Teenage Kicks so hard to beat…
The 13th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival hits ‘that difficult age’
One of Northern Ireland’s largest, most progressive and daring arts festivals is back in the cultural ring for a thirteenth shot at thrilling local and international audiences.
The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival which runs from 3 – 13 May across Belfast’s historic arts quarter and beyond hits its terrible teens with a rambunctious mix of stars, fringe acts, emerging artists and household names in music, comedy, literature, theatre and art to stimulate, edify and entertain.
The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival began life in May 2000 attracting an audience of just over 5,000. The Festival now regularly attracts over 60,000 people to over 150 events in over 30 venues.
Addressing guests at the programme launch this week at the Dark Horse Tea Rooms, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Director Sean Kelly said:
“Thirteen is always a milestone year and this year we’re very excited to be entering our teens. Our programme is suitably celebratory in spite of the challenges facing the arts at this time. We’re immensely proud of what has been achieved over those 13 years both in terms of the festival and the Cathedral Quarter in general.
Reflecting on the Festival’s 13th line-up, he added:
“In providing 11 days of affordable events as brilliant and diverse as Dylan Moran, John Cale, Death in Vegas and Alexei Sayle, the festival is playing a lead role in ensuring 2012 is a momentous year for the city.”
The fully revealed programme for CQAF 2012 delivers an eclectic and electrifying musical line-up. How about an extremely rare and long-anticipated Northern Irish appearance by art rock visionary and Velvet Underground legend John Cale for starters? He’s closely followed by electro-rock champions Death in Vegas and Irish punk heroes (and authors of Teenage Kicks – this years unofficial festival anthem) the one and only Undertones, supported by Derry’s finest Wonder Villains.
Then there’s the cool (YACHT), the calm (Martin Carthy) and the carefully coiffured (Kitty Daisy and Lewis). Vintage sounds with a modern twist comes from St Etienne – purveyors of perfect pop since the seminal Fox Base Alpha album. The Rubberbandits will be kicking up a raucous comedy celtic hip hop mash-up whilst wearing plastic bags on their heads, inventing a new genre of music in the process. Other musical highlights include Field Music, Haggis Horns, Hazel O’Connor, Hackney Colliery Band, folk super-group Andy Irvine, Donal Lavery, Liam O’Flynn and Paddy Glackin and African music diva Fatoumata Diawara.
Will Kaufman follows up a blistering Out to Lunch Festival performance in January with All you Jim Crow Fascists: Woody Guthrie’s Freedom Songs his powerful look the great man’s anti-racist songbook. It’s just a sample of some of the dazzling musical programme of folk, roots pop, rock, world and jazz music on offer during the 11 days of CQAF 2012.
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, the principal funder of the festival, said:
“The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival has firmly established itself as a highlight of the annual cultural calendar and one of the cornerstones of the arts-driven regeneration we’ve seen in this area of the city in recent years. The 2012 programme will no doubt build on the festival’s loyal audience base, with an eclectic programme, full of some of the most talked about names on the local and international arts scene.”
La Faro, Rupture Dogs, Katy and the Carnival, the very legendary Henry McCullough and our artist in residence Rachel Austin complete the line-up with the best in locally sourced music artists.
The CQAF comedy corner is stuffed to the oxters with carefully cultivated stand-up and “the funny” found in an all new dazzling range of flavours, suitable for all tastes and dispositions.
Highlights include former Father Dougal and currently hilarious Ardal O’Hanlon, Henning Wehn, the funny German, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer with his trusty Bonjolele and the furiously funny Mark Thomas will be reading from Extreme Rambling – about the activist comedian’s 750km stroll along the illegal Israeli Separation Barrier. Robin Ince, Laurence Clark, Simon Amstell and rising star Roisin Conaty are all popular and talented names on the comedy and TV panel show circuit.
We’re also delighted to be able to announce that Black Books star and the definitive comedy misanthrope Dylan Moran will be making his long overdue CQAF debut.
There’s a wealth of words to be spoken at CQAF 2012. The finest parliamentary sketch-writer of his generation Simon Hoggart makes a welcome return to the festival and the award winning shows John Peel’s Shed and At Large: Dave Allen make their Northern Irish debuts. Neil Simon’s classic “buddy study” The Odd Couple, starring Joe Lindsay is revived for the festival.
The inimitable legend that is Alexei Sayle reads from his acclaimed books, including the stirring memoir Stalin ate my Homework. Abie Philman Bowman makes a welcome return with his in-no-way-provocative Pope Benedict: Bond Villain, local lad made good Michael Smiley (aka Tyres from Spaced and that guy in Kill List) makes a homecoming with his celebrated, hilarious Immigrant! show. Belfast author Glenn Patterson will be reading from his hotly-anticipated new novel The Mill for Grinding Old People Young. CQAF is also delighted to introduce the Virginia Monologues – agony aunt Virginia Ironside’s hilarious one-woman show on growing old disgracefully.
A programme of challenging, groundbreaking and thought-provoking films will also be screened including Under African Skies, the acclaimed documentary of the controversial making of Paul Simon’s Gracelands album and the mini-masterpiece Lawrence of Belgravia tracing the fall and fall of the much misunderstood and little-heard genius that is Lawrence Hayward (or Lawrence from Felt as he’ll be forever known to a generation of NME readers. The man himself will also be visiting CQAF for this one-off screening.
Elsewhere, our riot double-bill features premières of Riot from Wrong and Uprising – Hip hop and the LA Riots – a double blast of incendiary filmmaking documenting two very different urban uprisings.
It is internationally-acclaimed street artist Conor Harrington’s turn to tackle the Black Box Gable Wall, a yearly challenge for some of the biggest international mural and graphic artists.
Throw in the traditional Glitter and Sparkle, an Olde Belfast Velo Jaunt, a Big Global Market and even Gerry Anderson keeping us In the Dark and you have the ingredients for a many-splendored 13th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
Elsewhere, there will be workshops, exhibitions, family entertainment, performance, song, laughter and the odd heckle ringing throughout the four corners of the Cathedral Quarter and the Belfast streets beyond for the better half of May.
2nd of February 2013
24th of February 2013
Come and see the wonderful show of snowdrops on display. After a self guided walk through the blankets that cover the estate, enjoy warm refreshments in the Courtyard Coffee Shop. Buy your very own snowdrop plants in our shop, or pick up some essential reads in the second hand bookshop. Read More.