28th Apr 2019 in Arts

With two of the city’s best-loved festivals returning, this is a Very Big Week in the CQ.

There are also loads of events happening outside of those festivals – food and drink events, writers’ workshops, health conferences and much more.

As always, you can find everything that’s happening in the Cathedral Quarter in our What’s On Guide. If you know of a CQ Belfast event we should know about, send us the details and we will promote it here for free!

We love to hear from you – are there people you think we should interview or stories and features you would like to read here? Just email heather@cathedralquarterbelfast.com


NI Maternal Mental Health Conference

Monday 29th April, 9am – 4pm @ The MAC

It is estimated that 1 in 10 parents will suffer from a mental illness after the birth of a child, though this figure may actually be closer to 1 in 5. In Northern Ireland, 80% of women will have no access to specialist care if they are diagnosed with a perinatal mental illness.

This important event, to be held in The MAC, aims to educate and raise awareness of perinatal mental health issues and to encourage collaboration to improve services for families in Northern Ireland living with a mental illness. This event is co-ordinated by a group of five volunteers who are passionate about this topic and believe that the power of collaboration can make a real difference in making sure families in Northern Ireland are receiving the care they deserve during one of the most challenging times in their lives.

Gatekeepers to Collaborators with PJ Hart

Wednesday 1st May, 7:00pm @ The Belfast Raise

Script readers, editors and producers are often seen as the “gatekeepers” of the industry by new writers. This session explores how each role functions in respect to writers, at which stage it is worth engaging or approaching them and busting many of the associated industry myths.

PJ Hart has worked as a script reader for NI Screen, BBC NI and BBC Writers Room. He has script edited 6 Degrees and Ups & Downs for BBC NI and is currently producing The Break, a series of new short films from Northern Irish writers for BBC Writers Room and BBC3.

The Rio Deal Supper Club

Wednesday 1st May, 8 – 10pm @ The National

Focusing on street snacks from Rio and tropical flavours from Bahia and Minas Gerais, The National invites you to experience the taste of Brazil at their third Supper Club! Refresh your palate between courses with bottomless Caipiroska.

• 6x Courses
• Bottomless Caipiroska
• £35 per person

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Thursday 2nd May – Sunday 12th May

CQAF is back, baby, and it’s celebrating its 20th birthday in style. The announcements of headline acts have been dizzying – Spiritualized, Anna Calvi, Rufus Wainwright, Echo and The Bunnymen… and that’s just some of the music superstars. Comedians Kevin McAleer and Tom Stade and author Marian Keyes are among the acts already sold out.

There is a wealth of homegrown talent to enjoy – Artist in Residence this year is the divinely talented DANI, who is opening several shows and events (including the hotly anticipated CQ Bazaar) and whose own solo show on 12th May in The Black Box has free tickets available right now.

We’ll have an article shortly outlining the many highlights but for now, you can check out all the CQ events in our What’s On Guide and book tickets on cqaf.com

Festival of Fools

Friday 3rd – Monday 6th May

The Charming Jay in Gordon Street
Performer The Charming Jay (jpconjuring.co.uk)
Photo by Damien Evans | Excalibur Press

Borne out of a desire to animate the city’s streets and introduce Belfast to street theatre, Festival of Fools has been delighting families and folks young and old since it was established in the Cathedral Quarter in 2004 by the late and much-missed Will Chamberlain, who was Director of the Belfast Community Circus School. Many believe it laid the foundations for Culture Night and other creative events and festival, and it’s undoubtedly one of the key reasons the Cathedral Quarter is the vibrant creative hub we enjoy today.

Some of the world’s best circus, comedy and street theatre performers travel from all over the world to take part in the Festival of Fools, and every event is presented for free. Audiences can, if they wish, make a donation on the day to show their appreciation for the performance, but there is never a charge, ensuring everyone can afford to experience the #FoolsFest magic. Check out our What’s On Guide for all the CQ events, and view the programme in full at https://2019.foolsfestival.com/


If you are out and about in the Cathedral Quarter this week, don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Insta Stories too!) and use our #CQBelfast hashtag!

Keep In Touch

Get our weekly update on the latest and greatest news and events straight to your inbox.