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EastSide Arts Festival reveals spectacular line-up of unique summer events

Date: 16 Jun 2023

Lord Mayor Councillor Ryan Murphy launches EastSide Arts Festival 2023

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Ryan Murphy has helped to launch this year’s EastSide Arts Festival, which returns July 27 – August 6 with an exhilarating celebration of the arts.

Over 11 days, festival-goers will have the opportunity to enjoy unique events that showcase east Belfast’s vibrant cultural scene and creative talent.

With 60+ events spread across every corner of the east, audiences of all ages will be treated to an extraordinary array of music, comedy, dance, theatre, cabaret, talks, tours, film, and family events sure to inspire and engage.

As ever, the festival provides a platform for local artists, entertainers, and performers to shine, whilst bringing people together to enjoy the best of the east. Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to experience thought-provoking theatre and literature, revel in unforgettable music and cabaret, and uncover the hidden gems and historical landmarks that make up east Belfast’s rich heritage.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy said: “As funders of EastSide Arts, we’re delighted to see the festival continuing to grow and flourish, delivering a really eclectic mix of entertainment and fun for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy – from music and dance to comedy, theatre, talks, tours and film. I’m also really pleased to see our newly refurbished Templemore Baths taking its place in the spotlight – and CS Lewis Square playing host to more free family fun. EastSide Arts Festival is also playing an important role in showcasing local and up-and-coming artists – bringing the community together through shared and diverse cultural experiences - and welcoming visitors to the east of the city, which has so much to offer. I wish the artists, organisers and everyone involved the very best of luck and hope everyone attending this year’s EastSide Arts Festival is both entertained and inspired.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and principal funder, commented: “EastSide Arts has lifted the entire profile of the arts in east Belfast and created an environment where artists can flourish. They have shown how a lively arts, culture and entertainment scene can play a leading role in bringing people and communities closer together through shared creative experiences. All of the tremendous work throughout the year is brought into sharp focus through the annual flagship EastSide Arts Festival. The Arts Council, as principal funder of EastSide Arts through our National Lottery funds, is proud to support the festival, as it reinforces the reputation of east Belfast as a place rejuvenated, full of character and creativity.”

John Thompson, Head of Safety and Corporate Responsibility  from Translink and festival principal sponsor, said: “EastSide Arts Festival is a fantastic example of how great events can bring communities together to celebrate diversity and inclusion through arts and culture. At Translink we’re committed to getting people Better Connected so we're proud to support EastSide Arts which reflects this goal of connecting communities, whilst supporting local businesses and promoting sustainability. Our services will allow people to access the brilliant programme of events whether they're travelling locally or from further afield and we would encourage people to utilise the range of transport options, from bus, Glider, and rail, to travel hassle free with great value ticket options.”

Director of the EastSide Arts Festival, Rachel Kennedy added: “We are thrilled to present this year’s EastSide Arts Festival, showcasing the extraordinary talent that resides within our community. The festival is a celebration of our diverse artistic landscape, where individuals of all backgrounds can come together and experience the transformative power of the arts, reinforcing east Belfast's position as a thriving hub of creativity. We are continually grateful for the support we receive from our Principal Funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the National Lottery, and Principal Sponsor, Translink, as well as the commitment and support from sponsors, funders, participating venues, artists and the dedicated festival team and volunteers who work hard to ensure that everyone has the best time. We really hope you can join us this year - we would love to see you there!”

The EastSide Arts Festival is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, funders Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, National Lottery Awards for All and Halifax Foundation of Northern Ireland, Principal Sponsor Translink and sponsors Connswater, Hewitt & Gilpin and Third Source.

For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Early booking is advised. Follow EastSide Arts festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest23.

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