Van Meets Dolly For Nashville Hooley

Blues and Country merged this week as Dolly Parton and Van Morrison made their appearances – at separate venues in the same city today – in what is being hailed as a coup for Belfast's sister-city relationship with Nashville in the USA.

The two music stars are appearing at the prestigious South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

Dolly is regarded as Nashville's best known star, while Van 'the Man' is hailed for his role in putting this part of the world on the music map.

And while each will enjoy the full glare of the media spotlight, a Belfast City Council led delegation is delighted that the Sister City relationship between Belfast and Nashville will be highlighted too.

"The whole emphasis of our involvement is to promote what Belfast has to offer to a global audience, and our links with Nashville play a big part in getting that message across," said Councillor Michael Browne, Chairman of Belfast City Council's Development Committee.

"Thanks to our participation, some of Belfast's most talented emerging musicians are being offered an opportunity of a lifetime - to perform in front of the most influential audience in the world."

The five artists – one solo and four groups – are today networking with key figures in the entertainment and creative industries.

But Foy Vance, Oppenheimer, The Answer, In Case of Fire and Driving by Night are just one part of the Belfast contingent. Nine business interests from here are also represented including independent record labels and music and entertainment promoters.

"This event is attended by more than 10,000 people and will provide a global platform to show the wealth of talent and creativity Belfast has to offer," Councillor Browne added.

"This is a unique opportunity to promote a positive image of Belfast in terms of tourism, business development, inward investment and innovation."

The Belfast City Council initiative is in partnership with Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission, DCAL, Invest NI and Arts Council of NI.

Belfast City Council is also working in partnership with Tourism Ireland at to promote Belfast as the gateway to Ireland and Europe and raising the profile of the city as a vibrant European destination.


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