Roller Derby? Yep!
Choral Evensong? Yep!
Family Fun? Yep!
Culture Night Belfast? YEP!
Belfast has become an exciting city for cultural events of many varieties, and Belfast Culture Night is a rainbow of choices; from calming to zingy & everything in between.
Afterparties Dance Family Film Music Street Culture Theatre Visual Arts Words & Ideas Workshops
Those event genres give you an idea of the fabulous choices on offer, and if you’re anything like Terry & me, you’ll be trying to figure out how you can twin or even quadruple yourself so you can see all you’d like. Or perhaps you’ll find you’re tempted to figure out how to grab a bit of holiday time so you can book a visit to Belfast. Never fear, though, if you can’t make it to Culture Night Belfast 2014, you can get a taster of it in a few different ways.
Photos galore will be shared, I’m sure– definitely so by me! I’m chuffed to tell you that on Culture Night (Sept 19 2014,) and that weekend of the 20th-21st, I’ll be live tweeting on the Discover Northern Ireland twitter account! Follow it on @DiscoverNI, and the hashtag #DiscoverNI.They are trusting me with their Twitter account even though I’m hoping to have a gin or two of Northern Ireland’s own Shortcross Gin on the night. LOL!
During Culture Night another hashtag to keep your eye on is #cnb14. Belfast Culture Night has their own twitter account, @CultureNightBel, which should be a good one to follow, too. I’ll also be sharing over on the Vibrant Ireland Facebook page, and checking into places & sharing publicly over on my personal profile that weekend, too. Hopefully you’ll get a nice wee taster of Belfast through these channels, as well as Vibrant Ireland’s Instagram
Culture Night Events are happening all around the City (and the whole island!) but I think Terry & I will base ourselves be in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. There’s several events in the area that we don’t want to miss. Roller Derby’s one of them:
18:00 – 21:00 Every half hour at Writer’s Square
Live demonstrations of full contact roller derby. At this year’s Culture Night, The Belfast Banshees and Norn Iron Maidens will be swapping the flat track for Writer’s Square as they demonstrate how this hard-hitting, fast-paced sport, which is growing rapidly in popularity, is played. Like what you see? Why not watch the Banshees take on Limerick Roller Girls on September 20th or ask about our upcoming recruitment session in October!
Dancing, and a good natured competition of a less bruising nature, is also on in Writer’s Square; Boys v Girls will do their dancing thing via Swing Belfast from 8-8.30 pm. You’ll see them ”lindy hop, triple step and strut their way through this dance off, in a flurry of polka dots, petticoats and dapper chap braces.” And you won’t be left out, because after the dance off, Swing Belfast will be teaching everybody a fun & easy Charleston. Bring the kids & give it a go!
A bit less physical is the Poetry With Personality(ies) over at the MAC. From 4pm to 10pm there will be readings on the hour and half hour, and they sound quite interesting!
Pop in, join in & be surprised by our readers & the poems they love. Be part of a project that promotes reading for pleasure and connecting with people in a new way. Poetry readings on the hour and half hour – brought to you by Reading Rooms, a programme of shared reading based at the Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts in partnership with the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry. Readers include Anna Lo, Hong Kong-born NI politician; Tony Dunlop, boxing coach, Kronk Boxing Gym; Linda Ervine, Irish language development officer in East Belfast; Jo Egan, playwright; Katy Radford, Senior Researcher, Institute for Conflict Research; plus musicians and sports people.
Another event which all ages can participate in is Growing, Preparing, Sharing seed bombing with Root Soup over at Cathedral Gardens. There is so much on that is interactive as well as things to watch/hear; I am very impressed with the Belfast Culture Night line up.
by Root Soup
17:00 – 22:00 Seed Bomb Sessions every half hour
Interactive field-2-fork activities & seed bombs! Help us to plant the crop that will become our soup, then roll up your sleeves and get your hands mucky with our interactive seed bomb workshops. Hop on our blender bike and help us to blitz some of our famous, ethical and locally produced soup! Buy some ‘Suspended Soup’ and help someone more needy than you…
I can’t quite get my head around some of the events on offer. Like, what in the world is a Slow Bicycle Race? We’ll have to go see for ourselves! UPDATE: I came across this tweet from @TheFredFestival- organizers of the SLOW BIKE RACE:
4 bikes per race
RND 1: 4 races. 2 slowest go into:
SF: 2 races. 2 slowest go into to final.
F: 1st takes all!” 😀
A bicycle thing I can understand though, is a bike tour, and this next one sounds very tempting. And you know, all these events are FREE, so take up these great opportunities if you can! This twilight bike tour leaves from St Anne’s Square at 5pm.
Magical Mystery Twilight Cycle Tour
by Belfast City Bike Tours 17:00 – 20:00
A twilight tour which gets to places others can’t! A guided magical mystery Belfast cycle tour – includes twilight bike-lit river crossing, spectral alleyways and mysterious venues with Belfast tapas enroute – all at a leisurely pace on our comfy City Cruiser bikes with Intelligent Sensor Technology and cool and quirky co-riders.
Culture Night in Belfast generally starts at 4pm on 19 September 2014, and there are around 100 different events. By the way, the calming Choral Evensong I mentioned at the beginning is on at 5.30 -6.10pm in St Anne’s Cathedral. You gotta love the contrast with the boisterous Roller Derby! We’ve only been to Belfast the once, but this is an example of what we loved about it; the mix of things, and the way this mix is becoming a very interesting and more harmonious whole. The people we met during our visit had in common a welcoming friendliness and a love of their city & the great strides it has made. They made us smile and laugh, and yes, they did make us fall in love with Belfast– even though we didn’t really expect to.
After our first Belfast trip in May, Terry & I hoped to visit again on our own steam this Autumn. (The first trip was courtesy of the NITB as part of filming the Belfast videos we featured in.) The problem was choosing when, as so many fantastic events were on in the Autumn, like The Belfast Festival 16 oct- 1 Nov, and the Belly Laughs Belfast Comedy Fest 25 Sept- 5 Oct. Luckily, it turns out we didn’t have to thrash out what dates to choose, as NITB (that’s the Discover Northern Ireland crowd– Northern Irish Tourist Board) contacted us asking if we’d like to return for Culture Night weekend. OF COURSE WE WOULD!
What I’m going to say next may come back to bite me, but… Terry & I both rather prefer Belfast over Dublin. I think this is because Belfast is a smaller City, and just as friendly as Dublin, but perhaps Belfast is a bit more exciting to us as visitors. Plus, 15s!!! Who wouldn’t adore Belfast after eating one of their signature tasty and so-decadent treats. I’ll be sure to photo some for you this time. Last trip they just went into our mouths too quickly for pics 🙂
We are thrilled to bits to be returning to Belfast as guests of the NITB. Maybe after last time our hopes for a brilliant Belfast experience are *too* high, but we’ll see! I’ll be sharing photos & tips on visiting, both on the social media mentioned up above, and as blog posts later on here on Vibrant Ireland. Terry’s going to fire up his tweet machine, too, and you can follow his Belfast tweets at @FurnaceFitness.
We’d love YOUR tips on what to see/do/eat/drink! In addition to soaking up all we can on Culture Night, we’ve also a few ideas ourselves: see art at The Mac, visit & gobble up some award winning CoCouture Chocolate, see a show or 2, check out the Ulster Museum, Material Subversion craft exhibition, the Autumn Fair in the Botanic Gardens & who knows what else! There will be culture! There will be fabulous local food! There will be gin! There will not be drunken tweeting! But, there will be fun. I hope you’ll join in and #DiscoverNI 🙂