EastSide Arts Festival programme revealed

EastSide Arts Festival programme revealed

EastSide Arts has revealed the programme for its annual EastSide Arts Festival, 25 July – 4 August 2024. Packed with music, workshops, comedy, tours, theatre, literature and visual arts, this year’s festival promises to be really special.

Across 11 days, festival-goers can enjoy 60+ unique accessible and inclusive events spread across east Belfast, showcasing the vibrant cultural scene and creative talent in this part of the city, as well as welcoming legendary international artists.

Programme highlights include:

  • WHISK(E)Y WARS Friday 26 July, 8pm,£18, Titanic Distillers Tam Tully fights tragedy and treachery to save her Ulster family distillery from ruin - by crafting the perfect single malt. Laced with dry Northern Irish wit and casked in raw emotion, it’s a story you won’t forget. Written by and starring Joyce Greenaway.
  • A NIGHT OF CLASSIC COUNTRY MUSIC WITH THE BOONDOCKS, Thursday 1 August, 8pm, £15, Harland & Wolff Staff Club. Anthony Toner, Mark Crockard and Marcus McAuley have come together as ‘The Boondocks’ to play the old-school country songs by artists including Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Gram Parsons and John Prine.
  • THE SHORT STORY WRITERS’ TOOLKIT, Saturday 27 July ,  10am, £25, EastSide Visitor Centre Gallery. Interested in writing short stories butstruggling to know where to start and how to end? This interactive course, facilitated by Belfast-based writer Jan Carson, will guide you through the basics of writing imaginative and engaging short stories.
  • DRAGTASTIC CABARET WITH BSL INTERPRETATION Friday 2 August , 8pm , £15 , Shorts Sports & Recreation Club. Lady Portia, Cherrie Ontop and Miss Onya Becks will be joined by Californian glamor duo Deven Green & Handsome Ned, making an exclusive UK and Ireland guest appearance, and the incredible Miss Dora Belle who will provide BSL interpretation for this festival favourite.
  • THE NIGHT INSTITUTE PRESENTS: EASTSIDE ELECTRONICS: LIL’ LOUIS (THE FOUNDING FATHER OF HOUSE), Saturday 27 July,  5pm, £25, C.S. Lewis Square. The Night Institute celebrates electronic music with very special guest Lil’ Louis, international artist, producer, songwriter, DJ, author and director who celebrates 50 years in music this summer. DJs include Timmy Stewart, Jordan Nocturne, Ricky Chong and Kate Harahan
  • JAZZIE B DJ SET, Friday 2 August, 9pm, £22, Banana Block. EastSide Arts Festival is delighted to welcome legendary UK artist and one of the most in demand soul and funk DJs on the circuit, Jazzie B,  founder of one of the most iconic soul bands of all time, Soul II Soul.
  • PARKFEST Sunday 28 July, 12pm, FREE, C.S. Lewis Square & Orangefield Park. Enjoy a whole host of activities, performances and pop-ups for the whole family. With creative events in C.S. Lewis Square and games and environmental activities in Orangefield Park, it’s the perfect way to enjoy the day with friends, family and neighbours along the Connswater Greenway.
  • CIARAN BARTLETT’S COMEDY CLUB WITH COLIN GEDDIS, AARON BUTLER AND JAZMYNNE SIERRA, Saturday 3 August, 6:30pm & 9:30pm, £22, Banana Block. MC Ciaran Bartlett returns to Banana Block with a sensational lineup of Belfast's premiere comedians. It promises to bring you the funniest stories and most epic one-liners around.
  • THREE PAY DAYS Wednesday 31 July, £10, 5:30pm & 8:30pm The Sanctuary Theatre. Directed by Paula McFetridge, Three Pay Days is a riveting new play from Alice Malseed, author of The Half Moon. It’s a searing portrayal of the human cost of austerity within a rigged social security system.
  • TUMBLE CIRCUS PRESENTS ‘BANJAXED’,  Sunday 4 August, 12pm & 4:30pm, £5, Malone Rugby Club. Come and experience hammer-smashing inspired circus crafted in Belfast by Tumble Circus: the Irish Cirque de Soleil - if Cirque de Soleil was hit by a bus. 35 minutes of death-defying aerial hula hoops, duo trapeze, slapstick, and loads of craic for the whole family.

Plus look out for Soultrane and Hotbox Entertainment championing music of black origin and MOBO-inspired artists, walks and talks exploring history, heritage, beats & bites, silver screenings with Strand Arts Centre at Connswater Shopping Centre, literary and poetry readings, board games, Shakespeare and much more!

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor MickyMurray commented:
“EastSide Arts Festival continues to flourish, and Belfast City Council is delighted to fund it again this year. The festival plays a key role inproviding a platform for local and up and coming artists and welcoming visitors into the east of the city. It is also pivotal in bringing the community together, with a great range of diverse entertainment on offer for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said:

“EastSide Arts plays a pivotal role in promoting creativity in the east of the city and in attracting people from all parts to come and experience the vibrant arts and cultural scene which continues to flourish there. The annual flagship festival is always an outstanding event, and this year is no exception, showcasing the brilliant work of local artists, writers and performers in east Belfast. The EastSide Arts Festival shows everyone, proud locals and curious visitors, the best side of east Belfast, as a lively and entertaining place, full of character and creativity, and with something uniquely interesting to offer everyone. Enjoy the festival!

Manager of EastSide Arts and EastSide Arts Festival, Rachel Kennedy added:
Each year we aim to showcase the extraordinary talent and creativity in this community. Wecelebrate this thriving, creative and diverse artistic hub, where people from all backgrounds, from home and away, come together and enjoy something very special. We are continually grateful for the support we receive from our core funders Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the National Lottery, Belfast City Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; our Official Active Travel Partner, Translink, as well as the commitment and support from sponsors, funders, participating venues, artists and the dedicated festival team and volunteers. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

For the full festival programme and ticket information visit www.eastsidearts.net. Ticketsby phone and in person at Belfast Welcome Centre 028 9024 6609.

Early booking is advised. Follow EastSide Arts festival on Facebook@EastsideArts and Instagram@eastsideartsbel #ESAFest24.

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