From explorations of prosecco-making to celebrations of traditional Irish music, there’s a huge variety of events planned for the rest of the year as part of the Belfast Festival Season for 2018.
With the annual Culture Night on the horizon this month, we’ve also got a film extravaganzas for young people to look forward to, spooky scenes on the Titanic Slipways and much, much more.
Here’s our guide to all the incredible festivals happening in the beautiful city of Belfast and what you can expect from them…
September | Belfast Festival Season
Enjoy a glass of bubbly at The Festival of Prosecco
When: 6 – 27 September
If you fancy a bit of the fizz, make sure you head over to The Merchant Hotel this September for the annual Prosecco showcase. There are five incredible events happening over the festival, including the Prosecco Supper Club on 25th, tasting flights on 20th and history masterclasses on 13th. Events are ticketed.
Experience culture overload at Belfast’s Culture Night
When: 21 September
Over 250 cultural activities and events are happening across the city-centre in one night for this culture extravaganza, including a tap-dancing world record attempt, lots of live music, art installations, performances and even street food markets at five locations! Read our guide to Culture Night Belfast 2018 for more information.
October | Belfast Festival Season
Cinemagic International Film & Television Festival for Young People
When: 5-28 October
Whether you’re 4 years old or 25, you’ll be able to find something to enjoy at the Cinemagic world cinema showcase. The 29th film festival returns with a jack-packed schedule for 2018, including film previews, classic screenings, workshops and masterclasses and plenty of exciting competitions.
Look out for the special preview of much-anticipated animated adventure Smallfoot from Warner Bros. and the world premiere of Cinemagic’s second homegrown feature film Grace and Goliath, which tells the story of a Hollywood movie star forced to stay with a Belfast family. Plus there will be masterclasses on music video production, diresting, casting and film production.
Industry guests visiting for Q&A and panels include Aardman Animation’s George Watson, Emmy award-winning Casting Director Carla Strong (Game of Thrones, The Fall) and Director David Caffrey (Line of Duty).
Sink some pints at the HMS Caroline Beer and Cider Festival
When: 6 October
Head to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and step inside grand warship HMS Caroline this October for day of everything hops-related.
The HMS Caroline Beer and Cider Festival will see the ship’s drill hall alive with demonstrations on pouring the perfect pint, tips on how to make the best beer and plenty of kegs at the bar for you to indulge in while listening to live music. Tickets are just £20 per person.
Go global at Belfast International Arts Festival
When: 16 October – 4 November
Be dazzled by a kaleidoscope of theatre, performance, art, music and much more as The Belfast International Arts Festival rolls into town.
Artists and performers from across the globe will be bringing a world class programme of arts to the city from contemporary to classical with plenty of interactive opportunities for the public to get involved.
Highlights of the 120 plus events include performances from American folk and blues legend Eric Bibb and Italian star of stage and screen Isabella Rossellini presenting her new one women show.
Feel freaky at Belfast Halloween Monster Mash
When: 31 October
Put a brave face on and head down to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter on Hallow’s Eve as it comes alive with ghouls, spiders and skeletons in a celebration of everything spooky for the Belfast Halloween Monster Mash. Enjoy workshops, crafts and monsters rides as well as scary street performers, plenty of live music and food stalls at the Titanic Slipways from 6pm. Plus catch a fearsome fireworks display at 8pm. Entry is free.
November | Belfast Festival Season
Return to Narnia at the CS Lewis Festival
When: 3 – 7 November
The legacy of born-and-bred Belfast author C S Lewis is set to be celebrated over four days, connecting the residents and visitors of Belfast to the places and people that inspired some of his most famous works.
With plenty of storytelling, talks, lectures, tours and workshops taking place across the C S Lewis festival, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to see and do. This year’s theme is “Of This and Other Worlds”, focusing on one of Lewis’ essay collections which explored Lewis’ thoughts on fantasy, science fiction and magic realism.
Events will revolve around the idea of exercising imaginations and considering non-realist art. More information is set to be announced in October.
Celebrate diversity at Outburst
When: 8 – 17 November
The 12th annual Outburst Queer Arts Festival kicks off in the Northern Irish capital this November with a varied programme of theatre, film, music, literature, visual art, discussion and debate.
Enjoy storytelling performance The Butch Monologues for an exploration of secret stories on sexuality, vulnerability and desire, or head to one of the many films showing at Queens Film Theatre to discover global LGBT+ movies telling groundbreaking truths.
Fleadh Feirste: The Gaeltacht Quarter Festival
When: 28 November – 2 December
Be immersed in in Irish language during Fleadh Feirste, as traditional music, art and poetry takes over the city for a celebration of Belfast’s heritage.
Enjoy specially commissioned work from artists, as well as plenty of live music on the Cultúrlann stage and performances from Robbie Hannan, Paddy Glackin and SÍOMHA.
December | Belfast Festival Season
Get ready for Christmas at The George Best Hotel
Get stuck into the Christmas season by celebrating with us at the soon-to-open George Best Hotel.
We’ll happily bring a sprinkle of magic to the most wonderful festival of the year, with sumptuous Christmas lunches and dazzling New Year’s Eve dinners to make the last moments of 2018 dazzle.
Book today to enjoy a decadent three-course festive meal on Christmas day for just £79 per guest, or pick a December date to enjoy a relaxed family lunch or festive business dinner in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
For more information, head to our blog about how you can join us for Christmas at The George Best Hotel.
Set to open autumn 2018 for restaurant bookings, and in February 2019 for hotel stays, The George Best Hotel is a tribute to the life and legacy of the world’s greatest footballer.
We can’t wait to enjoy Belfast Festival Season with you when the George Best Hotel opens its doors. To book one of our incredible Christmas packages, please contact our friendly team on 0151 236 0166.
To keep up to date with developments, competitions and offers at The George Best Hotel, make sure you’re following our Facebook page.