Belfast & Northern Ireland

2020 Eastside Arts Festival

27 Jul 2020
From 6 - 16 August, EastSide Arts Festival presents an 11-day programme of inspiring and creative events featuring music, theatre, literature, story-telling, visual art, talks and tours under the theme, Moments of Joy.  

This year’s events can be enjoyed online, outdoors in person or in a small number of east Belfast locations as part of a live, socially distanced audience.

With the challenges presented by Covid-19, this year’s festival, supported by principal funder Arts Council of Northern Ireland and funders Belfast City Council and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, has adapted to ensure that it continues to bring unique, exciting, joyful events to east Belfast in a safe and accessible environment. 

Here’s some festival highlights to help you create your Moments of Joy this August:

1. Theatre
Join Kabosh Theatre Company for a live, socially-distanced performance at Connswater Shopping Centre of The King of East Belfast - the story of ‘Old Godfather Clark’ aka well-known east Belfast bookie Clark Groves. Amadan Theatre Company presents The Old Curiosity Show, designed specifically for an online audience. This is theatre as you’ve never seen it before! And join The Travelling Cycle Circus on their outdoor adventures along the Connswater Community Greenway.

2. Heritage 
The iconic Strand Arts Centre will provide socially distanced cinematic treats in their beautiful art deco building including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and Green Book (2018). Join Gerry O’Neill for the much anticipated online launch of the EastSide Lives Heritage Trail with a film preview and Q&A. Or take a virtual C.S. Lewis or Yardmen Tour to experience all the sights and sounds of the east from your home.

3. Music & Audio
EastSide Sessions at Portview will premiere new recordings by musicians Gareth Dunlop, Edelle McMahon, Dani Larkin and Arborist, in the stunning surroundings of Portview Trade Centre, including short interviews with each artist by Anthony Toner

Also at Portview, and fully live-streamed, will be EastSide Electronics. Presented by The Night Institute, this event will feature a selection of the city's most forward-thinking artists for a night of exciting electronic music. Also online, Stuart Bailie celebrates Van Morrison’s 75th birthday in August, with two special events featuring Stuart’s reviews of his 75 favourite Van songs. And join the festival for an online special performance at The Ballyhackamore Working Men’s Club by renowned musician Joshua Burnside.

4. Online Storytelling
Belfast finest Drag Queens read from their favourite children’s books, artists read from books for children highlighting specific issues such as race or and enjoy the online launch of author Jan Carson’s Postcard Stories 2.

5. Art
Come on one of the socially distanced Street Art Walking Tours with Seedhead Arts and discover the new artwork that adorns walls across east Belfast.

6. And finally
Yet more outdoor and online events include green yoga with music, Greenway photography, The Vault Artists’ Market at C.S. Lewis Square, a Dragtastic Wrap Party, exhibitions and artists’ talks, and Samba in the Park with BEATnDRUM.

For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest20.


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