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EastSide Arts Festival Celebrates its 10th Birthday!

9th August, 2022

EastSide Arts Festival is celebrating its 10th birthday this summer (festival runs from 4th–14th August) and everyone is invited! On Saturday 6th August, the occasion was marked with two family fun days – one in Orangefield Park and the other in CS Lewis Square.

Karly Greene, Director of Strategic Development and Partnerships at the Arts Council with Gilly Campbell, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council and members of the EastSide Arts Team with balloons, bunting and a metal sculpture of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia in the background.
Pictured: Karly Greene, Director of Strategic Development and Partnerships at the Arts Council with Gilly Campbell, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council and members of the EastSide Arts Team

Packed full of unique, exciting events, festival goers still have plenty to look forward as festival continues through to August 14th with music, theatre, film, literature, walks, talks, tours, comedy, cabaret and family focused events.

This year’s festival features over 100 artists across more than 80 events taking place in a range of venues in east Belfast including: Strand Arts Centre, Vault Artist Studios, The Ballyhackamore Social Club, Banana Block (Portview Trade Centre), C.S. Lewis Square and many more.

The EastSide Arts Festival is supported by Principal Funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, funders Belfast City Council, National Lottery Awards for All and Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, Principal Sponsor Translink, sponsors Connswater and Hewitt & Gilpin.

Highlights still to come:

  • Gerald Dawe in conversation with Anthony Tony, 9th August, Banana Block, Portview Trade Centre. Music is a strong thread that runs through the life of the poet Gerald Dawe and was an integral part of his early inspiration. In this fascinating and insightful conversation with songwriter Anthony Toner, the celebrated poet and essayist will discuss the music and influences that forged his awakening as a poet, and his life as a writer. The event will start - and close - with a specially compiled playlist, during which audience members will have a chance to meet the author.
  • David Hull Promotions Presents Cash Returns - The Johnny Cash & June Carter Tribute Show, Thursday 11th August, C.S. Lewis Square. Cash Returns will kick off the series of ‘Live @ C.S. Lewis Square’ events in style. JP Mac (Johnny Cash) and Karen Martin (June Carter) have been hailed as the most exciting Johnny Cash & June Carter Tribute in the UK, Ireland and beyond. This is an event not to be missed by Man In Black fans.
  • Dig with It magazine presents… New Pagans, Lemonade Shoelace and Winnie Ama Friday 12th August, C.S. Lewis Square. New Pagans, Lemonade Shoelace and Winnie Ama represent some of the most inspiring, alternative voices from the local music scene. They are brought together for this special ’Live @ C.S. Lewis Square’ event by Dig With It, a quarterly magazine from Belfast that champions music, arts and counter-culture.
  • Maurice Jay’s Pleasuredome, Sunday 14th August, C.S. Lewis Square. The Ultimate 80's Party night - pure 80's musical heaven closes the festival. This is a party you will not want to miss!
  • The Van Morrison Song Book, Sunday 14th August, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich. Four unique song-writing talents unite to offer their take on one of Belfast’s most iconic musicians. Performing inspired versions of Van Morrison classics in this one-off event (in association with EastSide Arts Festival) are Matt McGinn, Anthony Toner, Ken Haddock and Grainne Holland (who will deliver her versions in Irish). This promises to be a memorable night.

Gilly Campbell, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“Thanks to National Lottery players and money raised for Good Causes, the Arts Council is proud to continue to support the work of Eastside Arts and this year’s wonderful festival programme. For 10 years, Eastside Arts Festival has worked hard to raise the profile of the arts and artists in the area, with creativity now at the forefront of driving the wider regeneration of East Belfast. This year’s festival programme continues that work, with a fantastic mix of events to suit all ages and interests to look forward to in the week ahead.”

Director of the EastSide Arts Festival, Rachel Kennedy added:

“We are delighted to invite everyone to join us as at this year’s EastSide Arts Festival as we celebrate our 10th birthday. As always, we are bringing festival goers a jam-packed programme of events that celebrate the people and places of east Belfast and encourage connection and celebration. The festival provides us with the opportunity to showcase the very best of east Belfast as a place of creativity, a place that is vibrant and a place that is welcoming. A huge thanks to our Principal Funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Principal Sponsor, Translink for their invaluable support, and the vital support of all of the festival funders and sponsors who have helped the festival reach this incredible landmark.”

For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest22.