Music Capital NI Battle of the Bands 2016 came to a close on Saturday night with local Derry band Lavengro being crowned champions.
The national competition attracted entries from every county of Northern Ireland as they battled it out for an impressive prize pot including: The title of 'N.I's Best Up & Coming Act of 2016’, a Promotional Bundle sent to label contacts in New York, London and Dublin, consisting of Result NYC!, Faction Records, Reekus Record and Aardvark Music, a slot at Sunflowerfest 2017, promotion by STA - Smalltown America through their Social Media Networks, a slot on BBC Radio Foyle's Electric Mainline with Stephen McCauley, a studio session at The Photographer's Studio plus a personalised trophy to mark the event.
Bennigans Bar played host to the Grand Final with comedy hypnotist and Drive 105 DJ Dale Thomas presenting the evening. Making all the important decisions on the judging panel were Niamh McCourt from Smalltown America Records, Feargus Murphy representing Sunflowerfest and local singer-songwriter John Deery.
Gary Hegarty, DerryLiveList said: “It was great that this inaugural event was such a success and it just goes the quality of undiscovered talent we have here in NI. We’re proud to host such an event in Derry and look forward to next year and discovering talent for years to come”
Kevin Murphy on behalf of the NI2030 | Creative Capital of Europe movement said: “The ambition is simple – we want to discover the next Van Morrison or Snow Patrol. We’re looking for the next Teenage Kicks anthem, the next big thing to come out of NI. Our music sector may be small, but it’s world class and it punches above its weight. This is now an annual competition that anyone from within NI can enter, a solid pipeline that will deliver a showcase of the Best of NI to the world with a view to them having the opportunity to be launched and released to the world. Congratulations to Derry for hosting such a great events. Good luck to Lavengro and we look forward to seeing what comes down the pipeline next year!”
It goes without saying that the quality on show for the final was exceptional, two of the final five acts had actually performed at Electric Picnic this year! The panel had a tough decision to make, but unanimously the group decided to crown Lavengro champions.The competition started in October with an initial submission process which was then whittled down to ten acts by Andrew Ferris and Niamh McCourt of Smalltown America along with local singer-songwriter John Deery. The selected ten acts then went forward to an online public vote with the top five who gained the most votes making it to the Grand Final. The five consisted of young singer-songwriter Owen McCreesh from County Armagh, five-piece Folk, Rap, Funk and Rock band The Easy Street Pickings, County Armagh singer-songwriter Chris Molloy, original rowdy folk-hop 'n' roll Donegal four piece Spring Tides, and the eventual winners, Lavengro with their unique Funky Pop sound, catchy melodies and energetic live shows which have been captivating audiences and gaining the band a following wherever they go.
Music Capital NI Battle of the Bands was supported by Derry Creatives, Derry Live List, Sunflowerfest, Smalltown America, BrandNI, Voluntary Arts Ireland, Bennigans Bar, and The Photographer's Studio