Forestside Singer Songwriter Competition

November 08, 2017


UPDATE 13/11/2017




The Finals of Forestside Singer Songwriter Competition are just 2 weeks away, Saturday 25th November, 1-4pm in Sunflower Bar Belfast.

We would like to introduce our judges for the finals of the Forestside Young Singer Songwriter competition and share  the wealth of experience that they have in the music industry with you.




Triona is a singer/songwriter from County Down, Northern Ireland.  When she was 16 she was chosen by Joan Armatrading to play support at her show in Vicar Street, Dublin in 2012.  In 2013 Triona was presented with the Cel Fay bursary award for young Musician of the year.  March 2014 seen her chosen by Panarts to fly to Nashville to showcase her music along with four other singer/songwriters were she played in the famous Blue Bird Cafe.  Triona made her first TV appearance in February 2014 called 'The Magazine' and went on to be selected by Generator NI to fly out to Nashville to work with some of their finest writers.  
Triona became the voice of a Power NI campaign streaming across TV and radio in Northern Ireland with a cover of Ash's song 'Shining Light.'  This was released as a single in 2015 and is the first local artist to make it in Cool FM's Shazam charts at Number 1.  Triona was very honoured to be invited by the amazing Van Morrison to open for him at the 3Arena Dublin in November 2015.  She also opened for West Life's Brian McFadden on his UK and Irish tour in 2015 and played the famous Ruby Sessions in Dublin alongside Gabrielle Aplin, Gavin James, Kodaline, Hudson Taylor, The Coronas and Little Hours.  Triona has toured with the Irish artist Nathan Carter on his UK tour including an opening for his performance at the London Palladium. 
In 2017 Triona's most current track 'Days like these', was the official single for UEFA Womens Under 19 Irish Football Association.




Paul Kennedy - Cool FM



Paul Kenney not only is the host of the mid-morning show on Cool FM, he also keeps the network ticking over with his production expertise.  Having wanted to work in radio from the age of four it's no surprise that Paul is such a familiar face around Cool.  He was determined to work for the station and after sendin in a demo soon became a station staple character every since.
Not only a radio DJ, he has a vast production expertise.  Among his most notable 'PK Remixs' are Tamperer 'Can you feel it' and the student anthem 'Don't stop believing.' 
The Drogheda man says one of his music career highlights has been signing 'No 
Easy Way Out'  from Rocky four to Ministry Of Sound.
His 'top ten at ten' feature on Cool has been a huge success and he hopes listeners will continue to puzzle over the decades for as long as he can find the tracks.


UPDATE 07/11/201.




Drum roll please..............


After much deliberation and detailed scoring the judges are pleased to announce our finalists in each category in no particular order


Under 17 Category




Sophia and Matilda










Under 20 Category











Michael James


You can see from the performances above choosing a winner from each category is not going to be an easy job.  Why not come along and support our young musicians on the day!






UPDATE 30/10/2017

Saturday 28th October seen the last of Forestside Singer-Songwriter semi-finals which took place in Cafe Nero.

Now the hard work begins for our judges Cool FM's DJ Paul Kennedy, Triona and Lee our Centre Manager.  They have the task to select from our extremely  talented performers and bring 4 entrants from each of our age categories through to the finals.

Have a look through all our entrants to date and you'll see the calibre that this years competitors brought forward.

Our last semi-finalists were Ianna, Sophia and Matilda, Daragh and Owen.


Under 17 Category

Ianna Macconachie

Sophia and Matilda


Under 20 Category

Daragh McSloy

Owen McKavanagh

Finalists will go on to play at a live performance in the Sunflower Bar, Belfast on Saturday 25th November where the overall winners will be announced.  


Good luck everyone and once again congratulations for getting this far in the competition!



UPDATE 24/10/2017

We have now reached the 3rd stage of our semi-finals of Forestside Young Singer-Songwriter competition which took place on Saturday 21st October.  The musicians that performed their original entries for us on the day were Jonny, Jessie, Michael, Glenn, Courtney and Aoife.

The Young Singer-Songwriters that we have seen  live in Cafe Nero have continued to keep up the extremely high standards of all previous acts. 

Judging on the semi-final categories for both the Under 17 and Under 20 will prove to definately not be an easy task for Cool FM's PK, Triona and Lee our Centre Mananger


Under 17 category  










Under 20 category 

Michael James


Saturday 28th October sees the last of our semi-finalists performances in Cafe Nero from 1-4pm. 

Good Luck to everyone!!



Update 19/10/2017


Forestside Young Singer- Songwriter 2nd heat of the semi finals took place on Saturday 14th October.  The young musicians were Ronan, Sarah, Conor, Zoe and Scott.

The standard of live performances in both the Under 17 and Under 20 category continued on as high a calibre as the previous week.  This proves to make Triona. Lee and PK's job as judges even harder.

Have a look at our second weeks young musicians and see for yourselves.  


Under 17 Category










Once again congratulations and good luck to everyone!  

This week sees 6 more semi finalists in Cafe Nero from 1 - 4pm.  Why not come along to support our Young Singer/Songwriters and see them perform live


Update 11/10/2017

The semi-finalists for the Forestside Young Singer-Songwriter Competiton have been selected!!

Each Saturday in October you will find 6 of our semi-finalists perform their submitted track at Cafe Nero between 1 and 4pm.

The young musicians who performed on the first week were amazing, and the judging this year will not be an easy task from what we have seen so far! 

Saturday 7th October seen: Olivia, Ciara, Nathan, Shannon, Eilis and Katie.  Have a look at their performances below and be sure to follow our next 6 semi-finalists next week.



Under 17's






Under 20's




Good Luck everyone!!



Forestside Young Singer-Songwriter Competition is now open! 

Update 28/9/17

There are now only 2 days left to enter - dont leave it until the last Day!

Submit your entry (either an MP3, or video file and lyrics) to or drop a file into the desk on mall. We will then send you a confirmation email to let you know we have everything we need. If you need a little more time why not submit what you have now and we will allow you to update the song up to 30th Sept 2017.

Good luck

PK & Lee

We are searching for talented young musicians throughout Northern Ireland.  Don't miss out on the chance to win a share of £1,000, a place on a year-long music mentoring progrmme alongside numerous opportunities to play at high-profile music events

This years competition is supported by Cool FM and judged by Cool FM DJ Paul Kennedy along with Forestside Centre Manager, Lee Cutler.  Both of which are looking for young talent that are not only able to play a musical instrument and sing but also write their own tracks.

Young people that are interested in entering the competition have a few ways of getting their tracks and a copy of lyrics to us this year.

- Email a copy of your entry to

- Bring a pen-drive copy along to our helping hands desk and we can save it while you wait

- Or simply drop a cd into Forestside where it will be picked up and put on file.


There are two categories, one for those who are under 17 and one for those who are under 20, on the 30th September 2017.  All entries are accepted up until the end of September.

Lee Cutler said 'Each year we are blown away by the calibre of entries we receive and this years looks set to be no different, I cant wait to see whats in store for us.'

Once all entries have been received semi-finalists will be chosen and contacted on Monday2nd October.  They will be asked to come and play to play live in Forestside on one of the Saturdays throughout October - 7th, 14th, 21st or 28th.  

Finalists will then go on to play at a live performance in Sunflower Bar, Belfast on 25th November where overall winners will be announced.  All entrants must be available for this date.

Paul Kennedy, Cool FM, said 'it is an absolute pleasure to be joining the judging for this year's Young Singer-Songwriter Competition.  I am hugely passionate about supporting the young musical talent we have in Northern Ireland - something I believe we have a lot of! I can't wait to see what they come up with.'

Follow Forestside and Cool FM on Facebook for more information or alternatively:

Entrants can submit their track to

Any queries re competition can be forwarded to

For media information, please contact Clare Hiles at ASG PR on 02890802000 or

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