Hero of Belfast: The Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour

Experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist and social reformer.

Mary Ann McCracken, who was born over 250 years ago, is intrinsically linked to the city of Belfast. She lived her fearless life championing causes, moving from place to place, always on a mission to make life better for those less fortunate than herself.

Hear too about her more radical nature. Her role in the work of the United Irishmen, the 1798 rebellion and beyond. How she was devoted to her older brother Henry Joy – hanged for his leading role in the rebellion.

This walking tour takes in the locations linked to her life, her endeavours and that of her family. You will be led by an experienced guide through the same streets she walked over 200 years before. This new walking tour starts at Clifton House, where Mary Ann’s thirst for philanthropic causes first began, and where her impact can still be seen today, and finishes near Belfast City Hall.

Planning your visit:

Walking tour lasts approx. 2 ½ hours

Cost: £17.50/£16.50 concession

Please arrive 10 minutes in advance of the tour start time

Includes a complimentary tea and coffee

Free parking at Clifton House

Billy Connolly : Big Banana Feet

Thought lost for years, Big Banana Feet follows Billy Connolly on his 1975 Irish tour.

The gorgeous restoration by the BFI was undertaken in collaboration with Murray Grigor, Douglas Weir, National Library of Scotland, University of California and R3Store Studios, using the only 16mm print known to exist.

The Big Yin – complete with banana boots – was hitting the big-time when this film followed him on his 1975 Irish tour, which culminated in his famous engagement at the ABC Cinema in Belfast during the Troubles.

This remarkable film can now be seen once more in its full glory. In addition to showcasing Connolly’s comic and musical talent, it also captures his natural charm off-stage.



Baxter Dury

CQAF is delighted to welcome Baxter Dury our Festival Marquee as part of his I Thought I Was Better Than You tour. I Thought I Was Better Than You is an album that makes the start of a new character for Dury that he describes as “faux-confrontational.”

The album is a recounting and reckoning of his childhood. Drury breaks down the struggle he faced being born into a fortunate life but not wanting that to be the reason for his success.

“Really it’s about being trapped in an awkward place between something you’re actually quite good at, and somebody else’s success,” Dury says, referencing his father, singer-songwriter Ian Dury.

I Thought I Was Better Than You takes influence from the likes of Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator and Vegyn.

The album’s lead single ‘Celebrate Me’ starts with Dury narrating his life and speaking directly to the audience. It also features an array of high-pitched female voices including Eska Mtungwazi, JGrrey and Madeline Hart that stand out compared to Dury’s lower pitch speech in the song.

“It may sound corny, he says, “but men can be predictable – so I tried to step away from the male artistic trope of everything revolving around you.”

The track ‘Crowded Rooms’ on the album describes how Dury feels trapped in Bohemia and its small-mindedness in the upper-middle-class. Dury sings, questioning “Why am I condemned because I’m the son of a musician?/ Because I don’t wash or you think I’m too posh?”

The album is an acknowledgement of the nepotism that he has in his life and how even is both high and low art. Dury wants people to see that he is no better than anyone else.

Kimmie Rhodes

Kimmie Rhodes from Austin, Texas returns with a rare and intimate solo performance to celebrate the release of newly-penned songs, tell stories both poignant and hilarious from her four decades of making music and sing the songs those years inspired!

She says, “I can’t wait to visit friends and fans… fun promised!”

“Kimmie Rhodes: The soul of a poet and the voice of an angel.” – Rodney Crowell

“Kimmie has the voice of a beautiful child coming from an old soul. She touches us where the better angels of our nature dwell, and I believe we need that now more than ever. If you haven’t before, do yourself a favor and bring her into your listening life.” – Emmylou Harris


Horror Garage Punk! A.N.J.A. is a German-born, Belfast based singer and songwriter who performs with her 4-piece live band. A.N.J.A is dynamic burst of raw energy, captivating audiences with powerful and sometimes unhinged live performances.

With two guitars, two vocals, bass and drums, she sees her band as the 4 apocalyptic riders as she guides the audience into an occultish imaginarium and towards the edges of the underworld. Always fearless, electrified, bold!

A.N.J.A. harks back to retro punk and garage, grunge and stoner rock and draws inspiration from ‘folklore, horror cinema and themes of self-transformation and empowerment while facing the real-life horrors of our messed up world.’

Her sound is inspired by artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Hole, Misfits, The Velvet Underground, L7, Jack White, Iggy and the Stooges, PJ Harvey, and The Cramps.

DJ Format

Support by Pete Brady and Chris Caul

DJ Format will blend his favourite funk, soul, and even elements of hip hop for an unforgettable experience that will keep you dancing.

The title of his 2003 debut album says it all:Music For The Mature B-Boy. That’s DJ Format for you, boiled down to the essence. He’s the grown up producer/beatmaker who, admittedly, spends far too long digging for bafflingly scarce records to sample and play in clubs.

His six artist albums, featuring rap heavyweights likeJurassic 5EdanMr LifPhill Most Chill and of course long-time collaborator, Abdominal, have been called some of the highpoints in UK hip hop. His skill in compiling albums and crafting mixtapes have seen him enlisted by the good people at Fabric LiveFaniaBBE and Mr Bongo for his unique selections of funk, Latin soul, heavy psych, and Brazilian Tropicalia respectively.

More recently a string of cut ‘n’ paste 45s have kept his name in DJs’ boxes. These tributes to the likes of James Brown, Kool & The Gang, and The Meters, are as funky as they were labour-intensive to put together.

His latest artist album was something of a departure from his previous releases. An instrumental album swirling with psychedelic samples, “Devil’s Workshop” proved to be an instant hit with fans and critics alike.

Format’s DJ sets are like long form versions of these productions – meticulous on the execution and built on the deep crates he’s spent years building.

Catch him behind the decks at a spot near you. His high-octane sets of soul, funk, Latin, and feel-good hip hop, have rocked spots the world over. And he’s never happier than when he gets the chance to share his music with people just like you.


Shiro Masayamas and Leopold Kessler

Smoke is an exciting exhibition and engagement project from two established international artists. Working in collaboration and with a dryly humorous approach, Masuyama and Kessler have developed twin responses to themes of domestic and urban space, guerrilla interventions and herbal substances. This is a two-site exhibition, with a video archive of the artists’ street interventions displayed in Threshold, Flax Art Studios’ window galleries on North Street.

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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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