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Belfast Culture Night 'reminds you that the city has a lot of soul'

Thousands of festival goers enjoy the family friendly, carnival-like atmosphere and variety of events

By Luke Barnes

Thousands flocked to the centre of Belfast on Friday for this year's Culture Night.

Revellers were treated to wrestling matches, BMX biking displays and live music on every corner.

The mood among festival goers was nearly unanimously upbeat.

Wrestler Brian Norton, who goes by the stage name "The Northern Irish Nightmare", said: "I genuinely love it. This is the third year we've done it and there's literally something for everybody."

Norton, who is 7 ft, said he was tempted to go try out some power ballad karaoke once he was done in the ring.

Hal Rowlinson, an architecture student at Queen's University, said: "It's nice to see the city come out like this.

"Sometimes Belfast can be far too quiet for my liking and it reminds you that the city has a lot of soul to it."

The family friendly atmosphere of the night was also praised.

Gerry Owens, who'd been enjoying the variety of live music on show over the night, said: "I like the idea that people of all ages are enjoying themselves tonight.

"I know people who come to Belfast for the pub culture and they enjoy it and like the crack - but that's a very one-sided view of the city."

Gerry added that he thought Culture Night was an excellent example of how the lively arts scene in Belfast was slowly on the rise.

Londonderry also got in on the act, as the city held a series of events to mark their Culture Night.

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