Festival of Fools

The carnival of circus, magic and mesmerising feats rolls back into Belfast with 120 outdoor performances across the May Day weekend

Festival Details


Friday, 29 April 2016 to Monday, 02 May 2016



This May Day Bank Holiday weekend the Festival of Fools promises a packed programme of dare devil feats, fast paced acrobatics, heart-stopping Hip Hop, mesmerising object manipulation, and laugh out loud comedy. Belfast's favourite family friendly festival returns for its 13th edition from Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May.

More than 120 performances will take place across the streets of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter, free of charge. You don’t even need to book. Top notch artists from Poland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Holland and Finland will entertain you with stories of love; acrobatic impossibilities; record breaking unicycling; puppet magicians; award winning juggling; and stunning circus.

The festival opens on Friday 29 April at 7pm in Writers’ Square with a premiere from Les Dudes. Coming from Montreal – home of contemporary circus - both performers have previously toured with Cirque du Soleil. They are fresh from a run of 300 shows in 25 countries with their new show. Their impressive circus skills will take your breath away and have you doubled over with laughter.

The festival treats continue on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday with comedy, circus, dance, puppetry, magic, live music, and visual arts all on the menu. Each evening finishes with The Big Finish - a variety style show featuring highlights from the day’s acts in the relaxed surroundings of Saint Anne’s Square.

You can expect bizarre sightings of aubergines in nappies being bottle fed by the Vegetable Nannies and non-existent wounds being patched up by the accident prone St Joan’s Ambulance as you make your way between shows in Bank Square, Cornmarket, Cotton Court, Saint Anne’s Square and Writers’ Square. Shows take place in close walking distance to each other, so there’s literally something happening around every corner!

For the full timetable of acts and more information visit www.foolsfestival.com/2016.