Eastside Arts | Festival Preview
EastSide Arts Festival 2016 provides 11 days of inspiring and diverse events from 10 to 21 August. The festival programme is packed with 100 events including music, comedy, films, theatre, talks, workshops, visual art, exhibitions, poetry, community events and heritage tours plus over 50 free events.
Among this year’s musical highlights are two headline concerts in the unique and beautiful surroundings of St. Patrick’s Church. Nick Lowe, the ‘Headmaster of British Rock’ will be performing rock, country, soul and pop, featuring Nick, his guitar and the incredible acoustics of the church; a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Anúna is perfectly suited to St. Patrick’s combining atmospheric costumes, candles and movement, and delivering a span of material from the choir’s varied and eclectic repertoire as well as a number of pieces from their new release, Revelation.
Music fans can also check out the unique take on the blues purveyed by the Kaz Hawkins Band or a mix of Irish folk, jazz and the ethereal from the Peacock Angell Band. For younger audiences there’s The Late Twos with support from Petty Youth.
Kaz Hawkins Band
The fantastic Woodstock Rhythm & Blues Festival opens the EastSide Arts Festival this year and features headliner Andy Fairweather Low in addition to local musicians Amanda St John, Anthony Toner, Ken Haddock, Ronnie Greer and Rab McCullough amongst others – a stellar cast.
Amanda St John
As part of the EastSide Arts Festival, the Strand Arts Centre will be screening Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Big Lebowski and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. For fans of written and spoken word, treats include a special Page to Stage event with Lucy Caldwell, Rosemary Jenkinson and Hugh Odling Smee, a magical mystery bus tour with poet Alice McCullough and a showcase of the best of EastSide performance poets in The Pen Points East. Want to know more about east Belfast? You can check out one of the intriguing heritage tours on Van Morrison, The First World War, history and architecture, or a Gaelic Tour of East Belfast.
EastSide Arts, an initiative of EastSide Partnership, aims to develop, support and deliver a wide range of arts activity and creativity across the east of the city with a commitment to the social, economic and cultural regeneration of the area. In addition to the EastSide Arts Festival and the Woodstock R&B Festival, there are arts’ activities throughout the year, including the C.S. Lewis Festival.
To mark the Somme anniversary, local actors Sam and Joan McCready, along with a brass quintet from the Ulster Orchestra, present Letters From The Front – a selection of poems and letters giving accounts of this harrowing time; also featured is The Prodger – a story about a Catholic Irishman who fought at the Somme. Looking for some comedy? Then look no further than Neil Dougan’s ‘Heretics’ and Head the Balls’ – a humorous look back at 500 years of Protestant Culture, or ‘1916 Tim McGarry Goes Over The Top’, a brand new stand-up show about the history of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, with Tim’s usual take on things.
EastSide Arts Festival is delighted to feature the 20th Anniversary celebrations of Creative Exchange Artists’ Studios. Using places and spaces across east Belfast such as the former Engine Room Gallery at Portview Trade Centre, this special occasion will be marked through exhibitions, debates, talks, a billboard project and a special wishing tree community art workshop. Other festival visual art highlights include Poolside Watercolour at Templemore Swimming Baths, a sensory dining experience at Framewerk and a series of social arts events at St. Martin’s Church. This year’s festival is also packed with workshops and community events, talks and tours, and much more.
Rachel Kennedy, Eastside Arts Manager, described the festival as, “… a truly inspiring and diverse programme that not only showcases the creativity and talent within east Belfast, but also attracts artists and audiences to come and celebrate this talent with us. During the festival people will be inspired to have fun, try something new and importantly see the east of the city as a community that is full of creativity, colour and, above all, one that is on a journey of renewal”.
Check out the full programme at: www.eastsidearts.net