WE report this week from the road, this time sunny Brighton Beach for the Great Escape Festival.
With the world's eyes on our talent, our artists did not disappoint. Taking to various stages around the city at one of the UK's top industry festivals, eight acts from the North showed their creative chops. Derry-based multi-instrumentalist and pop songwriter ROE lit up punters at the PPL Momentum Stage, whilst DIY punks Problem Patterns delighted and moshed alongside fans at the Alcopop! Records showcase stage.
Top prizes, however, went to Lemonade Shoelace and Chalk, who filled out stages of 400 and 750 capacity respectively. Once again, the North demonstrates that it can hang with any music scene in the world. A number of our acts performed on the NI export stage, hosted and programmed by Output Belfast.
Our premier showcase festival, a free event of conference panels and performances that takes over the MAC and Cathedral Quarter once a year, comes ever closer. A must-attend event for anyone with a desire to work in the music industry, and a frequent gathering point of free-entry performances for some of the best young acts in the country, Output is the essential event of June. But with panel spaces running out and new line-ups announced, it can all get a bit confusing. Lucky for you, we've devised a handy guide of unmissable acts at this year's festival on June 1.
Chalk - Ulster Sports Club, Upstairs
Having returned from a nearly sold-out tour on their debut jaunt around the UK, Chalk take their signature post-punk/techno-heavy sound back to the Ulster Sports Club. And after that 750-capacity audience in Brighton, they're sure to bring the same high-octane energy to the now famed Belfast venue.
Moonboot - The Oh Yeah Centre
Establishing a name for themselves on the live circuit before moving to London, indie-funk group Moonboot have the love and support of a thriving young fanbase. One of a few like-minded acts taking grooves and jams to the next level in the city, their performance should have the Oh Yeah Centre packed to the roof.
Tramp - The Deer's Head
Hailing from the walled city, Tramp has been the name on everyone's lips for the past year. With two incredible singles to date out already and a UK tour under their belt, this Derry indie band have all the makings of he next great young act. With a sound that incorporates northern Indie, southern noise and punk and contemporary pop, they're on their way to being household names.
HY:LY - Tetto Rooftop
One of the most unique artists on the roster of acts this year, HY:LY has been on our radar for a while - and it's great to see others take notice too. A multi-instrumentalist with serious production and vocal hops, her live sets are to be seen to be believed. A swirling mix of analogue electronica, alternative vocals and house music sounds, noises and rhythms create a genuinely intense and hypnotic showing. Combine that with a nighttime skyline, and you're in for a treat.
SweetLemonade - Ulster Sports Club, Downstairs
One of the newer acts on the festival's programme, the South's SweetLemonade has captured the minds and support of our local BBC Introducing team. Having her on the stage this year alongside a host of other emerging and upcoming talents, she is sure to stand out with her blend of easy-going lo-fi influences, indie vocals and charming, accessible pop sensibilities.
Tickets for Output performances are free and venues operate on a first-come-first-served basis – something to keep in mind when planning your schedule. And the rooms always fill up. Dally at your own peril.