Van Morrison headlines Belfast Festival

Published Tuesday, 04 September 2012
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Van Morrison, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Ray Davies are among the headline acts of the 50th Belfast Festival at Queen's.

The full line-up of the event, which takes place between 19 October and 4 November, was revealed on Tuesday.

It features music, art, comedy and opera, and the festival will host the Irish premier of the National Theatre Company of Scotland's production Enquirer, which is based on interviews with leading figures in the newspaper industry.

The festival began as a small campus-based event in 1961 and has grown into the largest and most diverse arts Festival in Ireland.

Events will take place across the city, as Festival Director Shan McAnena, explained.

"There is music in shopping centres, churches and museums, comedy at the heart of Queen's University, theatre in offices, public baths and bars, and art in the open air."

In past years, Rowan Atkinson, Kylie Minogue and Jimmi Hendrix have been among those who have featured at the Belfast Festival, and the 2012 event has been described as a "vital magnet for both talent and tourism".

"Bringing international acts to our shores and allowing local talent to shine on a global stage, has, and will continue to bring, immense cultural and economic benefits to the City of Belfast," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson.

MacBeth, Ulysses and Paisley & Me are among the shows which will be put on in Belfast's theatre spaces, while leading soprano Lesley Garrett and pianist Stephen Hough will be providing classical music.

This year's festival includes 60 free events, while two thirds of shows will cost less than £15 and Jim Brown, Chief Executive of title sponsor Ulster Bank, said the festival is "one of the most prolific and ambitious acts of inclusive cultural development in Northern Ireland".

"Marking the Festival's golden Jubilee is a tribute not only to the city's love of the arts, but a salute to those who over the last five decades have grown this festival to its international status," he added.

© UTV News
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