- 15 Apr 19
Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival has launched the programme for its 20th anniversary. The festival will take place across the historic Cathedral Quarter from 2 – 12 May. Visit www.cqaf.com for a full line-up of events and to purchase tickets. Tickets may also be purchased from 4 April by telephone or in person at the Visit Belfast Centre or from the Visit Belfast Desk at the International Airport.
The event features a diverse array of entertainment from live music, comedy and literature to theatre, film and visual art. Founded in the wake of the Good Friday agreement, the Cathedral Quarter Arts festival was established by playwright Martin Lynch and developer Sean Kelly in an attempt to revitalize Belfast’s north city centre. From its premiere in 2000 with only 45 events, the festival has grown and now plays host to more than 100 events spread over 20 venues and eleven days.
“Much has changed in the Cathedral Quarter since our first modest festival back in 2000,” said Festival Director Sean Kelly. “But two decades on, our commitment to showcasing the best arts in the world and the best arts in this city remains undimmed.”
This year’s star-studded lineup includes Rufus Wainwright, Echo and the Bunnymen, Anna Calvi, Teenage Fanclub, Spiritualized, Marian Keyes, Yola, UNLOVED (feat, David Holmes), Nina Conti, Horslips, Chris Difford, Roy Walker, Bill Drummond, Patty Griffin, Kevin McAleer, Lisa O’Neill, Lowkey and Bernard MacLaverty.
The festival will see musical acts My Darling Clementine, Craig Charles, Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy), Howe Gelb, Kitt Philippa, Sean O’Hagan, Joshua Burnside, whenyoung, Mick Flannery, Nubya Garcia, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Carla del Fomo, A Certain Ratio, Say Sue Me, Folsom Prison Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash, Glasshouse Ensemble Perform Sufjan Stevens, Barb Jungr: Bob, Brel and Me, Awesome Tapes of Africa AND Alejandro Escovado perform.
Along with two of the most celebrated living Irish writers in MacLaverty and Keyes, CQAF20 will welcome Emma Dabiri (author of the bestselling Don’t Touch my Hair), acclaimed local authors Jan Carson and Geraldine Quigley, Neu! Reekie!’s Curfew Towering, Phil Taggart’s Slacker Guide to the Music Industry, Julian Vignoles holds forth on his book on Rory Gallagher: The Man Behind the Guitar and the now-traditional Seamus Heaney HomePlace tour, with lunch to boot.
In terms of comedy, the festival will showcase legends Roy Walker and Kevin McAleer (fresh from Derry Girls stardom as Uncle Colm), Jerry Sadowitz, ventriloquist Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Kieran Hodgson performing ’75, his epic tale of how Britain joined Europe, Sarah Keyworth, Whose Line is it Anyway’s Stephen Frost and his Improv Allstars, Deirdre O’Kane and Rob Auton!
Theatrical performances include Alice McCullough’s Earth to Alice, The Ballad of Patrick MacGill, the premier of Soda Bread’s The Girl’s Guide to Saving the World, “Son of Liverpool” Gerry Potter performing From Scottie Road to Town and Stowaway City, an immersive audio play co-hosted by Place and Sonic Arts Research Centre. There’s Cabaret at the Cathedral, a serving of Dick – an hilarious one man show about surviving penile cancer, plus a host of theatrical treats at the MAC, Belfast.
Films will be screened by CQAF Sound and Vision, including Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect, The The’s Inertia Variations, The Story of the Augustines, Les Diaboliques and Belfast’s premiere dog-friendly cinema screening, Best in Show, at the Sunflower Pub.
With CQ Radio, a Mad Notions Podcast, Hit the North Street Art Fest, a stunning visual arts programme and this year’s CQAF Artist in residence, singer-songwriter DANI, this festivals’ 20th iteration is sure to be its best yet.