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Midtown Sounds 2021 broadcasting to your home on March 5 and 6!

One of last year's Midtown Sounds performers in Ballymena. The 2021 festival will be broadcast through Council's social media channels on March 5 and 6 If the chance to tune in to top local talent from the comfort of your own home is music to your ears, then you won’t want to miss the return of Midtown Sounds for 2021!

Since its inception in 2018, Midtown Sounds has provided a platform for musicians in the Mid and East Antrim Borough, and organisers have worked hard to ensure this year’s programme gives them the support to remain creative and an opportunity to showcase their talents.

The last 12 months have impacted the arts industry particularly hard, and for so many local performers, the chance to play in front of an audience, even virtually, will be a welcome one.

With a stellar line-up, Midtown Sounds 2021 takes place over the weekend of March 5 and 6, and features a mix of new and familiar faces, as well as masterclasses from some of the music and events industry’s biggest success stories.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “The way in which Council delivers events to our citizens has changed over the last 12 months but we are delighted to be able such a stellar line-up of local talent for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.

“We have an abundance of musical and artistic creativity and expertise within our borough, and Council is delighted to be able to support our performers by offering such a unique and exciting showcase as Midtown Sounds.”

Organiser Joe Rocks, Arts and Events Assistant with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, explains how this year’s line-up will look.

“Fresh off his debut at our 2020 Midtown Sounds we have Scott McLean, a musician who has taken huge leaps since performing in the Music Rooms last year.

“And anyone who was lucky enough to catch Northbound in Menary’s will be pleased to hear they are back, fiddle and all, to entertain us once again.

“Now in our fourth year, we have a number of artists who have been there from the beginning. Dean McKay, Ryan Price, Andrew Farrell, Tiernan Heffron and Crosshair Kid, have all been heavily involved in all aspects of Midtown Sounds since it began in February 2018.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming a number of artists into our Midtown Sounds stable for the first time - Patrick Collins, Yasmin Walker, Joe Allen, Daniel Thomas and The Doone Brothers will all be first time performers, and all of whom we would love to see transition into regular headline acts.

“A special word of thanks must go, of course, to all the fantastic Ballymena businesses which have supported us since the beginning by allowing the artists to perform at their premises. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do that this year, but we are very hopeful that brighter days are ahead in the near future.”

The full Midtown Sounds line-up will be shared on Council’s social channels, as well as information on the masterclasses.

Stephen Reid of Grafters Media will be sharing his expertise on lighting to enhance home recordings, while Zero Hour Recording Studio’s Michael McCluskey will give advice and tips for audio, and a special guest speaker, still to be revealed, will be giving his personal guide to the music industry.

Plans are also in place to create a short documentary film later this year, showcasing all that is happening musically in the local area, so stay tuned for that.

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