Contender Award, Sister Ghost won Best Live Act and Junk Drawer’s ‘Year of The Sofa’ took away Best Single. After an incredible performance from Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra- Borders, it’s no surprise that they picked up Best Album, which was judged by a strong panel of 11 during the show.
Snow Patrol were presented with the Oh Yeah Legend Award by Mike Edgar and Stuart Fleming from PRS for Music. Snow Patrol closed the event with an amazing performance of their biggest hits including Run, Open Your Eyes, Britain’s most-played song of the 21st Century, Chasing Cars and much more.
The crowd sang in unison, it was magical. It was a special moment when Gary Lightbody told the crowd just how personal the Ulster Hall is for Snow Patrol; it’s the band’s favourite venue for playing a gig.
“I heard live music for the first time ever in the Ulster Hall, it was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I just knew that I wanted to perform on this stage after that.” Gary Lightbody
It was an unforgettable night thanks to the Oh Yeah Music Centre, with everyone gathered to celebrate and enjoy world class acts and local talent under one roof, where else would you get it! Watch this space, we have no doubt the performances tonight will take these musicians to all corners of the world.
After all, Ulster Hall is where legends are made.