Belfast Telegraph

EastSide to show its best side as annual festival is launched

By David Young

The east of the city is getting ready for the hottest summer yet as the second annual EastSide Arts Festival prepares to serve up a 12-day feast of events, starting on August 19.

Locations across the east side and beyond will deliver a packed programme featuring 78 events - including 33 free shows - spanning music, comedy, movies, theatre, talks, workshops, exhibitions, poetry, community events and heritage tours.

Among the musical highlights are appearances by Sir Van Morrison, who will deliver two sold-out performances on Cyprus Avenue.

And coming to the EastSide Arts Festival straight from their Glastonbury Festival performances are rising star Soak and east Belfast's own Duke Special, who's in concert with special guests Malojian.

The festival has lined up acclaimed American jazz singer Dana Masters and Irish music legends Altan with special guest Kat Turner - and much more.

Speaking at the launch of the festival programme yesterday, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín said: "East Belfast is an area with strong cultural foundations, and this festival highlights that rich heritage. "It also reflects the growing diversity and cosmopolitan nature of this part of the city with a busy and eclectic programme."

The festival has joined forces with Feile An Phobail, its counterpart in the west, to cross the city with special shows

Anthony Toner, EastSide arts manager, said: "It's been a whirlwind few months preparing the programme for this year's festival.

"Over the 12 days there is no doubt that people will have fun, be inspired and, importantly, see the east of the city as a community that is full of creativity, colour and, above all, one that is on a journey of renewal."

A singer songwriter himself, Anthony will be taking to the stage during the performance of the Van Morrison Songbook, a special event that brings together the EastSide Arts Festival with Feile an Phobail to celebrate the work of one of the city's most famous musical sons.

  • Full programme, dates, tickets at

East Belfast Festival's top five attractions

  • Sir Van Morrison
  • Brian Keenan
  • Duke Special
  • Stewart Parker movies
  • Sam McCready

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