‘Boldie’ Premiere screening

A new film by Nicholas Keogh
A short character introduction to Max the Jack Russell.
Nicholas will also be introducing two of his favourite films:

Watching YouTube 
By Paddy Maguire
Rare Witch is an artist, animator, film-maker and musician based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His music combines a chaotic fusion of abstract comedy, local social commentary, and overhand banjo playing.


Director: Price James
Writer: Darren Cullen
Based on Original Artwork by Darren Cullen
Artist and activist whose artwork satirises topics ranging from the insidious nature of advertising, from the culpability of the “Santa lie” to armed forces recruitment propaganda.

Annie Macmanus in Conversation – in partnership with Ulster Presents at Ulster University

CQAF  in partnership with Ulster Presents at Ulster University welcomes Annie Macmanus to the festival to talk about her writing and her career in music and broadcasting.  Hosted by Shauna McLaughlin.

‘To be honest with you, I want to make music.’ In Annie Macmanus’ absorbing second novel ‘The Mess We’re In’ it’s the early noughties and 21-year-old Orla Quinn has made her way to London with a burning desire to become part of the music industry. Moving into a squalid house in Kilburn with her friend Neema and up-and-coming rock band Shiva, Orla works in the local Irish pub and takes work experience at a record label. Negotiating hedonism, sex, parties, the pub locals and life in London, all soundtracked by her favourite artists, Orla learns what it will take to make it.

A dynamic and enthusiastic speaker, Annie will discuss the journey she’s undertaken from discussing other people’s stories to telling her own. Annie is internationally renowned as a DJ, broadcaster and host.

Her debut novel ‘Mother Mother’ was critically acclaimed. She hosts the podcast Changes where she talks to people from all walks of life about the challenges they’ve faced.

‘Captures a time and a place with heart and irresistible momentum in a prose that can be bracingly lyrical.’THE OBSERVER

‘The writing is so vivid – I could almost feel Orla’s hangover, and everyone else’s too. [Macmanus has] created a great gang of characters, and a great variety too, all of them very human… And London – what [she’s] managed to do with London, and what London means to different generations of Irish people – is terrific, and deeply moving.’ RODDY DOYLE

‘Orla is written with unsentimental authenticity… It is her flaws, her vulnerability and her complexity that make her such a compelling character that will resonate with anyone who has ever left home in search of themselves… Orla is searching for a voice in the noise – Macmanus articulates that hunger with confidence and compassion.’ IRISH TIMES



Muireann Bradley

Tickets for Festival Marquee, Tuesday 7th May available here

Muireann Bradley is a 17 year old finger picking guitarist & singer who grew up in the hills overlooking the Finn Valley outside the town of Ballybofey in County Donegal. Muireann performs primarily Country, Ragtime & Piedmont style blues from the 1920s & 1930s.

Her influences include Rev Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Elizabeth Cotten, and Memphis Minnie to name just a few. She delights in interpreting & performing the music of these early blues masters, always putting her own unique stamp on the tunes.

Muireann grew up surrounded by guitars & old blues & began playing at the age of nine when she convinced her father to buy her first guitar and teach her. She worked hard and learned to finger pick in various old blues styles. However as she got older she began to invest more time in the sports of boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which she trained and competed in successfully from a young age. This led to the guitar and music beginning to take something of a back seat.

Then in March 2020 when the first COVID lock downs happened all contact sports were shut down. Muireann felt lost for a while but she soon rediscovered her love for the guitar and the old Blues that she had grown up with. She was now listening and practicing with a new intensity and focus.

She decided to start posting videos on You Tube, the first of which was her rendition of Blind Blake’s “Police Dog Blues”. It received a lot of attention, and has now had 80,000+ views. She was then contacted by Josh Rosenthal of Tompkins Square Records in San Francisco who suggested she record an album.

The songs and instrumentals were all recorded live in the studio in one or two takes in an attempt to make the process as similar as possible to that of the original classic country blues artists of the 1920s and 30s. These recordings would become the album “I kept these old blues” which has just been released.


Belonging by Cikada Circus

Belonging is an abstract acrobatic performance piece originally crafted in 2022 as a response to a collection of artworks of the same theme. The performers use a piece of stretch fabric as a medium to create fluid sculptures and abstract shapes, acting as a platform to explore physical and metaphorical expressions of what it is to belong: to one another, to a place, to the natural world, or a feeling of simply not belonging.

In this extended and immersive version, adapted especially for Festival of Fools, the acrobats invite audience members to contemplate our connections to the natural world, to one another, and to the planet as a unified entity.

The original Belonging performance was directed by Alain Servant, commissioned by the Belonging exhibition of works from the EIB Art collection – Limerick, and the creation was supported by Art Council Ireland and Nenagh Arts Centre.

Luke Haines Freaks Out! Weirdos, Misfits and Deviants – The Rise and Fall of Righteous Rock ’n’ Roll

Join Luke Haines for this in-conversation talk about his new book.

The outsider artist par excellence turns his caustic eye to the rise and fall of alternative rock ’n’ roll heroes.

In his first book for thirteen years, author Luke Haines – visual artist, writer and musician most famed as the founder member of the Auteurs and Black Box Recorder – chronologically explains how ‘freaks’ infiltrated modern culture, and almost won the rock ’n’ roll wars, only to lose to the rise of Cool Britannia and TV ‘talent’ shows that turned the strange and the outsiders into fodder for laughter.

Freaks Out! tells the story of pivotal freaks such as Johnnie Ray, Gene Vincent, Hank Marvin, Syd Barrett, the Incredible String Band and Big Youth through the prism of rock ’n’ roll, as well as through wider culture – the Cathars, the Ranters, the Hells Angels and the Yippies. Haines’ writing is the perfect mix of in-depth music knowledge, personal anecdotes and fascinating memoir that makes for the ultimate celebration of freakdom.

Pete Selby, Publishing Director for Nine Eight Books who acquired the book directly from Haines said: “Whilst the reductivism of the labels might stick in his craw, Luke is one of our greatest pop culture writers, theorists and provocateurs. A defiantly solipsistic, sacred cow skewering agitator, you may not always agree with what he says, but he says it in such an eloquent and entertaining fashion it’s impossible not to grit your teeth and applaud. Freaks Out! – part memoir, part manifesto – is the most righteous alternate history of rock ’n’ roll that you will read in 2024.”

Luke Haines is a London-based writer, visual artist, singer-songwriter and founder member of the Auteurs and Black Box Recorder. In 1993, the debut Auteurs album, New Wave lost the Mercury Music Prize by one vote to Suede. A prolific artist, he has released nineteen albums in the twenty-first century, most recently his 2022 collaboration with REM’s Peter Buck – All the Kids Are Super Bummed Out.

He writes a regular monthly column for Record Collector and is the author of two critically acclaimed autobiographical books: Bad Vibes (2009) and Post Everything (2011).

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Psychopath!

Jerry Sadowitz, Britain’s favourite comedian and magician, is back!

Yes – the man with no visible demographic returns to simultaneously amuse, offend, baffle and upset you while parting you of hard earned cash!

Television appearances include “Love Island”, “Michty Me!” (still in production) and “Loose Stools”. He is married to Benedict Cumberbatch.

‘Music has Death Metal, film has Wes Craven, and comedy has Jerry Sadowitz… brutal but brilliant’ ***** Scotland On Sunday

‘An absolute dumpster fire of decorum… hysterically funny’ **** The Guardian

‘Outright hilarious’ **** The Times

Strictly over 18s only – contains very strong language and themes.


There is a rare alchemy that occurs when Lemoncello sing together, cutting through a minimal yet dramatic soundscape driven by cyclical, finger-picked guitar and earthy, gritty cello playing.

Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella – A.K.A. Lemoncello – say: “We are honoured to be releasing our first album on a roster of artists that we love, and to be part of the revival of a label that has such a strong history of great Irish music.”

Audiences are charmed into a world of intimate observations and uncomfortable questions with irresistible chemistry, charisma, and humour, while blanketed in their unique sound – embedded in Irish folk roots and off-kilter-indie pop influences.

Previously nominated for Best Folk Song and Best Emerging Folk Act at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, the duo’s enrapturing performances have also led them to play in Dublin’s legendary Vicar Street, The Irish Arts Centre NYC, London’s Bush Hall, and to open for esteemed artists such as Lisa O’Neill, Sam Amidon, Glen Hansard and Cormac Begley.

Bua an Chultúir/Victory of Culture

Farhad O’Neill

An exhibition of sculpture based upon Irish mythology

Date: 2–31 May . Thursday,  May 2, 5 – 10pm

Exhibition Opening: 5 – 8pm. Performances: 7 – 10pm

Seán Ó Muireagáin – poet: 7pm

Torby: 8pm

The Shan Vans: 9pm

Following on from the exhibition debut at Feile 2023, Bua an Chultúir/Victory of Culture comes to 2 Royal Avenue for the month of May as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. “Bua an Chultúir is an exhibition of modern  sculpture, carved from turf,  and based upon Irish mythological stories taken from medieval texts.  Opening on Thursday May 2, the exhibition coincides with the Late Night Art Belfast events.

The artist, Farhad O’Neill,  has had a career spanning 30 years with exhibitions and commissions both locally and internationally.  He is pleased to offer this creative effort to the people of Belfast and is particularly pleased to have the company of other Gaels for the opening night.  Seán Ó Muireagáin is a well known Belfast poet who will be reciting on the night.  Torby is an exciting up coming rapper as gaeilge, and the Shan Vans are an exciting new Irish language rock band.  Their involvement will ensure a fun, exciting, and broad cultural experience for all who attend”.

Supported By



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.

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with festival news, events and early ticket releases.

View Our Privacy Policy

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival / Out To Lunch Arts Festival
Unit 8
Northern Whig House
Bridge Street