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Public invited to enjoy a taste of Belfast 2024 programme

Date: 26 Feb 2024

Category: Things to do

Advertisement for Belfast 2024 open day at 2 Royal Avenue on Thursday 29 February, 2pm-7pm.

Belfast City Council is welcoming residents and visitors into 2 Royal Avenue – the city’s cultural hub – this Thursday 29 February, 2pm-7pm, to sample some of what’s on offer through its Belfast 2024 programme.

Almost 200 events, workshops and activities will take place throughout the city between March and December this year, as part of the city’s biggest ever creative and cultural celebration, with everyone invited to get involved.

The council is investing £5.9 million into Belfast 2024 to support jobs in the cultural sector, drive footfall into Belfast city centre, encourage people to embrace their creativity by enjoying and participating in the arts, and showcase the city as a global destination for culture.

A further £250,000 has also been secured from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for ‘Our Future Heritage’ which will enable people to explore Belfast’s tangible and intangible heritage and its impact on our identity through ten Belfast 2024 projects.

Thursday’s free open day will give citizens a chance to enjoy a taster of what’s in store and find out more about ways to get involved and discover their creative side.

No booking is required. Activities will include:

  • make a patchwork blanket, build your own boat and explore Belfast’s biodiversity with partner organisations Arts Ekta, PS2 and Wild Belfast and hear how your creations will become part of their events during Belfast 2024
  • mindful art and wellbeing activities
  • ‘The Bank of Ideas’ – an opportunity to share your own ideas for creative projects you’d like to see happening in your neighbourhood or community during 2024 and find out about funding available to help turn them into reality!
  • ‘Creative Me’ quiz – answer the questions to hear which Belfast 2024 events and activities are perfect for you
  • poetry from Zara Meadows
  • information stalls with project partners, including Belfast Film Festival, Outburst Arts, Household Belfast and Another World, where you can find out what they have planned throughout the year for you to take part in, including film-making projects, a theatre production focusing on Belfast’s LBGTQIA+ history, international artist collaborations and a new city centre venue focusing on upcycling and skills development
  • write a letter to your future self with your creative hopes for the year ahead – more music, more film, whatever you’d like to see – and post it in the Belfast 2024 postbox

“Thursday 29 February is Leap Day – no better day to take a leap and jump into what Belfast 2024 can offer you and our city,” said Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy.

“There’s already a lot of excitement in our creative sector about what this programme can do to showcase the many positive benefits arts and culture bring – jobs, creativity, tourism, friendship, positive mental health and so much more – but now is the time to people to really get involved too.

“Belfast 2024 is all about participation – so come to an event, get involved in a project, try something different, check out the huge array of events and activities already on offer in our city, or discover something new to enjoy.

“Feedback from information events held during February has been really positive so far and Thursday’s open day is another chance to hear more about what’s coming up. So take advantage of this extra day in the calendar to make your own creative pledge for 2024.”

Over 20 major projects and events are already confirmed for Belfast 2024, building upon the council’s existing support for the cultural sector with a mix of new commissions and community-led programmes, all of which will be shaped by community input as the year develops. They include:

  • ‘The Walk’, a world-renowned creative project featuring Little Amal, a 12 foot tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, who will arrive in Belfast from 16-19 May, for three days of free activities delivered with ArtsEkta. Events will include an outdoor theatre spectacle at Titanic Slipways, a street party in Writer’s Square and free family entertainment in the grounds of City Hall.  
  • Midsummers at the Lyric, an outdoor theatre spectacle from 5-7 July, bringing the space between the venue and the River Lagan to life through an original new production of a Shakespeare classic
  • Waterworks, an ambition to launch 10,000 boats on the River Lagan, celebrating our maritime heritage, with a family fun day over the first weekend in August with colourful boats of all shapes and sizes being created by 80+ schools and community groups at workshops across the city over the spring and summer.
  • Sound Links, a ‘block party’ on Townsend Street on 21 September to mark International Day of Peace – the climax to a unique collaboration between Ulster Orchestra, Townsend Enterprise Park, Foundry Quarter and Zeppo Arts which will explore the history of this interface area, with input from local residents, businesses, community groups, schools and care homes.
  • Shadow Dock, a light show spectacle at Thompson Dock, from 26-29 September. Developed in partnership with designer Henry Sykes and Three’s Theatre Company, audiences will journey 40 feet below sea level to the iconic dock where Titanic was launched to view an immersive display of light, shadow, colour and sound, seeing and feeling the world around them from a new perspective.
  • North Star, inspired by writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ visit to the city in 1845, and exploring the question ‘what makes people feel at home in Belfast?’ through the lens of contemporary black cultures. This unique event will include input from local schools and culminate in a live music gig in late October, celebrating the city’s black artists.

A number of other signature projects remain under development and further details will be announced in due course.   

Keep up to date on all the latest info on projects and ways to get involved by signing up to the Belfast 2024 mailing list on the dedicated website - – or follow new Belfast 2024 social media channels on Facebook (@belfast2024) and Instagram (@belfast2024)

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