Following the announcement by the NI Executive on further restrictions from 27 November, the opening of The Star Factory in the grounds of City Hall has been postponed and it will not open on Saturday 21 November as planned.
It will now open on Saturday 12 December, subject to restrictions at that time, and there are plans to extend its run to Sunday 10 January. Sorry for any disappointment. Ticket holders will be contacted directly to rearrange bookings – keep an eye on Belfast City Councils website and Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Please note all tickets for the Star Factory have now been allocated.
The grounds of Belfast City Hall will be transformed into a dazzling, immersive, interactive lighting and sound experience this Christmas! Book your slot at this socially-distanced festive event, and find more information, frequently asked questions, terms and conditions and track and trace information below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my tickets?
Tickets are available to book online from visitbelfast.com and limited to 6 per booking. You must have the QR code ready to scan on your smartphone or print off all your ticket/s in advance. Please remember to click through for your tickets as the email confirmation will not suffice as a booking. Due to high demand there will be a queueing system for online tickets please wait in the queue, be patient and do not refresh.
Does everyone need a ticket including infants?
All patrons attending require a ticket, this includes young children in pushchairs.
I require an accessible ticket, how do I get one?
The Star Factory, at City Hall, is fully accessible and tickets can be booked online as above.
Relaxed Sensory Sessions: On Sunday 29 December from 4pm to 8.30pm the Star Factory will be adapted to accommodate those with sensory and sensitive needs. For example, strong flashing lights, loud sound effects will be adjusted for the evening. For more information contact the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609.
Where are the entry points to the Star Factory?
The entry point is located at the front of City Hall on Donegall Square North. Please follow social distancing guidance and advice from stewards. See signs within the area and speak to stewards on the ground
What time do the entry points open at/close at?
A time slot will have to be booked when making your booking to visit the Star Factory, please arrive on time for your booked time slot as late arrivals may be denied access.
Do you need to be at the Star Factory at a certain time?
You will have to arrive at the gate as per your booked time slot. Please arrive 5 minutes before your allocated slot to allow time for a pre-entry COVID-19/health and safety briefing. You may be asked to wait without joining the queue if you arrive significantly early. See signs within the area and speak to stewards on the ground.
What time does the Star Factory start and end at?
The Star Factory will run daily from 21 November to 20 December 2020 from 4pm to 9pm – last entry will be at 8.30pm. Time slots are for the organisers to minimise how many groups are on site at any one time and to ensure social distancing is adhered to at all times.
What happens when I arrive?
There will be clear signage indicating the entry point on Donegall Square North. Please report to the entry point, following the social distancing ground markers and report to the steward on duty. Please have your QR scan codes on your smartphone and/or printed ticket/s ready for scanning.
Will I need to wear a face covering?
No. They are not required for outdoor venues, the Star Factory is entirely outdoors. The use of face coverings is now required in certain indoor settings across Northern Ireland. This includes shops, shopping centres, public, private and school transport services, taxis, airplanes, public transport stations and airports, banks and some government offices.
Is first aid available on site? Yes
Will the Star Factory be stewarded? Yes
Can I take photos and videos throughout the show?
Yes, but these must be for personal use only and should only be shared on personal social media channels. They should not be used for commercial purposes. Please use our hashtag #BelfastBelieves if posting photos and images for personal use.
Are there public toilets available?
No. Due to COVID-19 there are no public conveniences at the Star Factory. However, some of the Council’s other city centre facilities may be open elsewhere in the city centre.
If I leave the venue will I be able to get back in?
Re-entry cannot be guaranteed if a person leaves.
Where are the parking facilities?
There is no designated parking but Star Factory visitors are encouraged to use city centre car parks.
Is there any public transport running especially for the installation?
No. Translink services will be running during the Star Factory so please check translink.co.uk for updates.
Do I need to bring ID?
No, however children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult defined as a responsible person aged 18 or over.
Are there food/drink stalls? No
Are you allowed to bring alcohol to the venue? No
If I need to change my booking is this possible?
As demand is likely to be very high, unfortunately bookings cannot be changed. Although, you may make a new and separate booking if there are available slots.
I have a booking but have got Covid-19 symptoms.
DO NOT attend the Star Factory. Please stay at home and follow Public Health guidelines. Also note demand is likely to be very high and unfortunately bookings cannot be changed. Although, you may make a new and separate booking if there are available slots.
I need to cancel my tickets.
If for any reason you are unable to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel your tickets. State name, booking reference, date and time. This may allow for someone else to avail of these tickets.
If I feel unwell during my visit to Star Factory, what should I do?
Please speak to your nearest steward who will assist you. There will be first aiders on site.
Can I attend without a booking in advance?
No, you should book online in order secure your time slot as numbers need to be kept to a minimum and ensure social distancing. Therefore, it is strongly advised you book in advance.
Can I access City Hall during the Star Factory event?
No. Public access to the City Hall is currently closed.
Terms and Conditions
- Access tickets are limited to a maximum of 6 persons per booking and must be shown on entry to the site either via a smartphone or paper copy.
- There is a single designated entrance and exit point and we ask ticket holders to use these.
- Ticket holders and their party must stay in their group/social bubble with a maximum of six persons in each group. No persons should attend the Star Factory if they are self-isolating, awaiting a COVID-19 test or if they feel unwell and have any COVID-19 symptoms. All attendees should adhere to 2m social distancing from people outside their group. Groups should not mix with other groups attending the Star Factory. All attendees must not touch any part of the displays and keep to the designated routes and follow the directions given by staff and stewards.
- Ticket holders release Belfast City Council (BCC) from any liability for any loss or damage to personal property that may be suffered in relation to the Star Factory. Except as required by law, BCC shall not have any liability to ticket holders.
- Tickets may not be sold (including by way of auction) nor advertised for sale.
- Tickets may not be used for advertising, promotion, fundraising, charity events or marketing purposes (including in competitions, contests and sweepstakes).
- Ticket holders understand that the arrangements for the Star Factory may be affected by circumstances beyond the control of the organisers, inclusive of restrictions connected to COVID-19, which may result in a delay, postponement or cancellation of the Star Factory without notice and that BCC the organisers shall not have any liability to ticket holders in respect of such delay, postponement or cancellation.
- Ticket holders consent to being filmed, photographed and recorded and understand that photographs, films or recordings of ticket holders may be broadcast, published, licensed. Approval from official photographers will request personal detail and ticket holders approval to take, store and use such images.
- Ticket holders agree that any images, videos, or sound recordings taken at the venue may only be used for private and domestic purposes and cannot be used for any commercial purposes, whether on the internet or otherwise.
- Ticket holders may not engage in any activity which the organisers consider to be related to unauthorised marketing or advertising (including, for the avoidance of doubt, individual or group ambush marketing). The organiser reserves the right to refuse admission to, or eject from, the premises any person who fails to comply with this restriction.
- Access to the official site will be by ticket only.
- The site is accessible to wheelchair users and accessible for people with sensory disabilities.
- Parking is not available at the venue.
- No alcohol or food is permitted on site.
- Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult defined as a responsible person aged 18 or over.
- Patrons are asked to note that the Star Factory is set in an outdoor venue and young children must be kept under adult supervision at all times.
- Should you leave the site you may not be able to re-enter; this will be at the discretion of the stewards and may be dependant on the site reaching capacity.
- Assistance dogs only.
- No glassware or cans permitted on site.
- No barbeques or naked flames.
- Charity collections, leafleting or other promotional activity are not permitted onsite.
- Belfast City Council requests that patrons assist in creating a shared space. Therefore, the organisers reserve the right to restrict access to its events if it is deemed, by the Council, that a patron(s) is/are in breach of this position. Belfast City Council also has a duty to ensure various equality rights are protected under Section75 of the Northern Ireland Act, and reserves the right to restrict access to events should a patron be behaving in a way that is likely to constitute a breach of these obligations.
- Once on site you assume all risk of injury and all responsibility for property loss, destruction or theft, and release organisers, sponsors, performers, venue and their employees from any liability.
- This installation will happen regardless of weather conditions, so please dress accordingly.
- Belfast City Council has the right to refuse admission.
- Belfast City Hall is currently closed to public access, so those attending the Star Factory cannot enter the building.
- You may be asked to undergo a search on entry and will be subject to a health and safety briefing including COVID-19 restrictions. Failure to co-operate may delay or restrict your entry.
- Belfast City Council reserves the right to make any alterations to the advertised details for the Star Factory.
Track and Trace Information
Recording customer details in regard to COVID19: how we use your information
To support NHS Test and Trace, we have been mandated by law to collect and keep a limited record of staff, customers and visitors who utilise the City Hall Star Trail for the purpose of contact tracing. By maintaining these records and sharing these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, we can help to identify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
As a customer/visitor of Visit Belfast you will be asked to provide some basic information and contact details. The following information will be collected and shared with Belfast City Council:
- the names of all customers or visitors, or if it is a group of people, the name of one member of the group
- a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people
- date of visit and arrival time and departure time
Visit Belfast as the data controllers for the collection of your personal data, will be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for the period of time it holds the information. When that information is requested by the NHS Test and Trace service, the NHS would at this point be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for that period of time.
The NHS Test and Trace service as part of safeguarding your personal data, has in place technical, organisational and administrative security measures to protect your personal information that it receives from Visit Belfast, that it holds from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. In line with NHS Test and Trace Visit Belfast will retain this information for 21 days from the date of your visit, to enable contact tracing to be carried out by NHS Test and Trace during that period. We will only share information with NHS Test and Trace if it is specifically requested by them.
For example, if another customer at the Star Trail reported symptoms and subsequently tested positive, NHS Test and Trace can request the log of customer details for a particular time period (for example, this may be all customers who visited on a particular day or time-band, or over a 2-day period).
All visits are via a pre-booked appointment and no forms will be completed at the venue (City Hall).
Under government guidance, the information we collect may include information which we would not ordinarily collect from you and which we therefore collect only for the purpose of contact tracing. Information of this type will not be used for other purposes, and NHS Test and Trace will not disclose this information to any third party unless required to do so by law (for example, as a result of receiving a court order). In addition, where the information is only collected for the purpose of contact tracing, it will be deleted or destroyed by us 21 days after the date of your visit.
However, the government guidance may also cover information that we would usually collect and hold onto as part of our ordinary dealings with you (perhaps, for example, your name, date of birth and phone number). Where this is the case, this information only will continue to be held after 21 days and we will use it as we usually would, unless and until you tell us not to.
Your information will always be stored and used in compliance with the relevant data protection legislation. The use of your information is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations Article 6 (1) (c) – a legal obligation to which we as a venue/establishment are subject to. The legal obligation to which we’re subject, means that we’re mandated by law, by a set of new regulations from the government, to co-operate with the NHS Test and Trace service, in order to help maintain a safe operating environment and to help fight any local outbreak of corona virus.
If you have any queries regarding the processing of your personal data, please contact email@example.com.
Visit Belfast, Ticketing, 9 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GB
If you wish to contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer, please write to:
Belfast City Council, City Hall Belfast, BT1 5GS or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org