Belfast, Northern Ireland Festivals

Festivals in belfastBelfast presents many dynamic activities, festivals and events that celebrate the community, culture and heritage of Belfast, including the new Maritime Festival and C.S. Lewis Festival, as well the Belfast Film Festival and Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Raise your spirits at these annual festivals

Feile An Phobail Festival. Feile An Phobail or “festival of the people” was established in 1988 as a community reaction to challenge the negative portrayal of West Belfast. The August Féile, the flagship of Féile An Phobail, is an exciting 10-day festival with major artists, speakers and the hottest headline performers in comedy and music. The performance arena showcases local talent in drama, literature and music, giving people an opportunity to experience West Belfast through open days, tours, hill-walking, nature trips, and sports activities. Activities throughout the year include festivals with Draíocht, a two-week arts festival for children, Féile an Earraigh, focusing on Irish culture, music and language, and the annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration.

Belfast Film Festival. Belfast Film Festival at Malone Lodge Hotel, Northern Ireland Belfast Film Festival is a city-wide event offering a program packed with classics, cult movies and a feast of new Irish and International film. The Festival has carved a niche in programming political and cultural cinema activities to communities in Belfast, and has brought international names such as Martin Sheen and Jim Sheridan to the city. Festival events include industry workshops, music events, panel discussions and seminars. Visit www.belfastfilmfestival.org.

Belfast Festival at Queens. Every year, the largest international art festival in Northern Ireland brings the best international art to Belfast and attention to the city's dynamic arts practitioners. The Festival covers theatre, dance, classical music, literature, jazz, comedy, visual arts, folk music and popular music in various venues throughout Belfast. The opening concert features the world's finest tenor, Jose Cura, with the Ulster Orchestra.

Metro Monster Mash (October 31). Celebrate Halloween with fireworks, live music, and family fun at the Odyssey. The howling celebrations offer a fantastic feast for the senses with a ghoulish array of freakish fireworks, monstrous music, crazy carnival characters, and peculiar puppets! Look out for spooky street entertainers and be amazed by a haunting Halloween!

Laganside Events (August 15 - December 31). Laganside is renowned as a centre for events which cater to all tastes. High quality events provide a way to encourage the regeneration and awareness of spaces through the involvement of local people. Art exhibitions, concerts, family events and celebrations bring life and vigor to the banks of the river and the community.

Celebrate Literary Belfast (September). Enjoy a wide-ranging exhibitions, events and art/heritage activities that celebrate the rich literary heritage of Belfast at Linen Hall Library. For Tickets: www.linenhall.com.

Garden Gourmet (September) Enjoy this feast of flowers, entertainment, food and drink at the Botanic Gardens.

Open House Festival (Sept/Oct). From the highways of America, Open House brings back to Belfast postcards from some of the USA's interesting musical outposts. This year, the festival presents music gems such as Dermot Byrbe with Dezi Donnelly, Londubh featuring Sionham Peoples, and a reunion gig from the superb Deiseal. Look out for festival favorites - Beoga, Flook and Cathal Hayden.

Enchanted Evening (Sept/Oct). For four evenings, the Palm House, Tropical Ravine and parkland trees will be illuminated in the Botanic Gardens. Magic and enchantment will be in the air and various magical figures will appear under the moonlight.