Moondance Roots Festival

Two days of intercultural music and storytelling reflecting Belfast as a changing city from its new Folktown quarter

Festival Details


Friday, 30 September 2016 to Saturday, 01 October 2016



Appalachian bluegrass, Argentinian Tango, a street Ceilidh, and a pop-up orchestra of refugees and asylum seekers - just some of the highlights of Moondance Roots Festival at Bank Square in Belfast on September 30 and October 1.

Folktown, Belfast’s emerging cultural quarter, is hosting its second global Folk and Roots Festival with support from the Department for Communities. The renamed Moondance Roots Festival will feature the Broken String Band, which plays high energy Appalachian mountain music, while Bal Feirste is kicking off the party on the square on Saturday with French Folk music and dance. Everybody can join in at this free event.

And the Orchestre Des Refugiés et Amis, a group of musicians formed by Beyond Skin and facilitated by musician and human rights campaigner Joby Fox will also perform at this family friendly festival which features acoustic roots music, storytelling, artisan food and craft beer.

It is not a traditional orchestra but a space where musicians from other parts of the world work together, collaborate and perform. It was created by Beyond Skin and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Intercultural Arts Programme.

Moondance will also feature discussions about the future of Belfast City Centre, and the Folktown area and its vital role in stitching the city back together post-Troubles. One of Belfast’s leading writers Martin Lynch will host a storytelling event with key people from in and around the Folktown area. The aim of these events is to showcase unique and historic part of Belfast.

Folktown CIC was set up to regenerate and revitalise the Bank Street, Berry Street, King Street and Castle Street area of the city. As well as its weekly Thursday and Friday evening markets it has created a number of other great initiatives including a story-telling festival, an oral history project and new public artwork.

To find out more about Moondance and other Folktown events, visit