Belfast International Arts Festival 2018

Annual Belfast International Arts Festival 2018, running from 16th October until 3rd November, have finally launched their heavily anticipated festival programme. 

On 16th of August, (Belfast International Arts Festival Chair) Professor Jackie McCoy and (Belfast International Arts Festival Artistic Director and Chief Executive) Richard Wakely gathered alongside with (Head of Drama and Literature at Arts Council Northern Ireland) Damian Smyth and (Chairman of Tourism Northern Ireland) Terence Branningan to launch a long-awaited Belfast International Arts Festival 2018 programme at the newly build Grand Central Hotel, Belfast.

The annual, contemporary Belfast International Arts Festival 2018, have officially released the dates and locations of 125 events from 28 venues across Belfast, including 12 premieres from home-grown and international artists.

This year, the preeminent and progressive, 125 events are promising to entertain, educate and excite the audience through: theatre, dance, music, special events, educational events, film, visual arts, talks and ideas from world-class artists, thinkers and leaders.

Belfast International Arts Festival Events At A Glance.

These events will bring enjoyment and inspiration to the audience not only through a wide range of contemporary art and cultural events, but also through equal opportunities and access to experience and participate in events, as the range of low-cost ticket incentives and a number of free events.

The low-cost events will include: ‘Stroke Odysseys’, ‘Celebrating Optimism and Hope: Post Stroke Music and Neural Plasticity’, ‘New Playwrights Showcase’, ‘Onion String Trio’, ‘Maggini Quartet’, ‘Kirill Troussov & Cathal Breslin’, ‘David Quigley’, ‘Cultural Walking Tours of Belfast’, ‘Curating Architecture: The Venice Biennale’, ‘Myths of Belfast’, ‘The Infinite City: Live Episode’, ‘Mathler’s Resurrection Symphony’, ‘King Lear’ ‘Suffragette (under 19s free), ‘Together’, ‘Carys Davies’, ‘Human Rights: Brexit, the Border and Beyond’, ‘Climate Justice’, ‘Repeal the 8yh – Repealed’, ‘ A Manual for Heartache’, ‘Tony Walsh’, ‘Birthday Reading’, ‘When Words Fail: A Life with Music, War & Peace’, ‘How The World Thinks – A Global History of Philosophy’ and ‘Nine Pints – A Journey Through the Mysterious. Miraculous World of Blood’.

The free events will include: ‘Pre Show Workshop’, ‘The Danish Clarinet Trio’, ‘Across and In-Between’, ‘Handle With Care’, ‘Faces of Belfast’, ‘Yummertime’, ‘137th Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition’, ‘Belfast Open Studios’, ‘Death of the Hunter’, ‘Writers of Belfast’, ‘Rocky Ros Muc’, ‘Song of Granite’ and ‘Out of Egypt’.

‘Writers of Belfast – A new exhibition by Neil Shawcross’ (Film and Visual Arts), Wed 24th October – Thursday 1st November, Titanic Belfast (Free).

The Belfast International Arts Festival will begin on 16th of October at the Lyric Theatre with the world premier ‘Dear Arabella’. Some of the most imaginative, innovative and thrilling highlights of the Festival will include: Italian star Isabella Rossellini in intriguing one-woman show Link Link’, award nominated actress and performer Josette Bushell-Mingo in mind-blowing ‘Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone’, a poetical dance piece ‘Facing the Sea, for Tears to Turn into Laughter’, and a cathartic, colorful and original, music and dance show ‘ Stroke Odysseys’.

‘Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone’ by Josette Bushell- Mingo. Friday 19th – Saturday 20th of October at The MAC.


Principal Funder: Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Festival Funders: Belfast City Council, British Council Norther Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

  • To book tickets visit:;
  •  or contact: 028 9024 6609
  • For event related enquiries email:
  • To buy tickets in person visit: Visit Belfast Welcome Centre situated at 9 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BBT1 5GB.


Author: Viktorija Kubiliute

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