Belfast International Arts Festival returned for our 59th edition from 6 October to 7 November with an extensive programme that gave audiences opportunities to both experience live performances again whilst also enjoying a selection of online events at home!

Northern Ireland’s largest contemporary arts festival and cornerstone of the annual cultural calendar, the 2021 edition continued to explore contemporary matters of interest to our audiences such as gender equality, multi-culturalism, representation, the climate crisis, and democracy.

Check out the At a Glance Guide.

You may also want to read our Director’s Introduction to the programme, and foreword by our prinicipal funder Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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. Find out more

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BIAF21 Trailer

The Official Launch

What you missed

Department Story Web

Department Story

Big Telly Theatre Company
Date
20 October - 31 October 2021
Time
Weds - Sat 8.30pm | Fri - Sun 6pm
Theatre & Dance
World Premiere
Belfast City Hall in summer, with groups of people sitting on the lawns enyoing the sunshine. Courtesy of Tourism NI

Quirky Walking Tour of Belfast

Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association
Date
Thurs 21 Oct, Sat 30 Oct, Tuesday Nov 2nd
Time
11.00am & 2.00pm
Outdoor
Great Irish Songbook Web1

The Great Irish Songbook

Featuring Dervish. With special guests Glen Hansard, Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Brian Kennedy, Karen Matheson and The Open Arts Community Choir
Date
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Time
7:30pm | Doors open at 6:30pm
Music
IN-visible ID-entities 3
Colm Toibin And Damon Galgut Web

Colm Tóibín & Damon Galgut

Date
22 October - 5 December 2021
Time
8.00pm (22 Oct) / On demand thereafter
Talks & Ideas
IN-visible ID-entities 3
Digital Pass
Glen Hansard Web

Glen Hansard

Date
Friday, 22 October 2021
Time
Doors: 6.30pm | First band: 7.30pm (approx)
Music
IN-visible ID-entities 3
Far Caspian Web

Far Caspian

Date
Friday, 22 October 2021
Time
Doors: 7.30pm | First Act: 8.00pm
Music
Chungking Express Web

Chungking Express

The World of Wong Kar Wai
Date
Fri 22, Sun 24 & Tues 26 Oct
Time
6.20pm (Fri 22) / 3.25pm (Sun 24) / 3.25pm (Tues 26)
Film
Dominique Barbéris & Gaëlle Josse Web

Dominique Barbéris & Gaëlle Josse

In association with Institut Francais
Date
23 October - 7 November 2021
Time
4.00pm (23 Oct) / On demand thereafter
Talks & Ideas
IN-visible ID-entities 3
Digital Pass
Eimaer Web

Electric Arcade

with Eimear Noone & Ulster Orchestra
Date
Saturday, 23 October 2021
Time
Doors: 6.30pm | Show: 7.30pm
Music
Fallen Angels Web

Fallen Angels

The World of Wong Kar Wai
Date
Sat 23 & Mon 25 October
Time
6.20pm (Sat 23) & 12.40pm (Mon 25)
Film
Seamas O’reilly & Lucy Mangan Web

Séamas O’Reilly & Lucy Mangan

Date
24 October - 7 November 2021
Time
6pm (24 Oct) / On demand thereafter
Talks & Ideas
IN-visible ID-entities 3
Digital Pass
Benyounes Web

Benyounes Quartet

Belfast Music Society Northern Lights Mini-Fest
Date
Sunday, 24 October 2021
3:00pm
Music
In The Mood For Love Web

In The Mood For Love

The World of Wong Kar Wai
Date
25 October - 27 October 2021
Time
6.20pm (25 Oct) / 9.10pm (26 Oct) / 3.25pm (27 Oct)
Film