Entertainment & Arts

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards: Belfast to host event for first time

Eliza Carthy
Image caption Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band will be among the performers

Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady is to perform at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards as they're held in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The 70-year-old instrumentalist will join acts including Cara Dillon, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band and Lankum at the event in Belfast on 4 April.

Honours given out will include folk singer of the year and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

The night will also see a lifetime achievement award presented.

The recipient of that award, which last year was given to Woody Guthrie, is yet to be announced.

'Special night'

Mark Radcliffe, who is hosting the show alongside Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis, said: "I'm genuinely thrilled to be making my first ever visit to Belfast for the Folk Awards.

"I plan to spend a good few days absorbing the history and the culture and then what an honour it will be to take to the stage with home-grown legends Paul Brady and Cara Dillon - it promises to be a very special night."

Image caption Afro Celt Sound System on stage at last year's awards

Fowlis is nominated for folk singer of the year, alongside Dillon, Karine Polwart and Siobhan Miller. Lankum and Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band are up for best group, against Elephant Sessions and Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys.

The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees are Jack Warnock, Josiah & Ludwig, Mera Royle and The Drystones, with the best duo category made up of Chris Stout & Catriona McKay, Edgelarks, O'Hooley & Tidow and Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton.

'Vibrant wave'

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, said she was delighted the awards were coming to the city.

"Belfast has such a strong musical heritage, and a really vibrant wave of new musicians coming through - so it's the perfect choice," she said.

The event, in its 19th year, is being held at the Belfast Waterfront. It will be simulcast live from 19:30 to 21:00 on Radio 2 and BBC Radio Ulster, with highlights broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Northern Ireland at a later date.

More details on the awards can be found on the BBC Radio 2 website.

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