SOLD OUT – Rufus Wainwright (Solo)

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and composer Rufus Wainwright will play a special second intimate solo show in the beautiful environment of St. Anne’s Cathedral.

This is the 20-year anniversary of his eponymous debut which first burst him onto the music scene. Immediately beloved and critically acclaimed, both Rufus and the record were widely hailed as a breakthrough. It influenced many artists that came after him and set the path for his illustrious career ever since.

One of the great male vocalists, songwriters and composers of his generation, Rufus Wainwright has released eight studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Elton John, David Byrne, Mark Ronson, Joni Mitchell to Burt Bacharach. At the age of 14 he was named Canada’s best young musician and later received the Juno Award for Best Alternative Album. His album, Rufus Does Judy recorded at Carnegie Hall in 2006, was nominated for a Grammy.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Kevin McAleer – Guru

Tyrone’s biggest living lama Kevin McAleer has just been voted ‘Ireland’s Most Humble Guru’ by Mindfulness Magazine for the eighteenth year running.

To celebrate this modest achievement, he has announced a majestic interplanetary tour for 2019, taking in the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Venus and Pluto, before returning to his home planet Earth for a series of spectacular live apparitions.

It’s almost fifty years since Guru McAleer first coined the word ‘mindfulness’, and he is still coining it today. He achieved global fame and fortune with the bestselling Be Your Own Brexit, and has appeared dozens of times on Celebrity Zen Master Chef and as an outspoken judge on Tibet’s Got Talent.

McAleer’s Advanced Awareness seminars promise total self-discovery on the night, or your money back; participants are gently guided to a state of deep relaxation, emptying the mind of all thought, and replacing it with meaningless laughter. An evening of divine light entertainment not to be missed.

Immaculate mastery of language’  The Scotsman
Will leave your head spinning and your cheeks hurting‘  British Comedy Guide


Doors Tickets 7.15pm | Limited Unreserved Seating 

The Gold Tips + Joe Lindsay DJ support

Belfast’s newest soul outfit make their hometown debut – brought together by a love of StaxSam Cookeand Northern Soul, the live show promises to be an energetic, sweat drenched testament.

A trip to Trondheim in autumn 2018 led to the unearthing of Parade, The Gold Tips debut album. Not a moment wasted. It was recorded, it is said, in an old barn in the middle of nowhere, with a generator, a brass section and a long way back to the nearest town.

From the Northern European wilds comes an idiosyncratic soul shouting, heart-breaking testament. It’s the sound of 2019, echoing down through the ages. Preach, brothers and sisters.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Skipper’s Alley & The Conifers

Skipper’s Alley

Described by The Irish Times as “gloriously three-dimensional”, the group spring from harp-accompanied Sean-Nós songs to feral, unkempt sets of reels, creating a sound that is both “scintillating” and “a model of tender delicacy” (David Kidman, The Living Tradition).

Rinne The Irish Times cur síos ar Skipper’s Alley mar ghrúpa “iomráiteach agus tríthoiseach”… preabann an ghrúpa ón t-amhránaíocht ar an tsean-nós leis an chruit mar thionlacann go dtí seiteanna ríl fián. Cruthaíonn siad fuaim bríomhar atá mín agus séimh ag am chéanna.

The Conifers

The Conifers are five young musicians from different parts of Ireland and one member from Berlin. Conor O’Loughlin (Concertina), Bryan O’Leary (accordion), Marty Barry (Guitar + vocals), Cathal Ó Curráin (fiddle, bouzouki + vocals), and Felix Morgenstern (bodhrán).

While their music is energetic, lively and has a wholesome sound, the band members strive to remain true to a traditional repertoire rooted in the regions of Clare, Sliabh Luachra and Donegal. This is also shown through their repertoire of songs in English and Irish.

The Conifers met while studying traditional music at the University of Limerick and have since developed a lasting friendship, which comes through in their music – a heady blend of traditional and modern sensibilities.

Doors 8.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Robbie Fulks

Unfortunately Robbie Fulks has had to withdraw from his UK/Irish tour due to a personal matter.

We hope to bring Robbie back in the near future and apologise for the inconvenience.  


Robbie Fulks is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter whose early solo work helped define the alt-country movement that began in the 1990s

He can write lyrics and prose, heart-tugging and knee-slapping. He plays his well-worn acoustic guitar with abandon, speed and, periodically, precision (but mostly abandon). He sings with a tenor that aches and snarls, sometimes at once.

And he is entertaining in a manner that truly classifies him as a must-see artist. Loquacious, wickedly witty, and possessed of a talent bigger than his home state of Illinois, Fulks is a musical traveller, adept at multiple styles, but too restless to stay in one place for too long.

In the “if people only knew about him, he’d be huge” discussion, Fulks has remained a hot topic for 20 years.

‘A soulful singer with an expressive honky-tonk tenor, and he’s a natural performer.’ – NEW YORK TIMES

SOLD OUT – Visit to the Homeplace and tour of Heaney Country

In what would have been Seamus Heaney’s 80th year (b. 13 April 1939), we invite you to join us for a visit to the award-winning Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Bellaghy, Co. Derry, which celebrates the life and work of the late poet and contributes to his legacy.

Leaving Belfast at 10.00am, the day will consist of a tour of the Centre and lunch followed by a guided tour of Heaney Country by Eugene Kielt.

Eugene’s tours are recommended by the Guardian, the Irish Times, National Geographic and other travel guides.

The bus will return to the John Hewitt at 5.00pm.

Meet at 9.45am outside John Hewitt | Limited capacity on coach

The Fretless

The Fretless is the Canadian fiddle foursome playing an essential part in the traditional Irish folk music movement. Through the deconstruction and transformation of the usual rhythmic, harmonic and structured arrangements of fiddle styles around the world, The Fretless push traditional music into new plains.

Debuting in 2012 the band has steadily moved into the public eye, winning Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and Instrumental Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Award, along with a Juno award for their 2016 album Bird’s Nest.

Their most recent album, Live from the Antfarm, takes this a step further leading the charge in a new wave of folk music.

The Fretless is an innovation in music that must be heard.  They harbour all the energy of fiddle tunes, while shattering expectations.  Their approach takes string music to fascinating new places as it transforms traditional tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. An absolute must-see.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating


Singer-songwriter DANI has been wowing audiences for the past few years with her virtuoso guitar playing and highly individualistic self-penned songs.

In 2017 DANI travelled to Indonesia to work with instrumentalists KunoKini. The combination of KunoKini’s exploration of Indonesia’s traditional instruments with DANI’s traditional Irish style of songwriting allowed for a powerful musical partnership.

She recently composed the music for The Silver Branch a collaborative project with playwright Alice Malseed which explores the narrative surrounding contemporary abortion debate through the lens of Celtic Mythology.

‘A multi-instrumentalist with a remarkable knack for eking out sublime, burrowing melodies evocative of Irish traditional music.’THE THIN AIR

Revisited – Jeff Buckley ‘Grace’

Oh Yeah’s Revisited series returns to CQAF by celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s masterpiece album Grace.

Released in 1994 Grace gained cult status at first before going on to sell over 2 million albums and is consistently acclaimed as one of the greatest albums of all time.

It was unfortunately the only studio album Buckley would record due to his death only a few days later. Featuring his soaring and heart-breaking version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as well as favourites Mojo Pin, Last Goodbye and Grace.

To celebrate the legacy of a remarkable, sincere and mesmerising record the Oh Yeah will re-imagine the album with local artists including David C Clements, Reevah and Sam Wickens.


Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

A Certain Ratio

English post-punk purveyors A Certain Ratio are set to deliver the perfect balance of funk and dance-oriented industrial realness on the Black Box.

The show coincides with the release of ACR:BOX, marking the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release, the Martin Hannett produced All Night Party (Factory Records’ first single release).

A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in.

Their dub-infused punk-funk recordings have proved massively influential over the past thirty years – their sound can be heard on everyone from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand to ESG, and Factory Floor.

Five albums were released on Factory , two for A&M and two albums on Robs Records, the label set up by New Order’s manager and Factory’s director, Rob Gretton.

Their sound is not easily pigeon holed combining the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts.


Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

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The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival / Out To Lunch Arts Festival
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