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EastSide Arts Festival celebrates 10th birthday

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Date: 20 Jun 2022

Category: Things to do

Lord Mayor joins EastSide Arts Festival to help them launch their 10th birthday celebrations

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Tina Black has helped EastSide Arts Festival launch its 10th birthday celebrations this summer, August 4-14 and everyone is invited!

Packed full of unique, exciting events, festival goers will enjoy music, theatre, film, literature, walks, talks and tours, comedy and cabaret, family focused and community events for all ages.

The celebrations will feature over 100 artists across more than 80 events taking place in a range of venues in east Belfast including: Strand Arts Centre, Vault Artist Studios, The Ballyhackamore Social Club, Banana Block (Portview Trade Centre), CS Lewis Square and many more.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black said: “It's wonderful to see our support for EastSide Arts Festival helping them to grow and thrive on their 10th birthday. Belfast is so proud of our cultural festivals as they bring so much vitality to the city – and encourage people to celebrate, share space and enjoy new experiences together. I’m particularly pleased to see events like Young at Art’s Baby Rave and Hothouse Flowers coming to Banana Block at Portview Trade Centre, which is proving to be a really fantastic, welcoming new venue for east Belfast. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish the organisers and participating artists the very best of luck.”

Director of the EastSide Arts Festival, Rachel Kennedy added: “We are delighted to invite everyone to join us at this year’s EastSide Arts Festival as we celebrate our 10th birthday. As always, we are bringing festival goers a jam-packed programme of events that celebrate the people and places of east Belfast and encourage connection and celebration. The festival provides us with the opportunity to showcase the very best of east Belfast as a place of creativity, a place that is vibrant and a place that is welcoming. A huge thanks to our Principal Funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Principal Sponsor, Translink for their invaluable support, and the vital support of all of the festival funders and sponsors who have helped the festival reach this incredible landmark.”

With the 10th birthday celebrations in mind, here’s 10 of the key events not to be missed at this year’s festival:

  • Hot House Flowers Thursday August 4, Banana Block, Portview Trade Centre. Having headlined the festival in 2018, EastSide Arts Festival is delighted to have this brilliant live band back to open the festival in their 10th birthday year.
  • OPTIMO Friday August 5, Banana Block, Portview Trade Centre. Optimo are regarded as one of the most important names in contemporary club culture, partly thanks to their seminal Sunday night party at Sub Club in Glasgow. Optimo will be joined by The Night Institute DJs for their first gig in east Belfast.
  • Park Fest, Saturday August 6, CS Lewis Square and Orangefield Park. Get your birthday hats and party blowers at the ready for a day of family-friendly creative fun for all ages. Park Fest, delivered alongside EastSide Greenways, will include two family events at CS Lewis Square and Orangefield Park and animation along the Connswater Community Greenway linking the two main locations.
  • Otter Debauchery presents Peninsula, Friday August 5, Vault Artist Studios. This is a highlight of this year’s programme of events at Vault Artist Studios. Dan Leith/Otter Debauchery will present a new live musical comedy special filled with sardonic wit, honest anecdotes and catchy tunes. Tackling issues such as love, life, saving the planet and being from Belfast.
  • Hairspray [2007] Thursday August 4, Strand Arts Centre. This special screening will celebrate the 15th birthday of this hilarious comedy, with a special live performance from resident dance and drama school, NI Stars! Teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after winning a spot on a local TV dance show.
  • David Hull Promotions Presents Cash Returns - The Johnny Cash and June Carter Tribute Show, Thursday August 11, CS Lewis Square. Cash Returns will kick off the series of ‘Live @ CS Lewis Square’ events in style. 
  • Dig with It magazine presents… New Pagans, Lemonade Shoelace and Winnie Ama Friday August 12, CS Lewis Square. Some of the most inspiring, alternative voices from the local music scene brought together for this special 'Live @ CS Lewis Square’ event by Dig With It, a quarterly magazine from Belfast that champions music, arts and counter-culture.
  • Billy Boy by Rosemary Jenkinson, Thursday August 4, Vault Artist Studios and Friday August 5 Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich. A new play about bonfire culture by east Belfast writer Rosemary Jenkinson. Written in 2021 and inspired by interviews with young bonfire builders, performed by John Travers.
  • Young at Art’s Baby Rave, Sunday August 7, Banana Block, Portview Trade Centre. A family-friendly highlight of the 2015 festival, EastSide Arts Festival is delighted to bring back Baby Rave. With classic dance tunes and pumpin' beats, you and your mini-ravers can get lost in music together.
  • Maurice Jay’s Pleasuredome, Sunday August 14, CS Lewis Square. The Ultimate 80's Party night closes the festival. This is a party you will not want to miss!

The EastSide Arts Festival is supported by Principal Funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, funders Belfast City Council, National Lottery Awards for All and Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, Principal Sponsor Translink, sponsors Connswater and Hewitt & Gilpin.

For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest22.

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