Arts festival celebrates its landmark 15th anniversary

The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival celebrates its landmark 15th anniversary in the customary style that audiences have come to expect over the years.

Big international stars nestle alongside up-and-coming brilliance and cult acts share a stage with household names in Belfast’s most beloved and fastest growing arts festival.

For the 15th anniversary celebrations organisers have gone for the “more of the same, only much more” approach to the festival programme. Two-Tone greats The Selecter, hip hop stars De La Soul, 60s drumming legend and founder member of Cream Ginger Baker with his stunning Jazz Confusion outfit and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are amongst some of the legendary figures who will be taking to the CQAF stage.

The Words and Ideas programme features the likes of Booker Prize-winning author DBC Pierre, Ireland’s finest short story writer Bernard MacLaverty, performance poet Hollie McNish, rock journalist Mark Ellen, legendary news anchor Jon Snow and former NI secretary of State and human rights advocate Peter Hain.

Festival favourite, comedian Rob Newman with his new stand-up show Rob Newman’s New Theory of Evolution, everybody’s second favourite neurotic Jewish comedian Simon Amstell, the anarchic and unpredictable Phil Kay and Glam Role Model Katherine Ryan bring laughter to the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

CQAF is thrilled also to present whirlwind guitarist and former Dr Feelgood lynchpin Wilko Johnson, (who famously tours on in spite of his ongoing battle against cancer), critically acclaimed comedy rap satirists Rubberbandits, dance pop stars F**k Buttons (hand-picked by director Danny Boyle to play at the Olympics Opening Ceremony), indie darlings Wild Beasts, Mark Mulcahy, Madison Violet, The Webb Sisters, Dum Dum Girls, The Handsome Family, World music superstars Tinariwen and cult Japanese pop act Shonen Knife on the festival stage. Jimi Goodwin of rock giants The Doves also makes his first solo outing to NI, Glenn Tilbrook one half of the classic song-writing duo that comprises Squeeze makes his CQAF debut, one man punk storm Hammell on Trial blazes a trail through CQAF and Colin Reid’s musical adaptation of The Third Policeman makes a welcome return to the Festival fold, tying in neatly with the concurrent Giro d’Italia Bike Festival.

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