Masked, jabbed and LIVE! The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is back…

It’s been a while, but Belfast’s most diverse arts festival is back! Fully masked and double jabbed, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival tentatively returns from 2-12 September, with an incredible programme of live music, comedy, literature, theatre and more.

Heralding a more hopeful future for the normalistion live events, organisers say the 21st Festival will be safe, secure and above all celebratory.

Full health and safety precautions will also be observed at all events, including the wearing of masks to and from seats, social distancing and proof of double vaccination for entry to the main Festival Marquee Events.

Live music events include Lisa Hannigan, Bronagh Gallagher, Kíla, From the Specials – Neville Staple, Bell X1 (acoustic with Dowry Strings), Sharon Shannon, The Adventures, Luka Bloom, Camille O’Sullivan, Ciaran Lavery, Grainne Duffy, King Kong Company, Shadows and Light – The Songs of Joni Mitchell, Norman Jay, John Murry, Dave Arcari, The Bonnevilles, The Sabrejets, Gwenifer Raymond, Deptford Northern Soul Club, John Blek, The Remedy Club, Christine Bovill’s Piaf, Robocobra Quartet, Native Harrow, Niamh Murray, Leo Miyagee and 2021 Artist in Residence, Reevah.

Live comedy headliners include the welcome returns of Andrew Maxwell and Rich Hall, the acclaimed Nabil Abdulrashid (aka N.A.B.I.L: Nobody Believed I’d Last), Catherine Bohart, Joanne McNally, and our very own fabulously funny Teresa Livingstone.

There’s the return of Belfast’s Street Art Festival Hit the North, another series of the much loved Faculty Lectures, poets Kerri Ni Dochartaigh & Annemaire Ni Churreáin. The festival is delighted to feature Seamás O’Reilly currently topping the Irish Times best seller list with his hilarious memoir ‘Did Ye Hear Mammy Died’.

CQAF screenings include Don’t Go Gentle – A Film about IDLES, the classic Harold and Maude celebrating its half century, School of Rock, the acclaimed Gay Chorus Deep South, the legendary “lost Dylan doc” Eat the Document, a special screening of Summer of Soul Screening with live music from Manukahunny.

Our live theatre lineup includes Anthem by CQAF bursary award winner Alice Malseed & Sarah Baxter and Bruiser Theatre Co present Owen McCafferty’s tour de force Mojo Mickeybo.

Festival Director Sean Kelly said: “This might just be the most hotly anticipated of all our 21 festivals. That goes for us as well as our audience. After a long 18 months, we’re truly thrilled to be able to host a full festival of live events, albeit in slightly different circumstances and a different time of year.

There were obvious challenges programming a festival in the current circumstances but we’re incredibly proud of our line up. We won’t be sacrificing safety however, and the strictest standards will apply to all our events. This includes distancing and wearing of masks at all possible times, and the requirement of proof of double vaccination and lateral flow tests for entry to our main Marquee events. But the fact we’re able to have a festival at all is a cause for celebration. So come join us for 11 days of great live festival events, and hopefully the start of a brighter future for the arts.