Congregation by Ray Lee

Let a magical sphere take you on an outdoor sonic adventure to a secret location, guiding you by sound alone. Seemingly possessed of its own mind it guides you through familiar and unfamiliar terrain. Can you keep the sphere ‘happy’ by going in the right direction? In return the orb will lead you on a listening voyage to the mysterious final destination where you will encounter a meeting of the spheres, a chiming, pulsing web of electronic sound.

In Congregation the audience are invited in small groups to discrete locations in a city where they are given a silver sphere. They are instructed that the sphere will guide them to a location by emitting sounds, one sound for the correct direction and another for the wrong direction.

Dumbworld commissions Congregation for it’s Irish premiere as part of their Ambulatory Arts programme- a series of immersive artistic interventions experienced on foot across the city.

Generously hosted by The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Commissioned by Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Out There Festival Great Yarmouth with financial support from Without Walls, OCM, Oxford Brookes University and 101 Outdoor Arts, Newbury.

Booking essential here:

Price £5

Dates : Sat 6th May 11am & 3pm/ Sunday 7th May 1pm & 4pm

Congregation headlines Dumbworld’s Ambulatory Arts programme- a series of immersive artistic interventions experienced on foot across the city.

Commissioned by Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Out There Festival Great Yarmouth with financial support from Without Walls, OCM, Oxford Brookes University and 101 Outdoor Arts, Newbury.

Sleeping Beauty

On the eve of her birthday Rose pricks her finger on her birthday badge, propelling her into a sleepy state where she is mystically enticed from slumber into fairytale land.

Whilst there, Rose makes some new friends who aren’t all what they appear to be. With the help of fantastical flying orbs, a shape-shifting witch, and a neurotic knight, Rose meanders her way through the mystical magical land, returning home to Dad with a big message.

This modern musical adaption of the classic fairytale places deaf and hearing artists together in central roles. Featuring sign song, music, an interactive vibrational sound experience, and puppetry. It’s for all the family and is played in a relaxed environment, making it accessible to all audiences.

Doors 10.30am | Unreserved seating

Expecting by Charis McRoberts

Shauna and Robbie are expecting… different things. Shauna expects motherhood won’t be easy. Robbie can’t wait to be a dad. Then she arrives.

Encountering financial difficulties alongside the arrival of baby Aisling and the barriers Shauna faces, Robbie spirals. Can Shauna and Robbie adjust their expectations and find a way back to one another? Break down barriers with C21 Theatre Company in an accessible new show as Shauna and Robbie plunge into parenthood. Will they sink or swim?

Directed by Stephen Kelly.

Please note: Both performances will be BSL interpreted.

Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston has been described as Twitter’s unofficial Poet Laureate; with over 200,000 followers on social media, Brian has become truly beloved by the online community.

His first collection of poetry, You Took the Last Bus Home, was published by Unbound. Diary of a Somebody (Picador) was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the McKitterick Prize. Alexa, What Is There To Know About Love?, his last collection, was described by one reviewer as ‘the funniest collection of humorous verse I have seen in a long time’. His poem ‘Refugees’ was set to music by Mark-Anthony Turnage for his 2019 song cycle of the same name, and Fifty Ways to Score a Goal, a collection of poems about football for children, was published in 2021.

Days Like These: An Alternative Guide to the Year in 366 Poems is his latest book and is out now in hardback, a brilliant collection of poems that will take the blues out of Monday, flatten the Wednesday hump and amplify that Friday feeling, from January through to December.

Brian Bilston is a poet clouded in the pipe smoke of mystery. Very little is known about him other than the fragments of information revealed on social media: his penchant for tank tops, his enjoyment of Vimto, his dislike of Jeremy Clarkson.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Paddy Godfrey & Matt McCrum

A delicious feast of Americana by two of Belfast’s finest singer-songwriters.

Paddy Godfrey:
Paddy Godfrey  is a solo country/folk singer from Belfast with a range of original songs in which he has taken inspiration from the likes of Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. He has been playing around the country for a number of years from the corners of traditional pubs to the stages of festivals such as Stendhal.

Matt McCrum
Lisburn-based singer songwriter Matt McCrum is equipped with an arsenal of cowboy lullabies depicting a life of desperation, addiction, isolation and everything in between while navigating your way through adulthood.

Taking inspiration from the likes of John Prine, Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt, Matt has been steadily gigging around Belfast for many years.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

Niamh Dunne

Niamh Dunne of Beoga fame has released her first solo project of self-penned songs to a rapturous critical welcome. The album Tides was released September 2022.

After Beoga’s six albums, a shortlist for a Grammy and numerous international tours, Niamh is no stranger to reaching a wider international audience as a result of the band co-writing Ed Sheeran’s massive hits Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan and appearing as Ed’s special guests on his headlining Glastonbury 2017 performance and subsequent Irish tour.

This is Niamh’s first solo project in ten years and her first ever album made up entirely of self-penned songs.

The album is in two halves; one based on story songs inspired by traditional Irish songs and the other half based on singer-songwriter style, introspective songs that look at lived experience, feminism, family, history and connection.

Both halves are a reflection on her life as a musician, from her traditional roots with the Traveller family The Dunne’s right up to writing with contemporary acts like Foy Vance and Ed Sheeran in recent years. This album is a chance to lend her own voice, with all its contradictions and nuances, to the musical landscape.

‘An unhurried, thoughtful collection that’s full of heart and soul. A long player to be savoured deep into the night.’ **** IRISH TIMES

Doors 2.30pm | Unreserved seating

Tim Key: Mulberry

Tim Key (Alan Partridge, The Witchfinder,Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme) is back with an all-new show. Ruminations about the great indoors with a bit of stamping around. Velour tracksuit, continental lagers, some “poetry”.

‘The greatest stand-up response to Lockdown so far’★★★★★The TimesKey’s new book,Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, is available to buy at all good bookshops and at

Presented by The MAC and Plosive Live in association with PBJ Management

Doors 7:15pm | Tickets £18

Waiting For Guffman (Film)

The town of Blaine, Missouri may be small, but eccentric stage director Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) always dreams big.

Determined to get back to the bright lights of “off-off-off-off-Broadway,” he casts a ragtag group of amateur actors in Red, White & Blaine, a musical celebration of the burg’s 150th anniversary — and when word gets out that New York talent scout Mort Guffman will be in the audience, Corky’s hopes of stardom just might come true.

Shot in 29 days in a small suburb near Austin with one Super 16 camera and no script, director-star Guest’s cult-hit mockumentary was created entirely in collaboration with a superstar cast of improvisational talents, including Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, and, supremely, Catherine O’Hara, as travel agent–cum–theatrical hopeful Sheila Albertson; her audition duet of Midnight at the Oasis with her husband Ron (Willard), performed in matching windbreakers, is so marvellously painful you can’t wait for the mainstage production.

The film that no less than Meryl Streep once as named as her favourite, Waiting for Guffman is both hilarious and heart-warming. Join us in the Green Room for the best movie ever made about theatre!

‘A superb send-up of small-town amateur dramatics’ Empire

‘…the unmistakable delusions of grandeur that are shared by amateurs and professionals alike. All that, and we are treated to the sight of The Remains of the Day lunch boxes. What more could you want?’  The Independent

Doors 5.30pm | Unreserved Seating 


An Evening with Ron Sexsmith

The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is delighted to present this special evening in the company of one of Canada’s greatest songwriters as he marks the release of new album The Vivian Line.

 The Vivian Line is the 17th album entry in Ron Sexsmith’s compelling discography, one matched by very few contemporary singer/songwriters.

His catalogue has earned him immense peer respect and a loyal international following, and this new release (February 2023) captures Ron at the top of his creative game.

These new songs all flowed from Sexsmith’s fertile musical and lyrical imagination in a short period of 2021 during covid. “The songs came out of nowhere,” Ron explains. “I wasn’t really writing after the [2020] release of my previous album, Hermitage. The older I get, the more I think ‘maybe this is it,’ but then I find myself with new ideas again and got excited.”

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Otoboke Beaver + Drinking Boys and Girls Choir (Support)

Otoboke Beaver are a punk-rock-garage quartet from Kyoto, Japan. Formed at Kyoto University’s music club, the band consists of Accorinrin (Lead Vocal & Guitar), Yoyoyoshie (Guitar & Vocals), Hirochan (Bass & Vocals) and Kahokiss (Drums & Vocals).

Acco’s off-kilter, self-taught, compositional and confrontational performance skills, together with the band’s incredible musicianship make for a thrilling and unmissable live act.

Damnably Records released the compilation Okoshiyasu!! in March 2016, which was championed by Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft on BBC6Music and John Kennedy on XFM.

2017 was a breakthrough year for the band, with attention from Pitchfork, NPR, i-D and The Fader and more, acclaimed debuts at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, a sold-out show in London’s legendary 100 Club, and their Love Is Short 7” charted in the UK for 4 weeks.

In 2018 the band’s ‘ATTYUUMA’ tour saw them travel over 24,000 miles in a week on a brief UK tour that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella Music Festival. Recent converts include Tadanobu Asano, Aidan Moffat and The Cribs, the latter describing them as “PUNK AS F*CK”.

After kicking things off at the SXSW 2019 music opening party and a run of wild showcases, the band released new album ITEKOMA HITS in April on Damnably, receiving widespread acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, NYLON, BrooklynVegan and many more.

They made their European debut at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands, appeared as part of the line up at Koyabu Sonic Festival in Japan, and composed the opening theme song for Japanese comedy series Susumu Inomata & 8 Mojo.

In 2020 the band were about to embark on a world tour. They completed a two week tour in Europe and were getting ready to start their first US tour when the world locked down due to the pandemic.

With touring no longer possible during that time, the band worked on new music. In preparation for the release of their new album, the band are looking forward picking up where they left off and will finally be on their way to world domination in 2023.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing


in partnership with the Japan Foundation           

Ichiko Aoba

Critically acclaimed Japanese singer, guitarist and composer Ichiko Aoba has announced a short tour of the US and continental Europe.

2022 was a momentous year for Aoba, with her US, UK and EU tours selling out and thousands of new fans falling for her unique and utterly spellbinding brand of music that crosses the boundaries of ambient folk, psych,  jazz and classical.

Her live shows have spawned viral buzz across  social networks, where she plays favourites from 10 years worth of rich catalogue as well as from her latest opus, Windswept Adan. 

Ichiko Aoba’s work gained greater exposure during the pandemic as the need for comfort grew while we sequestered in solitude. She has a rare musical gift that is matched only by her ability to hone it into meticulous craft.

Her music embraces and elevates alone time to a generous and tranquil place. In it, listeners are invited to feel a sense of consolation and possibility – a sensation which is mirrored in her live performances.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

in partnership with the Japan Foundation

Sticky City

Alice and Jamie are putting on a party (and it’s on Jamie’s Birthday!)

Words, performance, theatre by Alice Malseed, music by Jamie Nevin.

Sticky City by Alice Malseed is an in-progress rehearsed performance of a new piece exploring dating, imperialism and chaos.

This is Alice’s candid, visceral and fresh theatrical response to being told by some men that she can’t write, while others think her writing is all about them. It asks what will Belfast be without its gory core? Do we risk becoming somewhere boring like Milton Keynes? What happens to people and places, when they stop craving chaos?

From the theatre maker/writer behind The Half Moon, Anthem and Jellyfish.

Dramaturg and Director – Katherine Nesbitt
Sound Design and Composition – Sophie Price

Alice will be joined by Jamie Nevin, her boyfriend (a lovely non-chaotic man who provides no juicy content for her writing).

Jamie is a DJ who’s been collecting and performing music for over 14 years – boasting a singular, uncompromising, necessarily eclectic sonic palette that spans the far reaches of the world and always finds soul, familiarity, space and depth.

Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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