Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Arts Festival brings iconic African and American musicians to the city

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo
Eric Bibb

Belfast International Arts Festival has announced its first two headline acts for 2018 - Africa’s "premier diva" Angélique Kidjo and US folk and blues legend Eric Bibb.

The world class musicians will performing back to back concerts in the Grand Opera House, with Angélique taking to the stage on 29 October, followed on the 30 October by Eric.

One of the Guardian’s Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and three time Grammy winner Beninese singer-songwriter, actress and activist, Angélique Kidjo will perform her latest work, an interpretation of The Talking Heads classic 80s album, Remain in Light. 

For the record, Angélique partnered with super producer Jeff Bhasker, who has worked with Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, and Jay-Z.

Meanwhile, having previously wowed audiences during the 2013 Belfast International Arts Festival, Eric Bibb will return to the city with his music rooted in tradition.

Eric's new work has been called “classy and consistent”, “uplifting” and “inspiring” with a spiritual aspect indelibly etched into its core.

Eric Bibb_preview.jpeg
Eric Bibb

These two spectacular events will be part of the annual Belfast International Arts Festival taking place from 16 October to 4 November and featuring artists and performers from home and abroad for a world class programme of theatre, performance art, visual art, dance and music.

Festival Director, Richard Wakely, said he is looking forward to the 56th edition of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts event.

He aded: “These two signature concerts from two of the world’s greatest musicians reflect a changing, exciting and culturally vibrant city and our enduring love of music from all traditions and backgrounds.

"To be able to present such critically and popularly acclaimed artists such as Angélique Kidjo and Eric Bibb is a real honour for us and a treat for music lovers everywhere”.

The Belfast International Arts Festival is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and British Council.

Tickets are available now from or via the Grand Opera House box office at

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