Culture Night Belfast: 10 wonderfully weird events from drinking songs and musical parsnips to knitting and giant croquet
As Culture Night kicks off, Amanda Ferguson picks 10 events packed into the schedule
Brace yourself Belfast. The wackiest, weirdest and most fun evening the city offers is here – the annual entertainment extravaganza known as Culture Night Belfast. From 4pm until late, the streets, spaces and places in the Cathedral Quarter and beyond will be bursting with dance, music, theatre, visual arts and workshops aplenty.
The line-up for the fifth Culture Night Belfast is bigger, better and brighter than ever, with more than 250 events at 100 venues to tickle your cultural tastebuds. Here are 10 of the wackiest.
1 Wheelworks Art Cart Fruit & Veg Orchestra.
If you've ever wanted permission to play with your dinner check out this amazing MaKey-MaKey electronic organic orchestra (right). Bananas, sweet potatoes and parsnips will be brought to musical life by electronic gadgets. People aged seven and up will be shown what to do or you can just listen to the sweet sounds of vitamins B, C and E. No musical experience is required. Donegall Street 6-8pm.
2 Wheels of Derby Belfast Roller Derby.
Roller derby is a frantic, complicated, theatrical sport with what seems like a million and one rules and no ball. Find out what a power jam is, why it's good to get a goat and why there's so many whistles. Writers' Square 7-10pm.
3 Meditation Flash Mob Wake Up Belfast.
Amid the madness of Culture Night take a few minutes to sit on the steps of the famous St Anne's Cathedral. A guided meditation flash mob will prepare you to continue on into the night's creative chaos. Everyone welcome. St Anne's Cathedral steps 7.30-7.50pm.
4 Floating Speakeasy Belfast Barge.
Belfast's most exclusive party brings you a taste of the roaring Twenties with a modern twist. Dance until you drop or simply soak up the atmosphere at the Galley Cafe, Belfast Barge from 8pm to midnight.
5 Opera's Greatest Drinking Songs, NI Opera.
NI Opera presents Opera's Greatest Drinking Songs (and Other Intoxicating Melodies). Sip along while raucous opera songs about boozing are performed at the John Hewitt pub, Donegall Street, 7-10pm on the hour and half hour.
6 Culture Knit Fever.
Local craft groups from Belfast and beyond cover Commercial Court in colourful knitting and crochet. Featuring work by Saturday Knit Fever, Key Skills for Sassy Sirens, Common Threads, Knitglected and SOCK, amongst others.
Knit one and purl two in Commerical Court and beyond from 4-10pm. If you would like to contribute please contact us at email@example.com
7 Street Countdown.
A street event of lexical dexterity and numerical agility, featuring vowels and consonants aplenty, but no Nick Hewer or Rachel Riley. Friday's event is based on an episode of hit C4 comedy The IT Crowd. Gordon Street 6-10pm
8 The Psychedelic Society of Friends present Fuzz War.
Live garage rock 'n roll performances from The Penny Dreadfuls, The Monotonous Tone and The Groundlings in Bill Harris Hairdressing's front window. At Bill Harris Hairdressing in Hill Street from 7-10pm.
9 Belfast's First Annual Slow Bicycle Race The Fred.
As silly as it sounds, you have to try and go as slow as possible at Academy Street 6pm-7.30pm, when the winner will be crowned. Newtownards man Martyn Irvine (professional cyclist extraordinaire) need not apply.
10 Alice & the Mad Hatter's Absurd ACROquet!
Join Stripey Socks Productions for a surreal giant croquet game.
Be on the lookout for Alice & the Mad Hatter taking their pet flamingos out for a dander. Buoys Park at the Art College from 4.30pm-5.30pm.
Some other independently organised Culture Night events will be taking place in Holywood, Lisburn, Londonderry, Newry and elsewhere.