20th Sep 2019 in Arts

It’s finally heeeeeeeere! Culture Night Belfast 2019 – together with its brand new friend Culture Day – are here to light up the streets of Belfast with a big, bold bonanza celebrating the culture and creativity that gives this city life the whole year through.

After a lot of agonising and a few rewrites, we’ve finally pulled together our top 20 picks, but these are unashamedly subjective – you can see every single Culture Night and Day event on the Culture Night Belfast website – and there is even a shiny new app you can use to plan out your entire weekend!

Culture Night

Maverick Block Party

4 – 9pm @ Maverick / Boombox, Donegall Street

The annual Culture Night celebration & showcase of Belfast Queer Culture with Maverick, featuring a colourful line-up of drag queens & kings, comedy, burlesque and live music. Hosted by Lady Portia Di’ Monte, the line-up stars Blu Hydrangea (RuPaul’s Drag Race UK), Ross Anderson-Doherty, Misty Falls, Onya Becks, Scarlett Mugler and DJ Leviathan.

Cathedral Quarter Culture Tour

Depart 1pm, 2pm and 3pm from Cotton Court

Belfast Walking Tours have put together a lively walking tour of Cathedral Quarter Cultural Highlights, especially for Culture Night. They believe (as we do!) that the CQ is the beating heart of the city’s cultural life, and want to show you that pubs, clubs and cafes are only part of its story. On this tour, you’ll discover the richness of the area’s culture from Sculpture and Religion to Punk and Graffiti.

Come Sign With Me

3 – 4pm @ Belfast Central Library

If you’ve ever wanted learn British Sign Language or if you just need to brush up existing skills, Libraries NI and Action on Hearing Loss invite you to learn some basic signs in a relaxed atmosphere for Culture Night.

You’ll learn some basic signs including fingerspelling and join the conversation in a relaxed and fun atmosphere with staff and volunteers from Action on Hearing Loss. All welcome.

Acid Granny

6pm @ Ulster Sports Club

Viral sensation ‘Acid Granny’ is an alternative dance act from Dublin who is set to rip the roof off The Ulster Sports Club with a set of bangers played from… an electrified shopping trolley. As one does.

Their live tunes range from drum and bass to acid and rap, using a variety of musical equipment to create their original sound, including a Dora the Explorer children’s keyboard.

ACSONI presents the Writers Square World Stage

3 – 9pm @ Writers Square

African and Carribean Support Organisation of Northern Ireland (ACSONI) – alongside its newly launched performance arts wing -‘KinSanaa ’ is back in the heart of Culture Night Belfast with – #AfriCaribe.

A host of talented local acts will be featured who migrated here from places across the world such as the Caribbean; Africa and South America, integrated with Northern Irish acts. The performances will vary from: Caribbean soca, live hip-hop/RnB, pop, reggae, grime music, afro-swing, African-fusion, Latin, funk, gospel-blues and much more.

Venture over to ACSONI’s #AfriCaribe and enjoy a Carnival-like atmosphere full of vibrant sounds and colours.


Culture Day

Culture Day Bazaar

10am – 4pm @ Belfast / St Anne’s Cathedral

Anyone who enjoyed the incredible CQ Bazaar earlier this year at the opening of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival will be looking forward to this with bated breath! Once again in partnership with Little Fox Events, the Cathedral will be filled with the best local and Northern Irish art, design and craft stalls including vintage clothes, antiques, retro furniture, vinyl sellers, treats for the bellies and more!

Music lovers will be treated to an eclectic mix of DJs playing the best of World, Latin, Soul, Disco and Jazz, plus a very special choir performance on the day. The first-ever Belfast Art on The Rails is coming to the Cathedral today too; an amazing showcase of a great selection of Fine Art, Print, Photography and more from all over Ireland. Hanging on the rails of the Majestic St Anne’s Cathedral, it’s a rare opportunity to buy some high-quality work from the street.

CQ Bazaar, pic: Bernie McAllister

Acoustic Picnic

11am – 4pm @ Oh Yeah Music Centre

This Family-Friendly event offers a relaxed afternoon of live music for all ages and activities for children – bring your own picnic or there will be some light snacks, tea and coffee available too.

Little movers and shakers are encouraged to dance and sing to some heartwarming and well-known songs provided by the Over The Hill house band.

Belfast Argentine Tango

3 – 5pm @ McHugh’s Bar

Belfast Argentine Tango will be leading this class in the art of the Argentine Tango. So, if Strictly Fever has bitten you already, this is a rare opportunity to try one of the world’s most popular and passionate dance styles! Let’s see how you measure up to Anton & co!

Hand Drawing Workshop for Children with Sensory Impairments

2 – 3pm @ University of Atypical

Our office neighbours here in the CQ, the University of Atypical is a disabled-let arts charity whose purpose is to support and empower D/deaf and disabled people’s involvement in the arts, including the support and promotion of the work of D/deaf and disabled artists.

If your child has a sensory impairment, this is a specially designed interactive and collaborative workshop in hand drawing. The University of Atypical is one of several designated quiet spaces during Culture Night and Culture Day – use the category dropdown on the Culture Night Belfast website to find out more about these.

Henna Workshop

12 – 4pm @ Cotton Court

Arts Ekta is the ethnic arts organisation who runs the wildly successful Belfast Mela, an annual celebration of Northern Ireland’s diversity and the largest festival of its kind on the island.

Arts Ekta artists will be on hand (see what we did there??) to adorn you with beautiful henna art – and all for free!

Guide Dogs NI

12 – 1pm, Writers Square

This amazing charity trains and provides assistance dogs for those with sight loss, as well as offering other mobility services. Come along on Culture Day to find out more about their work and take part in a sight loss workshop.

Get Your Print On

11am @ Belfast Print Workshop

BPW is hosting a fun open studio event in their studio with printmaking demos and the chance to try out a range of techniques for yourself including screenprint, monoprint, linocut and drypoint. Facilitated by BPW artists, this event will be suitable for all ages, with some great tunes playing as well.


Culture Night & Day

Free Yoga at Flow Studio

Fri 1pm; Sat 1.30pm @ Flow Studio

Why not limber up for the festivities with a free yoga class in the heart of the CQ? Flow Studio is on Hill Street, right in the middle of most of the Culture Night and Day action, so you’ll leave refreshed and ready to get your culture on!

Power NI Presents Stage

Fri 3pm; Sat 11am @ Cathedral Gardens (formerly Buoys Park)

Culture Night Belfast partners Power NI take over Cathedral Gardens for Culture Night and Day, with a mini-festival vibe over two days of live music, cool animation and pop-up circus performances!

For the evening of Friday 20 September, Cathedral Gardens is magically transformed into Light Gardens. Power NI will energise the space with the Power NI Presents stage featuring top musical acts from Northern Ireland, compered by U105’s finest Carolyn Stewart! Then on Saturday, The Power NI Stage will host the Best of NI Emerging Musicians

Across both days, Power NI will bring a splash of Light and Colour to Cathedral Gardens with pop-up circus performance, Street Countdown The Power NI Photo Experience, and, if you get down early for Culture Day, there are 500 FREE hot drinks to give away from Curated Kitchen. First come first served!

Make sure to share your memories on the night & day using the #MyKindOfEnergy hashtag!

The Line-up for the Power NI Presents Stage:

Friday 20 September

3pm – Aeons
4pm – Electric Octopus
5pm – Phil Duffy
6.15pm – Manukahunney
8pm – Belfast Community Gospel Choir

Saturday 21 September
The Best of NI Emerging Musicians
The newly formed CQ Choir give a sneak preview of CHANT- featuring some of Northern Ireland’s most exciting original artists performing specially arranged versions of their songs with the choir. Led by friend of Culture Night Katie Richardson.

11am – Kids in Control
11.30am – Alice LA
12.30pm – Kids in Control
1pm – Cherym
2pm – Gemma Bradley
3pm – Sister Ghost
4pm – Cathedral Quarter Choir

Culture Night & Day Street Feast

Fri 1 – 9pm; Sat 10am – 5pm @ Belfast / St Anne’s Cathedral car park

New to the event this year is the Culture Night Street Feast Food Market in the grounds of St Anne’s Cathedral. NI’s vibrant food and drink scene continues to thrive, so as part of the Ireland wide Taste the Island celebration, especially for Culture Night and Day 2019, the best of our local food and drink traders have been brought together in a brand new location.

It’s a showcase of homegrown produce from across the country. From Pizza to Paella, Seafood to Sweet treats, Tex Mex to traditional Irish & Asian Fusion to American-style Hot Dogs there’ll be something to suit everyone.

NI War Memorial

Fri (When the Light Go On Again) 7pm; Sat (Dig For Victory), 12pm @ The Northern Ireland War Memorial

Close-harmony vocal trio Swingabella and their live band will perform songs from the 1940s while the Bellehoppers demonstrate dance routines from that bygone era. Performances will take place hourly, 40-minute singing performances by Swingabella will take place at 7.20pm, 8.20pm and 9.20pm.

20-minute dancing performances by the Bellehoppers will take place at 7.00pm, 8.00pm and 9.00pm.

On Culture Day, we’re heading back to WW2 again, this time to learn about Digging for Victory and rationing during the Second World War. Little evacuees can roll up their sleeves to harvest, wash and peel a carrot to make a carrot lollipop. Other activities include tasting a wartime cake and making a ration book and identity card to take home. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible.

Gallery 545 pop up @ Sea Holly

Fri 12 – 7pm; Sat 12 – 6pm, with gallery tour at 2pm

This recently launched exhibition is curated by Art Consultant Francesca Biondi and is hosted at the Sea Holly Gallery, the new stunning art space in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, above the Harp Bar and Orpheus.

Gallery 545 pop-up features an eclectic selection of original works from accomplished artists based in Northern Ireland who have achieved recognition both locally and internationally. The work on display encompasses a variety of paintings, objects, works on paper and woven pieces reflecting the diversity in their artistic practices.

Green Screen Time Machine

Fri 3pm; Sat 12pm @ Ulster University

Head back in time thanks to the power of the green screen, brought to Culture Night Belfast by Into Film in partnership with the BBC Northern Ireland Digital Film Archive. This amazing resource contains over 117 years of amateur film from Northern Ireland, including amateur and professional films.

Where and when will you find yourself this Culture Night or Day?

Street Countdown

Fri 5pm; Sat 11am @ Cathedral Gardens

The beloved Channel 4 parlour game hit the streets of Culture Night a few years ago and now it’s a staple of the festivities. It wouldn’t be Culture Night without a bit of outdoor wordplay and calculation! If you don’t do well on Culture Night, sure come on back the next day and have another go once you’ve given the brain cells a bit of rest…

Metro Cabaret Bus

Fri 4 – 9pm, Sat 11 – 4pm

All aboard the Metro Cabaret Bus this Friday and Saturday, for alternative family-friendly mini Cabaret on a double-decker bus! Hosted by the Master of Ceremonies Stephen Beggs and featuring Drag Storytime from Dick Von Dyke and Rosa Tralee, Music and cabaret performances from Dan Leith, George Firehorse, Swingtime Starlets and Ross Anderson- Doherty.


If you are out and about enjoying Culture Night tonight or Culture Day tomorrow, please do remember to tag us and Culture Night Belfast in your social posts. This year, the team have worked really hard to make the event as waste-free and sustainable as possible, so please leave the car at home if you can, and bring reusable food and drink containers! All of the useful info you need to know is here on the culturenightbelfast.com website – remember to download the app!

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