posted on April 12th, 2023

100 Events + 11 Days = The 23rd Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival!

One of the most hotly anticipated programmes in Belfast’s cultural calendar will deliver over 100 events in just 11 days across the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter and beyond!


The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival returns between 27 April – 7 May for its 23rd year with a packed programme of live music, comedy, literature, theatre, film, spoken word, visual art and more. Events will be taking place in dozens of unique venues and spaces, ranging from the headlining Festival Marquee in Custom House Square to St Joseph’s Church in historic Sailortown.


Highlights from the “CQAF23” line-up include Sister Sledge, Tim Key, Kate Rusby, Ron Sexsmith, Janey Godley, Badly Drawn Boy, Paul Brady Neville Staple, Fern Brady, Joshua Burnside, Zandra Rhodes, Steve Harley, Warmduscher, Ichiko Aoba, LoneLady, Brian Bilston, Jeffrey Lewis, Boris, John Robb in Conversation, James Yorkston & Nina Persson, Christine Bovill, Matthew & The Atlas, Arborist, Quasi, Ferna, Benefits, Wild Mountain Thyme (Begorrah edition!), Bone Machine, Glasshouse performs Aphex Twin, Otoboke Beaver, The 4 of Us, Bad Bridgets, Jolie Holland, Dark Tropics, Hit the North Street Art Festival, Pye Corner Audio, Dani Larkin, Roisin O, Aja, Leo Miyagee, piglet, Catherine Bohart, Children of Zeus, Susan O’Neill, Beirut Groove Collective and introducing the new CQAF Artist in Residence Taylor Lally!


Festival Director Sean Kelly said “It’s a real labour of love putting together this programme, and this year was particularly gratifying. It feels like one of our very best and most diverse line-ups ever. We’re thrilled to be able to bring all these great acts and events to NI audiences, not to mention showcasing some of the very best emerging talent on this island. So I recommend that everyone dive in at the deep end, and come join us for possibly the most exciting 11 days in the city’s cultural calendar!”


Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “What an exciting programme of events from Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, an annual highlight in the Northern Ireland calendar of events which helps to bring people and communities closer together through the Arts.  This terrific festival not only brings world-class performers to Belfast but also offers a vital platform to showcase artists from here, helping to shine a light on the talent that is inherent to NI.  We wish Sean and the team every success with this year’s festival.”


The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival runs from 27 April- 7 May.

For full programme details and booking info, go to

Follow The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival on Facebook, Twitter @cqaf, Instagram @cathedralquarterartsfestival



Millisle musician Taylor Lally is this year’s Artist in Residence at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Taylor will be playing throughout the festival and is joined by Sister Sledge, Badly Drawn Boy, Zandra Rhodes, Paul Brady and more in a packed programme over 11 days… (Photos by Bernie McAllister)