Growing, thriving and legacy building – these were just some of the key messages at the launch of East Belfast’s 3rd annual summer festival.
The EastSide Arts Festival, delivered by East Belfast Partnership with support from Department of Culture Arts and Leisure and Arts Council for Northern Ireland will run 21st – 25th August across East Belfast locations, and will showcase a varied arts programme with something for everyone across the east of the city and beyond.
With the closure of Orangefield High School the festival programme will feature and celebrate some of the powerful, creative talent to emerge from the school. It will also feature as a location for some of the festival events. Earlier this year, ex-Orangefield boys’ pupil and legendary East Belfast singer Van Morrison announced two gigs (22 and 23 August) with one specifically for ex-pupils and staff. With an overwhelming response from ex-staff and pupils Mr Morrison has announced a third (24th August) performance.
EastSide Arts Festival is delighted to showcase and celebrate many of the ex-Orangefield pupils and staff through performance, visual art, lectures, walking tours, film and music. These include the playwright Marie Jones, writer Brian Keenan, Thin Lizzy musician Eric Bell, poet Gerald Dawe and actor Sam McCready. It will also celebrate the contribution of late playwright Stewart Parker, pioneering first headmaster of the school the late John Malone and the late David Ervine. The programme also features a range of East Belfast talent including, singer Kaz Hawkins, novelist Glenn Patterson, actor Dan Gordon, the late writer and broadcaster Sam Hanna Bell, and much more.
A whole range of free events will be staged in Orangefield Park in association with Connswater Community Greenway and will include circus acts, music and a cross-community art installation called ‘Wish Project’ which will bring wishes alive through a ‘wishing garden.’ Continuing on the cross community theme the festival will also feature a performance, in partnership with West Belfast Festival Feile An Phobail at The Strand Arts Centre, of RMS Titanic – An Evening with Donal Lunny, Anthony Cronin, and guests.
The festival will be staged in a number of east Belfast locations including Orangefield High School, The Strand Arts Centre, Park Avenue Hotel, Orangefield Park and Shorts Recreation Club. The official charity for the festival is Barnardos.
For full details of the festival programme and for ticket information visit www.eastsidearts.net