The EastSide Arts Festival showcases the talent of east Belfast and serves up a sizzling feast of events.

Explore the east of the city, its people and places during a fantastic 11-day festival packed with music and words, theatre, film, tours, visual arts, workshops and community events, all rounded off with the EastSide Family Circus and Big Top weekend.
For more information on all events, please visit

EastSide Festival Fun Day

Saturday 4 August, 12pm - 3pm, CS Lewis Square, Free
You are invited to the EastSide Street Party! Join the second annual Festival Fun Day in CS Lewis Square, where you will find an incredible array of fun festival activities for the whole family. This year’s street party themed day includes Swing Dancing workshops, a Teddy Bears Picnic, face painting, balloon modelling, yarnbombing, craft workshops, live music, street games and circus performances.
Don't miss:
  • Live Music with The Martello Jazz Band 
  • Swing Belfast dance demo 
  • Tumble Circus Street Performance 
  • Face Painting & amp; Balloon Modelling with Funky Fun
  • Yarnbombing with Redhead Thread 
  • Teddy Bears Picnic.

CS Lewis Walking Tour

Wednesday 8 August, 10am, Meet at EastSide Visitor Centre, £10
Clive Staples Lewis was born and grew up in east Belfast, in the shadow of Cave Hill and the shipyard. Join local historian and tour guide Laura Spence to visit places associated with the writer’s early life. Book tickets at >>

EastSide Family Circus

Saturday 11 August at 11am and Sunday 12 August at 11am and 3pm at CS Lewis Square - Big Top
Adult £10, Kids £6.50, Family (2 adults and 2 kids) £30
Following a brilliant performances in the Big Top last year, Tumble Circus is back! A gang of acrobats, jugglers and aerialists engaged in the pursuit of circus devilment. Forget what you think about circus and give yourself and your family one hammer-smashing great hour of revolutionary, comedic Belfast-inspired circus. Book tickets at >>


4 and 5 August
Two parks and lots of free fun for families to enjoy. Take part in the first ever Parkfest at C.S. Lewis Square and Orangefield Park, featuring arts, crafts, performances, tandem bikes plus lots more!

Music and Words

Across the festival enjoy a wide range of live music, storytelling, poetry and literature from well-known Northern Ireland artists and east Belfast residents such as Anthony Toner, Jan Carson, Ken Haddock, Stuart Bailie, and Andrea Montgomery.


Lots of exciting and interesting performances are on offer including a special rehearsed reading of Jimmy Ellis: Home Again, an autobiography by the late east Belfast actor James Ellis, of his childhood years spent in Park Avenue. Look out for other gems including Jade City and East Belfast Boy.


Back by popular demand is the hugely popular Murder She Got Wrote off, budding Jessica Fletchers required!  Plus check out Ruairi Woods live at Strand Arts Centre and Those Who Can’t comedy trio.

Events at the Big Top

A big hit last year and back for 5 days this year is the Big Top at C.S. Lewis Square. Lots of great family fun events include circus workshops, performances and the Big Fish Little Fish family rave! Featured music includes Celtic Soul, the definitive Van Morrison tribute, playing the iconic album Astral Weeks, Hothouse Flowers and Camille O’Sullivan. Also look out for a special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a late-night Circus Cabaret celebrating 250 years of Circus.

Visual Art

Visit a wide range of venues including Framewerk, EastSide Gallery and Old Belfast Met Tower Street were you will be treated to some extraordinary visual art experiences from a range of local artists. A key highlight is a sleepover at St Martin’s Church, Ballymacarrett, hosted by Framewerk.


As well as hosting theatre and music events the iconic Strand Arts Centre will show a range of  film screenings such as G.I. Blues featuring Elvis Presley ( 2 August) and The Court Jester featuring Angela Lansbury.

Workshop and Classes

If you’ve been itching try something creative, here’s your chance! Come to one of the art-themed workshops with Maitri Studio or join east Belfast based writer Jan Carson and write your own piece of magical realism fiction.

Tours and Talks

Whether it’s by bus, foot or bike there is a tour to suit all interests. From photos of days gone by to musical and literary icons to walks in glens or greenways, or a visit to well know places, you will be surprised by what you see and hear. Back by popular demand is the Translink East West Bus Trip with Stephen Beggs and Paddy McDonnell. New for this year is a unique and entertaining trip on the new Glider, a partnership with Culturlann and Feile 30, which offers you the chance to be entertained by artists and storytellers and nourished by delicious food from across the city, all from the comfort of your Glider seat.

Upcoming events at Various locations

Belfast Film Festival
Belfast Film Festival

Belfast Film Festival 2019

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Belfast Film Festival launches its 19th annual festival of premieres, unique events and the best in world cinema.

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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2018
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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2019

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06-12 May

One of the most dynamic arts festivals on the island returns for its 20th year in Belfast's famous Cathedral Quarter.

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Belfast Pride 2018
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Belfast Pride Festival 2019

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27 Jul-05 Aug

Belfast Pride Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Belfast and runs over 100 events across 10 days in a celebration of the LGBTQA+ co...

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Festival of Fools

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04-06 May

This May Day Bank Holiday weekend, the Festival of Fools brings a jam-packed programme of circus, acrobatics, comedy and juggling to the str...

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