Three of Belfast’s biggest arts festivals will be joining forces for an outdoor extravaganza for this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.
The festival — which kicks off on October 17 — will work alongside East Belfast Arts Festival and Féile an Phobail for the first time when the award-winning Tumble Circus unveil their new performance Damn the Circus in Belmont Park in the east of the city and at the Falls Park in west Belfast.
Described as “turning the circus tradition upside down”, Damn the Circus tells the story of just how hard it is to make the dream of circus a reality, and features all the usual big top delights such as a trapeze, juggling and clowns — just not as audiences might expect.
“We are extremely lucky in Belfast to have a number of fantastic festivals all offering unique experiences for audiences throughout the city,” said Belfast Festival director Richard Wakely. “This collaboration is recognition that as an arts community we all share the city and captures the opportunity to jointly provide arts for everyone.”
Kevin Gamble, director of Féile an Phobail, said he was looking forward to the new collaboration: “Audiences in west Belfast have enjoyed the expanding programme that we have been delivering year on year and this partnership is another chance to provide something exciting for west Belfast audiences. To work alongside both these festivals shows the unity that exists within the arts community and demonstrates how the city can work together to provide new and exciting experiences.”
Meanwhile, Mimi Turtle, Chair of the East Belfast Arts Festival, said partnership within the arts was very important. “As an arts festival we are at the early stages of development having just completed our second year,” she said. “The artistic passion and appetite in the east of the city is growing rapidly and we relish the opportunity to work with these two festivals to bring another new experience to the east for our local audiences. “
This year’s festival — which is sponsored by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the EU and the British Council, among others — will run from October 17-27 and tickets for events are on sale now.
Damn the Circus takes place at Belmont Park, Belfast, on October 19 & 20 and at Falls Park, Belfast, on October 26 & 27. For details, visit www.belfastfestival.com or tel: 028 9097 1197