Belfast Festival Season
By day or night, Belfast will be alive with a tasty mix of music, arts, theatre and festivals including Ireland's leading international arts festival and the ever popular Culture Night!
Belfast International Arts Festival
6 - 28 October
Culture abounds at this annual arts festival, featuring artists and performers from across the globe. Highlights include soul sensation and singer-songwriter Paul Carrack who hits the stage at the Grand Opera House, and Russia's famous Mariinsky Orchestra which brings an all-Russian programme to the Ulster Hall which finishes with Shostakovich's epic eleventh symphony. The festival also features the Irish premiere of the circus spectacle Celui Qui Tombe (He Who Falls), presented by Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois. Read more >>
Belfast Culture Night
The biggest evening in Belfast's cultural calendar returns to transform the spaces and places of the city centre and beyond on Friday 22 September with a packed programme of events including tasters, tours, talks, trails, demonstrations, activities and gigs at hundreds of venues across the city. What's more, all Culture Night events are free, so you don't have to break the bank to have a fantastic day out seeing the best talent the city has to offer!
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16 - 17 September
Even after the excitement of the Mela, the Botanic Gardens don't stay quiet for long, as the annual Autumn Fair brightens up the gardens once again with a fun-filled weekend of food, flowers and family entertainment. Enter the tented village and be amazed at the colourful prize blooms on display, including spectacular prize-winning exhibits of enormous vegetables and other wonders from local gardens, allotments, greenhouses, wine cellars and beehives. Take your time and unwind with a leisurely stroll through one of the most beautiful gardens in the city, all set to a backdrop of live music. Read more >>
This one-day festival is an unmissable event for Game of Thrones fans. Set in Castle Ward (which you may know better as the Stark Family home, Winterfell), prepare to fully immerse yourself in the land of Westeros with theatrical re-enactments of the King's procession as he visits House Stark at Winterfell for The King's Tournament Games. Live tournaments of jousting, sword sparring and archery will take place as you wash down roast hog with local cider, while armourer Boyd Rankin, who starred as Mikken in Game of Thrones, will showcase a selection of the weapons he forged for the world famous TV series. Plus, meet another two special members of the cast: two of the original Stark family Direwolves!
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Belfast Comedy Festival
2 - 8 October
Now in its sixth year, Belfast Comedy Festival returns to bring big belly laughs and slapstick antics to the city. Not limited to just stand-up comedy, this festival also features comedic theatre, workshops, circus, film, quizzes, competitions and children's events. Performances from critically acclaimed comedians such as John Bishop, Henning Wehn and Rubberbandits appear alongside the best of local talent, with performances from Tim McGarry, Terry McHugh and Mary Flanigan plus many more. Read more >>
Cinemagic Film Festival
6 October - 8 November
Calling all film buffs! The annual Cinemagic Film and Television Festival programme returns for a jam-packed season in October and November (6 October - 8 November) with over 200 films and diverse creative opportunities to inspire young people. Audiences can travel the world from their cinema seats and celebrate stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe with a diverse cultural film programme for all ages to enjoy. Read more >>
Mount Stewart Conversations Festival
14 - 15 October
This unique two day festival is a celebration of the arts on an international scale with talks, debates, festive activities and immersive experiences. Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 2017 will welcome a host of influential and well known speakers including Ian Hislop, the UK's best known and much loved satirist and Private Eye editor, commentator and Sunday Mail columnist Rachel Johnson and journalist Kate Adie. Read more >>
Belfast Halloween Monster Mash
Belfast's biggest and best Halloween event features a cast of thousands, with a huge array of street theatre and walkabouts. Breathtaking fire shows and jugglers abound amongst fairground rides, wicked arts and crafts workshops, live music and an abundance of tasty Halloween treats before the night draws to a spectacular finale with the largest fireworks display in the city.
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Twinkling Winter Twilight Market
7 - 8 November
A hive of activity and a haven for foodies, the Twilight Market is set to return to St George's Market by popular demand. Now an award-winning market which attracted over 46,000 visitors in 2016, the Twilight Market is an established highlight in Belfast’s calendar of events, hosting live music by local entertainers, chef demonstrations, local food and drink producers and local arts and crafts. Read more >>
CS Lewis Festival
18 - 22 November
Born and bred in East Belfast, CS Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of 20th century literature and his major contributions in literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. This festival celebrates his legacy through themes of storytelling, imagination and spirituality, with a huge range of events including talks, lectures and tours, exhibitions, workshops, theatre, poetry and spoken word events and film screenings.
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Belfast Beer and Cider Festival
16 - 18 November
Celebrate the art of brewing from around the British Isles in the 18th annual Belfast Beer and Cider Festival. Enjoy pub games, tutored beer tastings, the Champion Beer and Champion Cider of Festival competitions and one of the biggest bars in Ireland, featuring over 100 real ales and ciders from local and UK breweries. Read more >>
BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland
10 - 12 November
Foodies rejoice! The BBC Good Food show comes to Belfast and live entertainment, cooking inspiration, shopping and tasting are the flavour of the day. A fantastic line-up of the UK's best chefs and food experts will be dishing up exciting new tastes, exploring the latest trends and cooking live with great brands in this three day celebration of the finest food and drink the nation has to offer. Read more >>
Friendship Four Festival of Hockey
24 - 25 November
The Friendship Four ice hockey festival is returning to Belfast with four new colleges from the US, competing at the SSE Arena for the Belpot Trophy. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Clarkson University, Providence College and the University of Maine will travel to Belfast on 24 and 25 November for the tournament. Each of the teams compete in the NCAA Division One – the top level of ice hockey in the US. Read more >>