Belfast is home to the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival in Ireland and the city has a thriving LGBTQI+ community and gay scene.
Belfast Pride Festival
Belfast Pride 2023 will run from Friday 21 July to Sunday 30 July with Pride Day on Saturday 29 July. 50,000 people attend Belfast Pride Festival events, with around 150 events taking place in the run up to Pride Day, including music, exhibitions, talks, workshops, arts and family fun.
Outburst Queer Arts Festival
The annual Outburst Queer Arts Festival is packed with theatre, film, music, visual art and discussions which explore and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender stories and experiences. It aims to bring you the very best in queer talent. The 17th Outburst Queer Arts Festival will take place from Friday 10 November until Saturday 18 November.
Belfast's best gay bars and clubs are located in the city's Gay Quarter area, north of the city centre on the edge of the Cathedral Quarter.
The city’s most famous gay club is probably Kremlin on Donegall Street. A Soviet-style industrial opulence exudes throughout the venue’s extravagant decor, with the Tsar Cocktail Lounge, the Long Bar and Red Square continuing the communist-chic vibe. A huge variety of theme nights, celebrity performances and the friendliest up-for-it clubbers gives Kremlin the reputation of being the best gay venue in Ireland.
Union Street Bar
Situated in a 19th century shoe factory, Union Street Bar is one of the city’s most stylish bars with a cool yet comfy vibe. Upstairs, the Green Room Cocktail Lounge is particularly worth a visit, and the adjoining Shoe Factory provides wacky entertainment, from bingo and karaoke to quizzes and cabaret.
Maverick Bar on Union Street is a popular gay bar, well-loved for its eclectic live music nights and comedy shows. The open mic sessions are unmissable, taking place every Wednesday.
The Reporter is a great bar to enjoy a night out. Situated on Union Street, neighbouring the Irish News offices and the old Belfast Telegraph building, this intimate bar’s warm and welcoming interior is clad with artefacts and memorabilia, illustrating the city’s colourful history through the eyes of the press.
Gay-friendly bars include Muriel’s Café Bar on Church Lane and The Spaniard on Skipper Street.
Cabaret Supper Club
Cabaret is a luxurious supper club. Enjoy live burlesque, contortionists, magicians, comedians, bands, even famous local artists, while you enjoy a sumptuous meal served by your own Cabaret Butler and all of this in the convenience of a Belfast City Centre venue.
Head to Boombox Belfast on Donegall Street in the Gay Quarter. This club hosts some of the best drag acts, internationally and locally. Make sure you keep an eye out for Belfast’s fiercest drag talent.
The Black Box
The Black Box on Hill Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter is central to Outburst Queer Arts Festival events and always has something interesting going on performance-wise all year round.
Dragged Out Saturdays
A full day of Drag Queens GALORE at Union Street Bar for the best Saturday out in Belfast! Tina Leggs Tantrum kicks it all off at 5pm with T’OKIE – a wild ride with karaoke, cabaret and more laughs than you can handle! From 8pm Sabrina Bewitched takes the reins with her guests for night of cabaret, games and comedy before DJ Roxy Tumbledryer spins the decks from 10pm into the wee hours!
Drag Shows at The Tipsy Bird
The Tipsy Bird’s Drag Extravaganza and Drag Brunches have been incredibly popular! The Queens that are Trudy Scrumptious, Etta Stiletta and Roxy Tumbledryer will be back to entertain you whilst you sip on a selection of cocktails.
Belfast LGBT Centre
The Belfast LGBT Centre is located at 23-31 Waring Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, which houses a number of charities including the Rainbow Project and Cara Friend, providing counselling, befriending, information and a health and social space for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.