Culture Night Belfast: Five things not to miss
Streets of Belfast transformed into giant stage as jam-packed annual arts extravanza gets under way
The wait is over as tonight the streets of Belfast will be transformed into a stage as all types of performances take place across the bustling city for the sixth Culture Night Belfast.
You won't have to travel far to be entertained with more than 250 events planned for the Cathedral Quarter, city centre and beyond.
Indoor and outside venues will be full of activity, lights and sound with a number of events taking place at locations such as the Albert Clock, the Harp Bar and even Fusco's Ice Cream Parlour off the Andersonstown Road – and what's more, it's all free.
Last year more than 40,000 people enjoyed the festivities that took over the city and this year organiser's are confident they will do exactly the same again.
Today's jam-packed programme for Culture Night Belfast (CNB), which is backed by the Belfast Telegraph, kicks off at 4pm and runs on to late this evening and there are treats for all of your senses from musical performances, demonstrations, recitals, gigs and tours of the city – all with plenty of interaction.
So no matter what you are in the mood for, there will be something just for you.
Excitement has been building and the final touches and rehearsals are taking place today ahead of what is the highly anticipated spectacle of colour and music. Among the treats in store for tonight's extravaganza include the music of Joni Mitchell performed by Shadows & Light at St Anne's Cathedral from 7pm to 8.30pm in an event brought to you by the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
Culture Night goers will have the rare opportunity to enjoy the music in the special ambience of the cathedral.
Before that there will be Choral Evensong from 5.30pm to 6.10pm in the same venue.
In another unique experience, there will be a magical mystery twilight cycle tour from 5-8pm.
The guided magical mystery Belfast cycle tour at St Anne's Square promises it will get to places others can't.
It includes a twilight bike-lit river crossing, spectral alleyways and mysterious venues with Belfast tapas en route – all at a leisurely pace on city cruiser bikes with intelligent sensor technology and "cool and quirky co-riders".
Meanwhile, a dance party will be taking place in Cathedral Gardens in Donegall Street with Dance Dhamaka! From 5pm-5.20pm there will be a dance party with music from around the world presented by ArtsEkta. Dance Dhamaka (meaning 'bang' in Indian) promises to bring audiences on a dazzling dance journey across the globe.
Or alternatively you could take part in some medieval fencing in the Black Box car park. From 4-9pm on the hour the Medieval Combat Group will put on demonstrations and workshops.
CNB manager Adam Turkington said: "No other event in Northern Ireland attracts the variety of submissions and captures the imagination of the population quite like CNB, and that's why it works."
CNB is supported by a range of organisations including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Belfast Telegraph, Arts and Business Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development, the Community Relations Council, HSS Hire, Third Source, Translink and Ewarts.
Belfast Telegraph headliners!
See yourself on the front page! The Belfast Telegraph will be projecting your own headlines onto the side of their iconic Royal Avenue HQ between 19:00 - 22:00. Come down and play editor for the night!
Film hub Northern Ireland in the city
Takeover Cinema, Cinemagic and QFT will be showing films you know and films you definitely don't at this open air cinema between 18:00 - 23:00
Takeover Film Festival, Cinemagic and other Film Hub NI members will be showing films you know and films you definitely don't at this open air cinema! Film Hub NI, funded by BFI, is a collective of film clubs, venues and cinemas all linked by a passion for and love of seeing film on the big screen. On Culture Night, each Hub member will programme 45 mins of their favourite films, showing films you've never seen, and favourites you'd forgotten. There will be popcorn too!
Keep up with the excitement on Twitter via @CultureNightBel and on Facebook if you search Culture Night Belfast