Count Down to Culture Night Belfast

With over 250 free events across the city, organisers are promising an even bigger celebration following last year's record-breaking crowds

The programme has been unveiled for one of the biggest celebrations of Northern Ireland's cultural calendar, with Culture Night Belfast set to transform the city centre for an eighth successive year on Friday, September 16.

Over 250 free family-friendly events will take place across the historic Cathedral Quarter and beyond in an evening of cultural exploration and adventure.

At a launch event, which took place at The Dark Horse tea rooms in the Cathedral Quarter, Culture Night organisers revealed a programme brimming with diversity that is set to showcase the city’s wealth of cultural output.

From dozens of street performances, theatre, live bands, talks and tours and the return of the traditional Culture Night big drum circle all the way through to pantomime horse racing, wrestling, Street Countdown and a live Father Ted Podcast.

Other highlights in this year’s packed programme include the return of My Big Fat Gay Wedding, medieval sword fighting (in a carpark of course), a power ballad karaoke competition, the slow bike race and the raucous return of Belfast Rockets roller derby champions in Writer’s Square.

Last year’s event attracted a record-breaking 65,000 people into the city centre to dive into the whirlwind experience. Culture Night Belfast Manager Adam Turkington said visitors this year could expect 'something surprising and delightful around every corner'.

'People always promise ‘something for everyone’. The difference is that Culture Night can actually stand by those claims! Every year, people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities converge on the city centre to celebrate the diversity and variety of Culture Night. This year’s event promises to be even more exciting.

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'I’m hugely proud of what we’ve achieved with Culture Night. The momentum continues to grow as Belfast’s artists, creative practitioners and businesses come together to offer an enticing snapshot of the quality and depth of cultural activity in our city.

He added: 'There’s so much happening on the September 16 that I invite everyone who’s curious or even unsure to come on down and join us. We promise you’ll have an unforgettable evening. And we promise that this year’s Culture Night will be better than ever.'

The central theme of this year’s Culture Night is 'Breaking Bread', with the emphasis on community and people sharing cultural experiences, space, food and time together. This summer, the event's social media campaign brought strangers together to enjoy a meal in some of Belfast’s most interesting eateries for a prelude of what may be the most ambitious Culture Night project to date.

Organisers are planning to invite thousands to break bread together around a giant trestle table on Donegall Street, using only locally, ethically sourced produce! It promises to be Belfast’s biggest ever shared feast in the midst of the city’s biggest ever Culture Night.

For full Culture Night Belfast programme information visit www.culturenightbelfast.com.