As you’d expect with the May Bank Holiday Weekend fast approaching, there’s a raft of things to do in Belfast and beyond.
We’ve picked out 10 of the best for you to mull over. If you want more information on any of the events or to buy tickets, click the link in the headings…
The National Beer Garden, May 1, from 2pm
The National & Sixty6 Belfast will hold their third annual Craft Beer & Food Festival on May 1. They’ll be hosting 10+ craft breweries from around the country in their huge garden while enjoying great local food and amazing live local bands.
Entertainment starts at 2pm and will be provided by a range of local acts including The Russian Dolls & The El Dude Brothers, two of Belfast’s finest live bands. The Bank Holiday weekend will come to a close with a late night after party in the nightclub of Sixty6 with Belfast’s top DJs until 3am.
Locations throughout Belfast, April 29 – May 2
Belfast’s largest free festival returns over the May Day bank holiday weekend for its 13th edition. Daredevil acrobatics; chaotic clowning; heart stopping hip hop and madcap musicians will be putting smiles on the faces of strangers and sending the sounds of laughter around the city. Leading street theatre companies from Europe, North America, the UK and Ireland will release the joy of the truly absurd and the breathtakingly athletic.
Locations throughout Belfast, April 28 – May 8
The 17th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival will provide a packed line-up of music, comedy and spoken word. To celebrate Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, the festival will also include a one day meat-free mini-festival, Vegstock, taking place in the festival marquee on May 2.
The packed musical line-up includes Marc Almond, Guy Garvey (pictured above), Lee “Scratch” Perry, The Zombies, Steve Mason, Grandmaster Flash, Afro Celt Sound System, Courtney Pine, The Unthanks, Shonen Knife, Craig Charles, Birds of Chicago and Ciaran Lavery.
The comedy line-up features Rob Delaney, Tina C, Roy Walker, John Shuttleworth, Robert Newman and Richard Herring. Spoken word comes from John Cooper Clarke, Jo Baker, and Brix Smith.
The MAC, May 3, 8pm
You’re Not Alone is provocative, moving and darkly comic, chronicling one man’s attempts at connection, friendship and employment at B&Q. Kim Noble takes you on a journey through tower blocks, supermarkets and Facebook, seeking an escape from the loneliness of modern society. It is an intimate glimpse into the mind of an eccentric genius.
A performance and video artist, Kim is best known as one-half of Perrier Award-winning, BAFTA-nominated comedy duo Noble and Silver. He has also starred in TV Shows like The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. He currently works at B&Q.
The good news is we’ve got two tickets to give away to the acclaimed show which is strictly for over 18s…
Those of us under 25 can avail of £5 tickets – to book, call the Box Office on 028 9023 5053.
Titanic Belfast, May 1, from 12noon
Get up close and see an array of the world’s most expensive, impressive and rare automobiles at Titanic Belfast with The Gumball 3000 Rally.
The start flag will be dropping in Merrion Square, Dublin at 11am, where the Gumballers will be gearing up for their trip across the water to Edinburgh, calling at Titanic Belfast along the way for the first checkpoint.
The first of the Gumball drivers are expected to start arriving in Belfast on Sunday May 1 at around 12noon.
The MAC, until April 30
This controversially titled piece of musical theatre about Catherine of Aragon is a unique show in that it features live on-stage musicians and all the audience will remain standing for the duration of the 45 minute show.
The C**t of Queen Catherine is a tribute to the ruthless and intelligent Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, written and directed by local award-winning composer and writer Conor Mitchell.
Abigail McGibbon, winner of best supporting actress in the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2016, plays the eponymous queen in this play that draws some interesting parallels with the ongoing EU debates that are happening at the moment.
Read more about the play here
Ulster Hall, April 30
The 90-minute show, created by a team of some of the UK’s top comedy writers, comes to the Ulster Hall on Saturday April 30, direct from sold out shows in London’s West End and Australia.
In this unauthorised parody avid ‘Thrones’ fan Graeme just wants to recreate his favourite fantasy saga on stage – aided and abetted by his best friend Paul and the girl he used to fancy at school – Bryony.
Read from actor Ali Bryce about the show here
Fratelli, May 3
Italian restaurant Fratelli is offering an intimate night for you and your friends to enjoy mouth-watering mains and delicious desserts, a glass of wine and a private screening of Notting Hill for just £20.
Lyric Theatre, until May 14
Rosemary Jenkinsons’ new work is a playful, thrilling and hilarious take on love, family and loyalties, asking important questions about identity and remembrance.
East Belfast, May 2016. Marta wants a comfortable home; Jim, her husband, wants to finish decorating the house; Dean, his friend, wants Marta; Donna, the Culture minister, wants to bring the shadows of the past back to their home.
10. Mayday, Mayday
Ground Espresso bars in NI, April 30
People across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to eat cake, and fill a wellie to help raise vital funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Northern Ireland as part of the charity’s national annual fundraising event, ‘Mayday’.
Organised by RNLI Northern Ireland branch, a series of events will see the staff at local independent coffee house Ground Espresso Bars’ 17 stores, wearing wellies on Saturday April 30, and encouraging their customers to support the Mayday campaign by helping them ‘fill a wellie with pennies’.
The RNLI’s Mayday campaign which recently launched this week runs through to the May Day bank holiday on Monday 2nd May, and their signature wellie pins will also be available to purchase in Ground Espresso Bars throughout the campaign for just £1. You can also text MAYDAY to 70300 to donate £3.
Apple Blossom Fair
Armagh, April 30 – May 2
This event comprises orchard experience tours, fun, food, music and entertainment at Ardress House and Loughgall Country Park. A shuttle bus service will be available to transport visitors between Ardress and Loughgall. Admission charge payable for all events.
Newry Craft Beer Festival
Newry, April 30 – May 1
Newry will be holding its first annual Craft Beer Festival on April 30 and May 1, with 10 craft breweries exhibiting over 30 craft products to taste including Mourne Mountain Brewery, Armagh Cider Company, Whitewater Brewery and more. Enjoy the best of local craft products with a top notch entertainment line-up.