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Belfast Children’s Festival turns 21!

Thursday 10th January 2019 at 12pm 0 Comments Comedy , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Youth Arts , Dance , Drama , Craft , Circus & Carnival Arts

Belfast Children’s Festival turns 21 Image: Belfast Children’s Festival turns 21

Belfast Children’s Festival has launched its 2019 festival programme. Now in its 21st year, this year’s theme is ‘Our Place in the World’.

From Friday 8th to Wednesday 13th March, over 90 events will take place in 12 locations across the city. Belfast Children’s Festival has become one of the largest children’s arts festivals on the island of Ireland and the UK, attracting over 31,000 people last year.

Eibhlín de Barra, Director Young at Art, unveiled the packed programme at earlier this week at Belfast Cathedral.  She said:

“The 2019 Belfast Children's Festival is a wonderful mix of theatre, dance, comedy, music, visual arts and literature for families. From the powerful Oorlog (War), to the madcap exploits of Expedition Peter Pan, and from Cahoots NI’s charming adaptation of Jon Agee’s Milo’s Hat Trick, to the hilarious The Alien’s Guide To Dance Gone Wrong, there really is something for everyone. On top of it all we're creating an inSPIREd family programme of events and activities in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter."

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is principal funder of Young at Art, and thanks to public and National Lottery funds, Young at Art is able to programme and deliver a wide range of artistic content, education and engagement programmes, and professional development throughout the year.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented

“As Young at Art’s main funder and its longest running partner, the Arts Council is pleased to support the 2019 festival programme. Now in its 21st year, the Belfast Children’s Festival continues to produce fresh, innovative and entertaining events tailor-made for young audiences. We know that inspiring the imagination at a young age can provide the building blocks for a creative and fulfilling life and there is no better way to introduce children to the arts than by offering them access to quality arts experiences from a young age.”

Young at Art will present several world, UK and Irish premieres, at this year’s festival including Oorlog (War), Loo, Removed, and The Alien’s Guide to Dance Gone Wrong.

While closing the festival on Wednesday 13 March is the high energy and playful Expedition Peter Pan (ages 7+) by Het Laagland (The Netherlands). This production promises a wild adventure of imagination, hilarious surprises, and rediscovery of the child in all of us.

On Saturday 9 March the inSPIREd family fun day will be bursting with exciting activities across the Cathedral Quarter including a one-off special Baby Rave ‘Rave in the Nave’ in Belfast Cathedral, free children’s art workshops exploring home and the urban landscape around us, DJ workshops with Bounce Culture, Acoustic Picnic in Oh Yeah Music Centre, digital animation with Can Do Academy, augmented reality workshops with Art Cart, theatre workshops with Northern Ireland Opera, and more, all supported by new sponsor Destination CQ BID.

Once again, the festival will also be hosting the TYANI (Theatre for Young Audiences NI) Showcase. The 4-day showcase will profile some of the finest performance work for young audiences being created right here and features performances, a unique work-in-progress from the Belfast Ensemble, a ‘scratch’ performance platform featuring four emerging individual artists, discussions and networking events. The festival will also welcome a group of international programmers and producers to the city.

For more information on this year’s festival programme or to purchase your tickets, go to The maximum ticket price is £10, and adults pay the same price as children. Many events are free.


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