The countdown is under way to this summer’s biggest outdoor music festival in Belfast — Belsonic.
Last-minute preparations will be taking place on site throughout the weekend as Custom House Square in the city centre is transformed into a 5,000-capacity concert venue.
A host of international acts, as well as local bands and artists, will take to the stage over three days next week as the square — normally home to skateboarders and office workers — becomes a state-of-the-art party arena.
Belsonic kicks off on Monday night with performances by festival favourites The Flaming Lips — their only Irish show of 2008. The US alt rock band, renowned for their theatrical live shows, will be supported by Mogwai, Dublin artist Jape and Belfast’s own duo, Oppenheimer.
The music will continue on Thursday night, when Coventry band The Enemy who charted at number one with their debut album We’ll Live and Die In These Towns roll into town with special guests Reverend and the Makers, Future of the Left and local acts Fighting With Wire and General Fiasco.
The festival wraps up on Friday night with a headlining performance by Liverpool’s party band The Zutons, whose track Valerie was later reworked by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse, spending 100 weeks in the Radio Airplay Charts.
The Zutons will be supported by Mercury Music Prize nominees The Go! Team, as well as Mystery Jets, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Delorentos and Belfast’s Skibunny DJs.
Following the cancellation of this year’s Tennents ViTal festival, due to the lack of strong headline acts, Belsonic is set to be Belfast’s main music event this summer.
The team behind the event began working on site yesterday
and the stage, created in England by Roger Barrett of the Star Group, is expected to be erected tomorrow, at the north end of the square.
The sound system has been provided by a Northern Ireland-based company, Production House Group, while stage lighting is being supplied and installed by another local company, Production Services Ireland. In additional to the Belsonic technical set up, The Flaming Lips will be using a touring Mitrix LED screen and lasers to add visual impact to their already famous stage antics.
Belsonic co-promoter Phil Donaldson said: “In putting together the production, great care was taken to make every element as good as possible for the occasion and fully appropriate the space.
“We consulted widely, sourced the best options available locally and where there were gaps, we went further afield to complete the presentation. We are sure it’ll be something special and something to be proud of for all concerned.”