International talent comes to the Belfast Festival

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Belfast welcomes the world of comedy, music, drama and dance this October as the 47th Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s presents a line-up of international talent of the highest quality.

Belfast -- Running from the 16th-31st October at venues across the City, the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s recently unveiled its full programme for this arts extravaganza.

Festival Director, Graeme Farrow revealed the exciting line-up, “This year's huge collection of international talent is mouth-watering. It's hard to imagine a better opening weekend than one which includes Valery Gergiev with the Mariinsky Orchestra and our own Ulster Orchestra with Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley.

With witches on giant stilts and the main protagonists arriving on motorbikes during Teatr Biuro Podrózy’s ‘Macbeth’ I believe that anyone who witnesses it will never think of theatre, or Shakespeare, in the same way again. The Abbey’s production of ‘Terminus’ by Mark O’Rowe will take your breath away and DV8's ‘To Be Straight With You’ has picked up some of the world's most prestigious awards.

Then there's no less than four concerts by celebrated violinist Tasmin Little, Opera North, a sensational Irish traditional music concert, Broadway diva Barbara Cook, African desert band Tinariwen, Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi, the return of Fascinating Aida, jazz bingo, a Dutch surrealist, Noam Chomsky, and a new play in North Belfast's synagogue."

Valery Gergiev to conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra

 Cormac McCarthy, Chief Executive, Ulster Bank Group said the programme reflected Northern Ireland’s ability to attract performers and fans from across the globe. “We are very pleased to continue our association with the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s which is the flagship Festival for Northern Ireland and boasts a truly international programme. Our investment in the Festival recognises its importance to the community and the economy of Northern Ireland.  The Festival programme offers a diverse and international line up again this year, which will appeal to all tastes."      

Vice Chair of the Arts Council said the line-up will demonstrate how the arts can portray us in a positive light. “The Ulster Bank Festival at Queen’s is an excellent platform for showcasing a diverse range of talent from around the world. The Festival is part of Polska! Year with a number of Polish performers including the Zbigniew Namyslowski Big Band and the multi-talented Karbido visiting.  The Festival also boasts a Russian playwright, a group from Minnesota, a Bollywood Club Night and a Dutch maestro amongst others.  In addition it provides the platform for the cream of local talent including Prime Cut, Kabosh and the Ulster Orchestra to take their rightful place amongst the best in the world.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Naomi Long, said she was delighted that the timing of the festival coincides with the programme of celebration for the re-opening of Belfast City Hall and many of the events will be held in the newly refurbished iconic building.  “This is the 47th year of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's and it paved the path for the numerous festivals and events we now take for granted,” she said.

“It has always been a beacon to attract visitors and is still the biggest Festival in Northern Ireland.  In addition to the Waterfront Hall and the Grand Opera House, the Festival is also returning to the newly refurbished Ulster Hall and Ulster Museum as well as those venues off the beaten track such as Barrow Square, Clonard Monastery, May Street Church and the Synagogue in North Belfast, leaving local audiences and visitors alike in no doubt that Belfast is a capital of culture.”

Details of all shows and booking can be found on

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