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FFWD For NI Music

FFWD is a new programme designed to help accelerate the development of Northern Ireland’s rapidly evolving music industry. Central to the FFWD programme will be a series of free admission seminars and masterclasses on hot music industry topics...

The first of these - ‘Sync or Sink’ - takes place on Wednesday 16th June from 2.00 pm until 5pm at the University of Ulster, York Street campus. Music Synchronisation commonly referred to as ‘Sync’ is the commercial placement of music in films, TV, computer games and advertisements etc.

Speakers at this event will include:

Kyle Lynd - music supervisor on the hugely popular TV show - ‘Skins’
Daniel Cross - music consultant for Adidas, Reebok, Heineken, Sony, Microsoft and Rimmel
Marsha Shandur - music supervisor on Channel 4’s highly successful “The Inbetweeners.”

Another key element of the programme is the FFWD Mentoring Service for artists and music businesses - which offers practical advice on career and business development issues.

On Thursday 3rd June at a FFWD Mentoring Clinic from 4.30pm until 6pm at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast - meet some of the FFWD mentoring team:

Andrew Ferris & Charlene Hegarty (Smalltown America Records)
Fran Cotton (legal and business affairs specialist)
Rocky O’Reilly (Start Together studios/ Oppenheimer/ Malilbu Shark Attack)
Mark Gordon (Score Draw Music/ Skibunny)
Linley Hamilton (leading NI session musician, composer, performer)

To sign up for these events and to find out more about FFWD please visit

The Fast Forward Programme is supported by Invest N. Ireland, the Arts Council of N. Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

Donal Durkan, Director of Invest NI’s Life Sciences and Creative division, says:
“The music industry is by definition highly entrepreneurial and we have seen how local musicians have benefited significantly from previous support and activities which promoted music from Northern Ireland to an international audience.

“Many local bands from Snow Patrol to ASIWYFA are enjoying increasing success and are helping to shine the spotlight on this region’s creative capabilities across the global music arena. This new one year programme will continue to build on that work and will be followed by the development and implementation of a three to five year strategy for the industry. Our aim is to strengthen the local music sector so it can compete globally and realise its significant economic potential.”

Lorraine McDowell, Director of Operations, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, comments:
“The Arts Council supports all aspects of the music sector and believes that access to music-making enhances the social and cultural life of people in Northern Ireland. Over the course of the next year FFWD will work towards strengthening our local music industry by providing the vital skills needed to progress and gain recognition both at home and abroad. With additional support from DCAL, CD compilation albums will be produced as part of the programme and distributed at trade shows and events to promote NI talent.”

Ross Graham, FFWD Programme manager says:
“Northern Ireland continues to produce world class creative musical talent and is now developing a strong entrepreneurial base and a growing infrastructure for the sector. This programme is designed to help local artists to add business skills to their creative skills, enhance the expertise of music entrepreneurs and help promote the N.I. music sector to key music and media industry players.”

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