Out to Lunch - Belfast’s bespoke, boutique winter festival is back, 7-29 Jan 2023

Out to Lunch - Belfast’s bespoke, boutique winter festival is back, 7-29 Jan 2023

Out to Lunch - Belfast’s bespoke, boutique winter festival is back, very live and very loud, from 7-29 January 2023!

The 18th Out to Lunch Festival will be serving up a bumper helping of music, comedy, theatre, film and spoken word – not to mention hundreds of hot lunches – to thoroughly warm the winter cockles throughout the long dark month of January. With over 50 events set to take place in our partner venue The Black Box, as well as numerous other spots across Belfast.

There’s a feast of live music at Out to Lunch ’23, including Andy White, The Leading Ladies, Nine Below Zero (acoustic set), Swordfishtrombones 40thAnniversary celebration, rising local stars Dark Tropics, Opera for Lunch, Blue Rose Code, Wookalily, another wholesome helping from Harvest - Neil Young’s finest tribute act, Manukahunney, Una Monaghan, Special Consensus, No Oil Paintings, Mick Flannery, Myles McCormack, The 2:19, Madison Violet, The Skallions and Ceithre Cinn (Suzanne Savage, Ciaran Lavery, Finnian Kelleher & Matt McGinn) bringing up the rear!

The packed comedy programme includes the welcome return of Reginald D Hunter (for two shows), Isy Suttie and Rob Newman. The acclaimed Edinburgh Britney-centred smash Oops this is Toxic, Vittorio Angelone with his take on Brian Friel’s Translations, the always upliftingly funny Josie Long, Teresa Livingstone with more hilartious musical comedy stylings, not to mentionDrunk Women Solving Crime, local hero Emer Maguire and social media sensation Rosie Holt.
Readings and spoken word events include Evolver62, the gorgeous new Beatle book with Mark Lewisohn, Natalie Haynes makes a welcome return to Out to Lunch, this time with her rich, evocative take on Medusa,Fionula Meredith will present her debut novel Stamp of Beauty. 90s indie goddess/ icon Miki Berenyi joins Out to Lunch with her acclaimed memoir How Music Saved me from Success and fellow indie luminary Stuart Braithwaite (of last year’s CQAF headliner’s Mogwai) reads from his autobiography Spaceships Over Glasgow. We welcome the return of the white hot musical ensemble version of The Third Policeman and welcome the celebrated author Louise Kennedy to Out to Lunch.
Our OTL Film programme includes the incredible new Patti Smith documentary – Electric Poet and  Energy – the acclaimed elegiac film about legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki. We present the unbelievable real life Spinal Tap that is forgotten noughties band Towers of London in Fuck it Up, the incendiary Fat White Family short Moonbathing in February, the utterly delightful Father Earth documentary (followed by a Q and A with filmmaker/ John Shuttleworth avatar Graeme Fellows). We’ll also be celebrating the 35th anniversary of John Carpenter’s bleak, brilliant ever-relevant satire They Live, and celebrating all things overblown and fedora-related with our special screening of the Michael Flatley grand folie Blackbird.
Festival Director Sean Kelly said: “We’re delighted to be serving up another Out to Lunch Festival.  This is a difficult and dark financial time for so many of us and affordable, accessible events are more important than ever. With a bumper programme of live music, comedy and more, we hope to offer a little light throughout the darkest month of the year!”

Declan Corr from festival sponsors CQ BID: "Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) are delighted to part fund this fabulously eclectic festival which simultaneously provides top drawer entertainment whilst driving footfall to Cathedral Quarter at a time when our businesses need it most. The perfect antidote to Seasonal Affective Disorder!"

Out to lunch 2023

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