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Hands up: Fifteen NI venues back open this week for party-goers

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Nightclubs like the Limelight in Belfast are allowed to reopen today

Nightclubs like the Limelight in Belfast are allowed to reopen today

Nightclubs like the Limelight in Belfast are allowed to reopen today

For the second time since the start of the pandemic in Northern Ireland, nightclubs are preparing to open their doors to revellers once again.

That such lengthy prohibitions on dancing, the essential part of a good night out for so many, have become normalised is yet another bizarre feature of life today that we have all become used to.

It may not feel like much of a sacrifice for those with a busy family life or other responsibilities, but for thousands of young people it has been a rite of passage that has been desperately missed.

Another sign of revival for the nightlife sector can be seen as multiple venues are once again advertising eagerly for bar, floor and security staff.

The first raft of lockdown restrictions saw local nightclubs forced to close until October 31 last year. 

Although the health impact of the Omicron surge is not thought to be as severe as initially feared, the sheer pace of its spread and the renewed uncertainty once again saw nightclubs close over the lucrative Christmas period.

Before queues begin to appear at venues across Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph looks at 15 venues for punters to choose from.

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Belfast

Love & Death

Located on Ann Street, Love & Death is described as “Belfast’s worst kept secret”.

Offering cocktails, the venue also boasts “an intimate yet perfectly formed” nightclub upstairs which reopens this Friday.

Kremlin

Located on Donegall Street, the Kremlin is Northern Ireland’s biggest and most popular LGBT+ venue.

Reopening on Wednesday night for KLUB180 at 10pm, resident DJ Ryan A will be back playing the biggest pop and commercial dance anthems.

Limelight

At the popular Limelight music venue on Ormeau Avenue in the city, tickets for the return of UFO or “Belfast’s biggest Wednesday night” have already sold out.

A regular midweek destination for students, the UFO night offers three rooms of tunes, two beer gardens and “insane production”.

Thompsons Garage 

Located beside Belfast City Hall, Thompsons Garage is described as a “Belfast clubbing institution” on the venue’s official page.

With new dazzling houselights installed and programmed for maximum effect, Wednesday’s reopening at 8pm will see clubbers treated to the Funkarama night with Chris Williams.

Co Down

The Bank, Newry

In Newry, the grand reopening party for The Bank nightclub is set for Friday night, with DJ Aaron Davis promising a mix of club classics, R&B and floor fillers.

Co Antrim

Origin, Ballymena

In Ballymena, Origin nightclub on Ballymoney Street has announced that resident DJ Barry McDowell will be back behind the decks this Saturday. Doors open to customers at 10pm and is pay at the door only.

The Anchor Complex, Portstewart

Looking to the north coast, The Anchor Complex in Portstewart is hosting a “one off Wednesday” with the return of Club Aura to celebrate the easing of restrictions.

Co Tyrone

Clubland, Cookstown

In Cookstown, the Clubland venue on Molesworth Street is all set for what they are calling the re:reopening weekend.

Friday night acts include KEEES. & Brady, while Saturday night will feature sets from Steve Simpson, Rick Swann, Jerry Conga and Ryan Conway.

Hagan’s Bar, Dungannon

In Dungannon, Hagan’s Bar on Irish Street is ready to celebrate “the last weekend of the longest month ever”.

DJ Conor McSherry is “back in charge of the tunes” for Fiver Fridays, with DJ Johnny O’Neill booked for Saturday Untamed while Sunday Club will “keep the craic going” with DJ Marko G playing a selection of floor fillers and throwback tunes.

Co Armagh

The Burn Nightclub

In Lurgan, The Burn Nightclub is promoted as the number one spot for clubbers.

Operating every Saturday and Sunday night, DJ Chris Redmond plays all current and past hits.

Co Londonderry

Secrets, Magherafelt

In Magherafelt, Secrets nightclub on Queen Street have promised the weekend is going to be “sizzling hot”.

The After Dark club night returns this Friday followed by Secret Saturdays, with both nights pay at the door only.

The Metro, Londonderry

In the heart of Derry City Centre, The Metro on Bank Street has Wicked Wednesday every week with drinks promotions and music from DJ Smitty.

Co Fermanagh

Industry, Enniskillen

Industry nightclub on Enniskillen’s High Street is “open and ready for action” this Saturday, with DJ Woody on the decks from 10pm.

Devenish Bar, Enniskillen

Elsewhere at the Devenish Bar on Enniskillen’s Darling Street, DJ Shorty will be back performing for midweek partygoers every Wednesday night from 10 pm.


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