EastSide Arts Festival, 27 July – 6 August 2023, returns with a spectacular and exhilarating celebration of the arts this summer. Over 11 days, festival-goers will have the opportunity to enjoy unique events that showcase east Belfast’s vibrant cultural scene and creative talent.
With 60+ events spread across every corner of the east, audiences of all ages will be treated to an extraordinary array of music, comedy, dance, theatre, cabaret, talks, tours, film and family events sure to inspire and engage.
As ever, the festival provides a platform for local artists, entertainers, and performers to shine, whilst bringing people together to enjoy the best of the east. Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to experience thought-provoking theatre and literature, revel in unforgettable music and cabaret, and uncover the hidden gems and historical landmarks that make up east Belfast’s rich heritage.
Some of this year’s festival highlights include:
- Ciaran Bartlett’s Comedy Club with Micky Bartlett and Paddy McDonnell, Thursday 27 July, Banana Block. Two of NI’s comedy giants join forces for a one-off performance for EastSide Arts Festival, with Ciaran Bartlett as MC for the evening.
- The Orb LIVE, support by Explosion Sound Selectors, Friday 28 July, Banana Block. Electronic pioneers, The Orb, celebrate the release of their new album Prism, with the EastSide Arts Festival opening weekend their only NI appearance.
- Thomas Carnduff Appreciation Society presents Work, Place and Language,Saturday 29 July, Templemore Baths. Malcolm Guite, Gaynor Kane, Rosemary Jenkinson, Mark Ward and Elizabeth McGeown will be in conversation on the theme of ‘Work, Place and Language’, led by Dr Connal Parr.
- EastSide Electronics, Saturday 29 July , C.S. Lewis Square. The Night Institute and God’s Waiting Room join forces for this 1,000-capacity open air show featuring David Holmes, Timmy Stewart and Jordan Nocturne – an annual highlight of the local electronic music scene
- EastSide ParkFest, Sunday 30 July, (free) at C.S. Lewis Square & Orangefield Park. The annual Festival Fun Day joins forces with the EastSide Greenways team to deliver #ParkFest23!. Animation will take place along the Connswater Community Greenway, linking the two main events at C.S. Lewis Square and Orangefield Park.
- Life’s a Bowl of Cherrie, Sunday 30 July, Titanic Hotel. Join award-winning entertainer, Miss Cherrie Ontop, in Drawing Office One, Titanic Hotel,for a very special evening of songs from Cherrie, accompanied on the grand piano by the wonderful Darren Day.
- In at the Deep End… A Night of Music with Anthony Toner and Friends, Tuesday 1 August, Templemore Baths. To celebrate the re-opening of the historic Templemore Baths, songwriters Matt McGinn, Ciara O’Neill, Anthony Toner and John McCullough get together in this unique space for an ‘in the round’ evening of celebration and a night of water-themed songs.
- After-Work Club, Friday 4 August , Boundary Brewery. A rare opportunity for the ‘not-so-grown-up' and the ‘less-than-artistically-gifted' to indulge in the type of intuitive, “messy” play we loved as children. This event is guaranteed to help kick-start your weekend.
- Joshua Burnside presents Folk in the East, Friday 4 August, Harland & Wolff Staff Club. The East Belfast-based troubadour curates an evening of some of the finest slow-burning folk to ever caress your ears.
- ‘Eats-Side’ Food and Drink Tour, Saturday 5 August. Looking to explore the food scene in East Belfast? Then join Experience & Explore NI on a food and history tour led by a fully qualified guide. As part of this intimate and personalised experience you’ll be introduced to some of the exciting new ventures that have sprung up in this part of the city.
For the full festival programme and ticket information visit www.eastsidearts.net.
The EastSide Arts Festival is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, funders Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, National Lottery Awards for All and Halifax Foundation of Northern Ireland, Principal Sponsor Translink and sponsors Connswater,Hewitt & Gilpin and Third Source.