Belfast Music Week 2013 launched

van morrison

The fourth annual Belfast Music Week was officially launched at a ceremony at Belfast’s Waterfront this afternoon.

Featuring performances from Alana Henderson and the Emerald Armada, the opening ceremony including speeches by Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, broadcaster and DJ Rigsy and Belfast Music Week co-ordinator Stuart Bailie.

Amongst the announcements for the annual showcase, set to take place from November 11-15 across 70 venues in Belfast, Van Morrison (above) was unveiled as the main event. Following Belfast City Council’s decision on Monday night to grant the Freedom of Belfast to the 68 year old East Belfast native, it was announced that he will play a free concert at the Ulster Hall on November 15.

Speaking of the honour, Morrison said: “Belfast is my home. It is where I first hear the music that influenced and inspired me. It is where I first performed and is somewhere I have referred back to many times in my songwriting over the past 50 years. I am delighted and honoured to receive the Freedom of the City”.

Other highlights announced at the ceremony included a special tribute to Seamus Heaney with the Ulster Orchestra on Sunday November 17. Full details of the line-up for the seven day event are expected next week.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.