News And Events

What's on Guide August

01 Aug 2017

What's on Guide August


Féile an Phobail
Various venues, West Belfast
1 August – 13 August 2017
Festival of the People, Ireland’s biggest community arts festival and summer school returns. This year’s highlights include UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey, Boyzlife, comedian Jake O’Kane, traditional Irish band Altan and the annual Féile Carnival Parade. The packed programme includes music, films, exhibitions, sports, talks, drama and children’s events and loads of them are free. Check the website for the full programme and box office.

EastSide Arts Festival
Various venues, East Belfast
3 August – 13 August 2017The annual EastSide Arts Festival takes place every August in East Belfast bringing a packed programme of events including music, theatre, spoken word, film, talks, tours and workshops to some of the best local venues in Belfast. Don’t miss the Connswater Community Festival at Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park on 4th August and the Festival Fun Day on 5th August at C.S.Lewis Square. The huge and varied programme highlights the brilliant creative talent born in and emerging from the EastSide. Check the website for the full programme.

Translink East West Bus Trip
Pick up outside Apartment Bar, Donegall Square West
5 August & 11 August 2017Join comedian Paddy McDonnell and actor Stephen Beggs for this informative and funny tongue-in-cheek bus tour of both east and west Belfast as a celebration of the EastSide Arts and Féile an Phobail Festivals which are taking place over the same period in August. Booking required.

Open House Festival Bangor
Various venues, Bangor
1 August – 31 August 2017
Music, books & words, food & drink, theatre & comedy, film, talks & tours, arts - this festival has something for everyone. Whether you like punk, blues, traditional or Americana free Music in the Park sessions on Sundays at Ward Park are a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Or take your pick from dozens of other events including music and fireworks at Groomsport Harbour, Seaside Swing at McKee Clock, guest DJs at Hop House, bluegrass picnic at Ward Park, hear from authors Bernard MacLaverty, Alex Barclay and Sam Blake, learn about the power of persuasion from a mentalist, try beer tasting or Japanese whiskey, see Shakespeare performed in the Walled Garden, or new solo play Underneath, view Jailhouse Rock in the old Bangor Courthouse, and enjoy art displays and demonstrations in 10 town centre businesses. So much to do! Check the website to book.

Belfast Guitar Festival
Crescent Arts Centre
4 August - 6 August 2017
The festival bill is carefully curated to showcase the incredible flexibility of the guitar, bringing to the audience a vast range of playing styles from rock to flamenco, and singer-songwriters to contemporary percussive fingerstyle soloists. World class performers this year include Chris Woods, Amrit Sond, Haythem Mohamed, Becky Langan and Ali Todd and local talents David Browne Murray, Gary Lutton, Gavin Ferris, Paddy Anderson and Tony Eve amongst others. For the programme check the website.

Stendhal Festival
Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady
11 August – 12 August 2017Showcasing the very best of Northern Irish talent has always been a key component of the Stendhal experience and this year some of the very brightest home-grown stars will be shining on the Stendhal stage. Performers will include ASH, Sharon Shannon, Parisian/Manhattan electro swing act Ginkgoa, German electronica icon Ulrich Schnauss featuring Nat Urazmetova and local one to watch, Ciaran Laverty.

Clandeboye Festival 2017
Clandeboye Estate, Bangor
11 August - 19 August 2017
In a series of evening, afternoon and one-hour lunchtime concerts extended over 2 weekends, Barry Douglas will be joined by an array of international musical talent performing the music of French composers and will also welcome the Ulster Orchestra Ensemble who will play a very special programme of music and words associated with Seamus Heaney with musicians led by Ioana Pectu-Colan and narrated by writer Glenn Patterson. Camerata Ireland and this year’s Academy musicians will also be performing so go to the website to book.

Woodstock Rhythm’n’Blues Festival
Various venues, East Belfast
16 August – 20 August 2017The annual Woodstock Rhythm’n’Blues Festival is back for its 10th anniversary. Taking place in bars, sports clubs, coffee shops and the East Side Visitors’ Centre there are dozens of events most of which are free to attend. Performers include Anthony Toner, Dana Masters and her Band, Grand Camaros & The Ronnie Greer Band, Voodoo Hounds and many more. Check the website as booking is essential for some events.

Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School
Various venues, Armagh
20 August - 27 August 2017
Bigger and better than ever, this year’s programme promises a fresh, varied and inspiring week of concerts, services and workshops. Taking place in all the main churches in Armagh David Hill (Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers) will direct the 40-strong Charles Wood Singers in a programme of events including an Opening Concert with internationally acclaimed organist Thomas Trotter, a seminar “How the Voice Works” with a specialist vocal coach, a lunchtime recital with Sinéad O’Kelly (mezzo-soprano) and Fionnuala Ward (piano), a sung mass with the Charles Wood Singers, and a very special inaugural concert of the Charles Wood Girls’ Choir. For the full programme of events visit the website.

City of Derry Guitar Festival
North West Regional College, Derry-Londonderry
25 August - 27 August 2017
The 15th City of Derry Guitar Festival will bring world class guitarists for a weekend of workshops, masterclasses and concerts. Renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the accessibility of its tutors, the festival is an offer to all guitar lovers. This year the festival will feature a host of international stars and Amir-John Haddad will make a welcome return with his Flamenco Guitar workshop and a new one on the Arabic Oud. With a selection of full weekend courses, 2 hour workshops and solo concerts there will be something for all you enthusiasts out there. More details on the website.

Belfast Mela 2017
Botanic Gardens, Belfast
27 August 2017
Belfast Mela, the city’s favourite annual global get-together, will be bringing an eclectic feast of arts, music, dance, food and fun to Botanic Gardens this summer. Botanic Gardens will be transformed into an exotic magical garden filled with enticing sights, sounds and smells from around the world serving up a uniquely colourful celebration of diversity, a joyous, fun-filled day our for all the family.

August Craft Month 2017
Various venues
27 August 2017
Annual celebration of contemporary craft and the applied arts in Northern Ireland. Exhibitions, open studios, demonstrations, interactive installations, workshops, masterclasses, pop-up galleries plus pottery open days, makers markets, Maghera Annual Agri Show and Country Fayre, Yarnfolk Festival of Wool, Folktown Market, North Down Craft Collective market, traditional crafts at the Transport Museum, Meet the Makers at Seamus Heaney HomePlace and many more events. Support local craftspeople. Details on the website.


Grand Opera House, Belfast
Jane Eyre
21 August – 26 August 2017
Following a critically acclaimed season at the National Theatre, Jane Eyre will be touring the UK. This re-imagining of Bronte’s masterpiece was first staged at Bristol Old Vic and is directed by Sally Cookson. Almost 170 years on, Charlotte Bronte’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms.

The MAC, Belfast
9 August – 19 August 2017
The favourite family musical Annie is coming to the MAC this summer in an all-new production by the National Stage School. Set in 1930’s New York during the Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of the famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search. Brought to you by a talented cast of young people from all across Northern Ireland.

Lyric Theatre, Belfast
The Holy Holy Bus
10 August – 20 August 2017
Brassneck Theatre Company are back with Pearse Elliott’s highly acclaimed show. There is a bus that leaves a West Belfast parish once a year to see the holy sites of Ireland … the locals refer to it as The Holy Holy Bus. Follow four of the female faithful on a journey of personal pilgrimage which by the time they return home will have changed all of their lives forever. A hilariously madcap adventure about love, hope, happiness and faith, The Holy Holy Bus will have you laughing, crying and even praying for some divine inspiration along the way.

The MAC, Belfast
Singin’ in the Rain
23 August – 26 August 2017
Belfast School of Performing Arts bring you their Summer Youth project featuring some of Northern Ireland’s most talented young performers. Tap your toes and sing along in this adaptation of the celebrated and beloved film. All the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline are here – the starlet, the leading man and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers. Filled with every memorable moment from the film and a downpour of unforgettable songs Singin’ in the Rain is guaranteed to thrill audiences.


Millennium Forum, Derry
4 August – 5 August 2017
Foyle Opera’s new production (sung in English with spoken dialogue). The dramatic story of the gypsy Carmen and her ill-fated affair with army corporal Don Jose, told through Georges Bizet’s powerful score, is the most popular opera of all time. This production features a live orchestra under the baton of Derry-born conductor John Page, an international acclaimed cast, including Irish soprano Ann Jennings in the title role, and a full opera chorus of local singers.

Crescent Arts Centre
Chamber Babies
5 August 2017
For babies aged 0-18 months and their carers. Chamber Babies was started by Belfast Music Society and is designed to offer the best live classical music to the youngest listeners. The concerts are very informal and the short programmes are enjoyed by babies and adults alike. So walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance or chill to a selection of short classical pieces carefully chosen to engage and enchant.

Crescent Arts Centre
The Fine and Dandy Market
20 August 2017
Held every month the market showcases the work of independent artists, designers, illustrators and crafters alongside collectors of records, books, vintage wares and quality local food and drink produce. The market is an alternative hive of creativity with an emphasis on all things grassroots and locally produced. It’s a great place to spend a Sunday morning with special events and themed markets being held throughout the year.

Take Part

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, Enniskillen
Summer Dance Camp (age groups 3-12+ years)
31 July - 4 August 2017
Five days of fun and creative exploration. Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre Dance Camp promises to be a fun filled creative week where participants will learn new dance skills and be super creative. Each morning Mini Movers will work with Dylan to be the best most creative dancers they can be. Summer Dance Camp dancers will work with Anna Treanor and Connect Youth Dance dancers will work with Dylan and Anna. Offers are available for families. Check the website for details.

Sticky Fingers, Newry
Summer Camp (ages 9-14 years)
7 August - 11 August 2017
This is a Robotics camp, it is all about building robots and learning about robotics. Bring a packed lunch, sun cream and wet weather gear. For prices and booking see the website.

Nerve Belfast Creative Learning Centre
Film School Week
7 August – 11 August 2017
Are you aged 14 – 16 and enthusiastic about filmmaking?
Do you want to make your very own film with other young people?
Will you be free for 5 full days from Monday 7th to Friday 11th August 2017?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the above, you might be interested in Nerve Belfast’s Film Week, taking place in the Ulidia Resource Centre, Belfast. You will learn about the filmmaking process, have a specific role as part of a film crew, and make a short film together. You will also have the opportunity to invite friends and family to a screening of your film on the final day. The course is free and will be run by Nerve Belfast’s friendly Creative Media Trainers. We don’t expect you to have any filmmaking experience, just as long as you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn.
Go to the website to get more information and download an application form.

Void, Derry
Void Youth Forum
The Void Youth Forum will be a group made up of young people aged between 14-17 years with an interest in visual art. The aim is to create a youth-led working group, supported by Void, where participants come together regularly to get involved in the life of the gallery, gain valuable experience and give a fresh perspective on our exhibitions and learning programmes. Members of the youth forum will set out the terms of engagement and act as co-authors with Void at every step of the process and will meet professional artists, curators and other creative professionals; programme events for young peers; become part of a close-knit collective; experience life in a leading contemporary art gallery; explore ways of representing their perspective on Void’s programme; utilise the potential for work experience, skills and learning development. See the website for more information.

Crescent Arts Centre
Crescent Arts Centre Book Club
1st Wednesday of every month
Love to read? Join the Crescent Arts Centre Book Club. If you haven’t read the book, no problem! Open Door - Join at any time. Simply email to register in advance.

Cescent Arts Centre
Arts and Older People Project: Silver Celebrations
Ongoing 2017
Calling all older people aged 60 plus! Would you like to get involved in an exciting project, in which you will learn contemporary dance theatre in a supportive and fun environment and also have the opportunity to be involved in a local touring show? Email Ann at for further details or call 028 90 242338.

Beat Carnival
Tiny Beat & Junior Beat
Have you got a tiny artist in your life? 
Tiny Beat (ages 3-8) is a time for your children to explore their creative side through play. We teach a wide range of art forms including percussion, performance, dance and lots of making!
Junior Beat (ages 9-15) is for children looking for more of a challenge and the opportunity to exercise their growing skillset. We teach a lot more drama and making with this group, at the request of the children. Parents of Tiny Beat kids ("Beatniks"!) get opportunities for their own skills training, making it a great way for you to learn alongside your child as part of a vibrant community. The content of each of our classes is designed in partnership with the kids (and parents), so get involved and tell us what you would like to do! For more info contact Rebecca at


Carol Rhodes: Survey
Dougal McKenzie: A Dream and an Argument
30 June – 8 October 2017
This is the first solo presentation of Carol Rhodes’ work in Ireland. Over the past 25 years Rhodes has produced a body of paintings and drawings rich in resonance and complexity. Her landscapes are fictional syntheses resulting from a re-mixing of readymade imagery. Drawing from an eclectic range of photographic material, she combines fragments from different sources to create compositions that become the skeleton for her paintings.

In a major new body of work Douglas McKenzie brings together key elements of his interest in history and storytelling through images and investigates whether it is possible to represent these as memory in painting. McKenzie’s work weaves together fact and fiction, melding objective history with subjective narrative.

R-Space Gallery
Jane McCann: Óna
5 August – 26 August 2017
The colours and textures ingrained in Irish landscape provide an on-going source of reference for fabrics and colour harmonies whilst seascapes offer the patterns of the sand, pebbles, shells, rock pools and flotsam and jetsam left behind the tide. Óna is a design-led story presenting creative work focusing on clothing applications and collaborative engagement in creating simple, non-transient and inclusive design.

Ulster Museum
Conflicting Images
26 May – 19 Nov 2017
In the late 1960s, simmering social and sectarian tensions erupted into street conflict in Northern Ireland.  International photojournalism, its style honed in the Vietnam War, flew in to witness and report. This overview was quickly challenged by a wave of young, local press and freelance photographers, driven to bring local perspective, experience and context to the wider world picture. At the same time, photography was used, as ever, to capture a more personalised record of time, event and place. It also continued to be employed to inform broader local agendas in areas such as planning and marketing. This exhibition draws on the Ulster Museum’s expanding collections of photography of the recent past, to look at how the visual record of life in Northern Ireland developed during the years of ‘The Troubles’.This is a Free exhibition. This exhibition is located in “Window on History” temporary gallery, in the Ulster Museum. 


Arts & Business NI
Are you GDPR Ready? Data Protection for Voluntary Organisations
1 September 2017
As the GDPR enforcement date approaches, Arts & Business NI Member Vertical Structure will take us through the data privacy changes and steps you need to take to get your organisation GDPR ready! This Lunchtime Session will take place on 1 September 2017, 12.30pm to 1.15pm in Belfast Exposed, to book your place email Kate Livingston at

Volunteering Opportunities

Belfast International Arts Festival – Poppies: Weeping Window
6 October – 28 October 2017
Volunteer Poppy Ambassadors needed
Belfast International Arts Festival and the Ulster Museum are recruiting a team of enthusiastic volunteers to help deliver a world class visitor experience to everyone who visits the Poppies: Weeping Window sculpture during its time in Belfast – and to help with a broad programme of associated events. While there is no formal closing date applications may close should there be an excess of volunteers. Roles will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Belfast International Arts Festival
6 October – 28 October 2017
Volunteers needed
Volunteering with Festival is a fun and rewarding way to gain insight into running events and a great way to network and gain industry contacts.We are seeking dynamic and hard-working volunteers to help deliver a world class visitor experience to everyone who visits the Belfast International Arts Festival.   Volunteers will be the first point of contact to welcome guests and audiences, and assist the Front of House Manager in running the events on the day.
Closing Date: Friday 1st September 2017 at 4pm but applications may close earlier should there be an excess of volunteers.

Open House Festival Bangor
Various venues, Bangor
Volunteers needed
Without volunteer support, Open House Festival events wouldn't happen - that's fact. So if you fancy getting waist deep in some of the best music and arts coming to the country, and face to face with the best volunteer team you could meet. All volunteers must be 18 years old or over on the first day they arrive at the festival.
All volunteers must attend a training session before they arrive at the festival (dates to be confirmed).
We expect all staff, volunteers and artists to comply with our Policies on Child Protection, Health & Safety and Equality, and our Code of Behaviour – these codes and policies will be supplied and discussed at training sessions. Please tell us if you have any special circumstances that may restrict your role within the festival – we will try our best to accommodate you. Go to the website to download an application form.

Fighting Words Belfast
Ongoing, Various venues, Belfast
Volunteers needed
Do you like stories? Do you want to work with children and young people? Do you want to learn new skills and meet new people? Fighting Words Belfast is a creative writing project for young people from the age of 6 upwards in Northern Ireland. We are a place dedicated to writing, where young people can explore their imaginations and have fun expressing themselves.

We run free workshops for school and youth groups, during which participants work collaboratively and individually to create a piece of writing unique to them. Most workshops take place during the school day, but after-schools, evening and weekend sessions are also on offer. Volunteers give three hours of their time per workshop and spend two hours with the participants helping them create exciting new stories. We are looking for all sorts of people to volunteer to spend some time with children and young people. The roles for Fighting Words volunteers are:

Writing mentor - Story-maker – Illustrator - Production helper 

If you’d like to spark a young person’s imagination visit the website.

National Trust - Mount Stewart Conversations
October 2017
Volunteers needed
Volunteers turn good events into amazing experiences. With lots of different ways for you to get involved, find out more about what you can bring to the Conversation.

Mount Stewart Conversations is a two-day festival on 14 and 15 October that will see some of the best minds in literature, politics, arts, music and performance come together in one place to create something truly magical. And the really exciting part is that YOU can be part of this unique event by joining the volunteer team. Whether you are free to participate in the whole weekend, or you’d just like to do a single shift, your help will be invaluable to the success of the event. We currently have vacancies across a number of key volunteer roles. Check the website for more information. Information Sessions on Wednesday 24 August between 10am and 1pm and on Saturday 27 August between 1pm and 4pm.

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Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.