Skip to main content

Look North! The North Belfast Festival 2023

Date: 02 Feb 2023

Lord Mayor of Belfast and guests at launch of Look North! festival 2023

Look North - the north Belfast festival takes place over the weekend of February 24-26, 2023, celebrating the heritage and creative talents of north Belfast.

This year's festival programme is jam-packed with a wide range of activities and interests showcasing and celebrating north Belfast’s rich heritage, cultural, creative and literary talents, with appearances from local authors, artists and young people, though it is not limited to the area.  It includes talks, walks, poetry readings, panel discussions, music, tours of historic buildings and four creative writing classes in novel writing, poetry, crime fiction and craft.

Planned and delivered by the NBF network, it is led by The John Hewitt Society and includes the North Belfast Heritage Cluster, the Duncairn, Beat Carnival, Imagine Belfast, Ulster University, and other interested individuals who reside in or work in north Belfast.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black, who launched the festival, said: “Look North! is an inspirational and entertaining celebration of north Belfast’s artistic, literary, musical and creative talents, its unique heritage and cultural traditions. It’s great to see the 2023 events build on the success of last year’s first programme.

“Everyone is welcome at these genuinely inclusive events, taking place in no fewer than 19 venues, including the beautiful Duncairn Centre and the stunning Ulster University campus. I’d like to congratulate all the festival partners led by the John Hewitt Society, with input from many individuals and community, voluntary and church groups. It’s wonderful to see what we can achieve when we work together and truly collaborate.”

Dr Frank Ferguson of The John Hewitt Society added: “It is a great pleasure to bring a festival to this part of Belfast where John Hewitt was born and grew up, and which shaped his views on life. The festival is open to all and is important in recognising the rich heritage and cultural contributions of north Belfast. I would like to thank my fellow committee members for all their support in producing this exciting programme, and especially to our funders, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, National Lottery Community Fund, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Belfast Charitable Society, Cathedral Quarter and Ulster University for  their support.”

Bill Shaw, Director at The Duncairn, welcomed guests to the launch and gave special mention to north Belfast’s rich cultural history. He said: “The Duncairn Arts Centre was created to reflect and showcase the wealth of creative output in this side of the city. We’re delighted that this exciting programme brings north Belfast further into the cultural spotlight and we’re thrilled to be working in partnership with so many people and organisations that make north Belfast the special place it is!”

To view the full schedule and to book for events or workshops, go to

Read aloud icon Read aloud