Belfast is full of eastern promise for the next couple of weeks thanks to the EastSide Arts Festival which will feature 12 days worth of events between August 19 – 31.

It’s supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and includes readings, jazz, heritage tours, drama, comedy, music, visual arts, songwriters, children’s workshops, community events.

Here’s 12 reasons why you should check it out…

1. David C Clements

David C Clements 2

Wednesday and Thursday August 19 and 20

Strand Arts Centre 8pm £10

Two nights featuring two sides of David C Clements and his music.  Both nights will feature a selection of songs from his forthcoming debut album and Thursday will see David joined by a full band.

2. Storytelling with Young At Art

Logo - Young at Art

Thursday August 20

Short Strand Community Centre 11am – 1pm FREE, but booking required

Listen to a professional storyteller who will thrill kids with an exciting tale.  Kids can chill out on huge bean bags with their big folks and read a book.

3. A Time to Speak

A Time to Speak - Helen Lewis

Friday August 21

Strand Arts Centre 7pm £8

Joan McCready sensitively performs the story of the remarkable Helen Lewis. A dancer in Prague, Helen was interned in the Terezin Ghetto and deported to Auschwitz. After the war she settled in Belfast and became active with the Lyric Theatre.



Saturday August 22

Strand Arts Centre 8pm £15

SOAK is one of Northern Ireland’s fastest rising music stars. Performing in her hometown of Derry since the age of 14 her album has been attracting rave reviews – STOP PRESS: for this performance, SOAK will be joined by special guest Hannah Mc Phillimy and Alice McCullough.

5. EastSide out loud

Jan Carson

Andrew Eaton

Saturday August 22

Belmont Tower 6.30pm £7

Jan Carson & Andrew Eaton, two East Belfast based writers, offer readings from their new works.

6. The Holy Holy Bus

The Holy Holy Bus

Sunday August 23

Stormont Hotel 8pm £10

In association with Feile An Phobail EastSide Arts Festival welcomes this fantastic performance which features four women on a bus tour which leaves west Belfast for a tour of holy sites of Ireland.

7. Boundary Brewing Tour

Logo - Boundary

Monday August 24

Boundary Brewing CO-OP, Portview Trade Centre 3pm £10

Boundary is Belfast’s first cooperative brewery.  Come for a tour, learn about the brewing process and hear their story.

8. Glenn Patterson – Here’s Me Here


Tuesday August 25

Strand Arts Centre 8pm £10

Join the Festival Book Club… Belfast Author Glenn Patterson reads from his new book ‘Here’s Me Here’, a collection of his writing for print and broadcast. Introducing and interviewing Glenn on the night is BBC NI’s Marie Louise Muir. Purchase a ticket for the show and get a copy of the book free.

9. Altan with Kathleen Turner


Tuesday August 25

Stormont Hotel 8pm £17

After 35 years together – the longest running line-up of founding members in Irish music – the members of Altan will bring their unique music to the festival and will be  joining  the band for this rare Belfast date will be rising star Kathleen Turner.

10. A Sharing of Traditions

Wednesday August 26

Park Avenue Hotel 8pm £12

Irish, Ulster-Scots and Scots Gaelic have their subtle differences for sure. What they have in common is a love for stirring music, lore and laugher.  Be prepared to be entertained and enlightened by this eclectic mix of performers featuring Willie Drennan, Colum Sands, John Trotter, Martin Donohue & Friends.

11. Sequamur – WW1 Drama in Scots Gaelic

Sequamur - L-R Angus Peter Campbell, Sean Macleod and David Walker

Thursday and Friday August 27 and 28

Belvoir Players Theatre 8pm £10

Following a 5-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this play reflects the life of Headmaster William Gibson whose inspirational leadership led many young many from the Western isles of Scotland to war in 1914.

12. Orangefield Park Celebrations

Hugo Cosgsmith 3

Saturday August 29

Orangefield Park 1pm to 5pm FREE

A day filled with family fun – music, street theatre, readings, workshops and much more.

Visit for more details

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