Seasons greetings from all the team at Belfast International Arts Festival
Festival News

We hope you and your loved ones are well.
A huge thank you to our audiences for supporting us, booking tickets, making a donation, joining us in-person or online and spreading the word amongst family and friends. Season’s greetings to one and all, and best wishes for 2022!

This year’s programme was made possible thanks to our principal funder, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and to Belfast City Council, British Council, the Government of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Tourism NI and a range of project funders and sponsors, including Belfast Harbour and the Irish News.

We thank the wonderful artists, companies, authors, speakers, venues, and programme partners who made BIAF21 a reality. We applaud you!

Christmas Holidays

The office will be closed from Friday 17 December and reopen on Thursday 6 January 2022.
Happy Holidays!

Farewell to Board Members

Sandara Kelso-Robb and Jimmy Fay

We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to Sandara Kelso-Robb MBE and Jimmy Fay who have stepped down from the Board after 6 years of exceptional service. Both Sandara and Jimmy were founding directors of Belfast International Arts Festival in 2015, at a time of significant transformation as the festival became an independent organisation with a new artistic vision. We thank them for their expertise, guidance, and goodwill over the years and wish them every good fortune.

Spreading some festive cheer

Gisb Web
1) Miss the The Great Irish Songbook in the Grand Opera House in October?
Well, BBC Radio Ulster and Foyle have a special New Year’s Eve treat – you can listen to the entire concert again!
Featuring Dervish and special guests Glen Hansard, Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Brian Kennedy, Karen Matheson and the Open Arts Community Choir. See track list on BBC episode page.
Tune in Friday 31 December at 8pm
BBC Radio 3 and Belfast International Arts Festival broadcast featuring Mithras Trio and Eivind Ringstad
2) The annual BBC Radio 3 and BIAF partnership concerts that were recorded at St Mark’s Dundela during #BIAF21 are available to listen on demand now until 27 December. The Lunchtime Concert series features current Radio 3 New Generation Artists The Mithras Trio and acclaimed Norwegian viola player Eivind Ringstad. Presented by John Toal.
More details on the programme and links to episodes here.

Gift an Arts Experience

Welcome Back Acni
If you’re looking for Christmas present ideas why not consider gifting someone you love an Arts Experience?
Many of our festival venues, partners and creatives have something to offer – performances, gigs, artwork, books, and classes.
You may want to consider tickets to current BIAF events Another Lover’s Discourse (Sat 26 – Sun 27 March) and Simon Armitage (4 May).
Or you may be lucky to snap up tickets to The Grimm Hotel by Cahoots NI, which is back for Christmas, 7-23 December, after its sold-out success during our festival.
Or for more ideas, some of our venues and partners include:
  • No Alibis Bookstore
  • The Lyric
  • The MAC
  • The Crescent Arts Centre
  • The Black Box
  • Grand Opera House
  • Queens Film Theatre
  • Strand Arts Centre
  • An Cultúrlann
  • The Empire
  • The Limelight
  • Ulster Hall
  • Belfast Exposed
  • Golden Thread Gallery
  • Naughton Gallery
  • Vault Artist Studios
  • Royal Ulster Academy
  • Áras Mhic Reachtain
  • Ulster Museum

Save the Dates

Planning is underway for next year, which marks the 60th anniversary of Belfast Festival. We hope to share plans for an extended season in the near future, but for now please save the dates: 18 October – 6 November 2022.
Read latest e-newsletter: December 2021
E-Newsletter: Sign-up here