Published Thursday, 05 September 2013
From 17 to 27 October over 70 different performances from all over the world will fill venues in all corners of the city as the island of Ireland's largest contemporary international arts festival takes off for its 51st year.
Launching the 2013 programme on Thursday, Festival Director Richard Wakely said: "The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's is one of only a handful of European arts festivals that can deliver such diversity boasting an eclectic mix of world-class Dance, Theatre, Classical Music, Jazz, Roots based Music, Visual Arts, Talks and Film.
"It is exciting to welcome the international arts community to Belfast and to see these performers share the billing with our finest local talent.
"Together they will deliver seven Irish premieres and three UK and Ireland premieres in this year's line-up and with 95% of all our shows priced at £16 and under it is there to be enjoyed by everyone."
Opening this year's festival on Thursday 17 October will be a first for the UK and Ireland as internationally acclaimed artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada - the festival's first artist in residence - reveals his huge land art portrait Wish.
His contribution will see 11 acres of land in Belfast's Titanic Quarter transformed into an anonymous portrait using cutting edge technology.
A dedicated cabaret style music club at the Elmwood Hall, will be opened with a performance from Portuguese talent Carminho and will feature folk, jazz, blues and rock bands from across the world.
The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s is firmly embedded in the heart of cultural life in Northern Ireland and has established a reputation for delivering world class, international artists and performances to local audiences.
Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland
This year's theatre programme will deliver two Irish premieres that feature direct audience participation with Roger Bernat's theatrical experiment in political theatre Pending Vote and the thrilling Bullet Catch from Rob Drummond which will finish its world tour as part of the Festival - both of these staged at The Lyric Theatre.
Also at The Lyric the critically acclaimed Gare St Lazare Players Ireland will bring Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot to Northern Ireland following performances at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
The festival will spread its wings this year as the Classical programme ventures into new and unusual venues around the city including a church and a monastery.
This year will also feature a weekend of dance at the MAC with two UK and Ireland premieres.
A series of thought provoking talks cover everything from best-selling author Simon Singh's investigation of the mathematical aspects of The Simpsons to award-winning Guardian columnist Gary Younge's interpretation of Martin Luther King.
And for film lovers, the QFT will host a special film noir season showing 12 classic thrillers.
Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland said events this year would be both "unique and international".
"It's about celebrating diversity and improving access to the arts across all communities with new venues for this year's Festival in the North, South, East and West of the City," she added.
"The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's is also an important contributor to the local economy, encouraging tourism and adding vitality to the city."
© UTV News