Hit the North

Seedhead Arts with support from Hennessy NI, is gearing up once more to bring Ireland’s biggest street art festival to Belfast, alongside the returning Festival of Fools and Belfast’s best arts festival, the CQAF.

As ‘Hit the North’ Street Arts Festival enters its tenth year, we’re delighted to be back to the May Day weekend with our legendary street art jam taking place on Sunday 1st May!

Unlike most festivals, we continued to celebrate Hit the North in 2020 and 2021, and this year we look forward to being a truly international event again with artists visiting from across Europe.

Join us and watch over 50 renowned international and local street artists create a breath-taking array of modern murals in Kent Street, Union Street and beyond. On Sunday spectators can expect entertainment, food trucks and refreshments as they watch murals come to life.

Notable artists confirmed include: Bust, Asbestos, Sophie Mess, Irony, Friz, Holly Pereira, Kenz, KVLR, Claire Prouvost, Shane Ha, Omin, Danni Simpson, JMK, GD Joyce, Codo, Mr Fenz.

The full artist line-up and supporting events will be revealed over the coming weeks. To find out more visit: https://www.seedheadarts.com/street-art/htn22

Black Is The Color Of My Voice

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black Is The Color Of My Voice follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.

Written and directed by Apphia Campbell.  Fringe First award-winner Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed production heads on an extensive national tour, after sell-out seasons in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh, and in the West End of London.

Running time 70 minutes

Written and directed by Apphia Campbell

Performed by Florence Odumosu

Ages 12+, references to violence and racism

“Moving portrayal of determination and survival.” ★★★★ The Times

“Nothing short of sensational… will make you cheer for her, smile with her and then sting your eyes with tears.” ★★★★★ Broadway Baby

‘A compelling and heartbreaking story, punctuated with bursts of song.’ ★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

The Nowhere Inn – St Vincent

Starring real-life friends Annie Clark (a.k.a. Grammy-winning artist St. Vincent) and Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney), this is a mischievous, metafictional and frequently laugh-out-loud funny account of banding together to make a documentary about St. Vincent’s music, touring life and on-stage persona.

But they quickly discover unpredictable forces lurking within the subject and the filmmaker that threaten to derail the friendship, the project, and the duo’s creative lives.

From first-time filmmaker Bill Benz (Portlandia, At Home With Amy Sedaris) comes a densely woven and increasingly fractured commentary on reality, identity and authenticity.

A music documentary like no other, this is the story of two close friends who attempt to wrestle the truth out of a complex subject before the hall of mirrors that is their artistic lives devours.

Doors 1.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Supported by Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from National

Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr

Dir. Philipp Reichenheim, Germany/U.S.A, 2021, 82 mins.

FEATURING: J Mascis, Lou Barlow, Kim GordonHenry Rollins, Bob Mould, Thurston Moore and many others.

Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr is a feature documentary homage to one of the most influential bands on the American East Coast, which greatly inspired the burgeoning alternative rock scene – including Nirvana and Sonic Youth – in the 1990s.

Their unique style and unmistakable sound, later referred to as Grunge, laid the foundation for the entire “Slacker” culture of Generation X. It’s also the story of the eloquent and eccentric guitarist and bandleader J. Mascis, the bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph and a band that funnily does not talk to each other.

Communication takes place exclusively through music. Director Philipp Reichenheim nevertheless skilfully encourages the three introverted and shy icons to shoot the breeze and unpack their fascinating story.

The film offers exclusive rare insights into the crazy everyday life of the band across three decades, and illuminates the inner workings of a cult band from its embryonic beginnings in the 1980s and 90s to the present day subculture icons.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Supported by Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from National Lottery.

The Beatles Bungalow – Michael Donald Exhibition

Peter Jackson’s highly acclaimed recent film, Get Back, offers a rare insight into the creative process of the Beatles as they finished recording the album Let it Be.

Much of the album was written in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh in the foothills off the Himalayas in northern India where the band sought spiritual solace and an escape from the trappings of fame. The ashram, while still open to the public has now fallen into decay and is a ruin slowly being swallowed up by the surrounding forest. 

The photographer, Michael Donald, visited the site in 2020 to make a record of the place before it disappears back into the mountains. The ghosts of the band are ever present in the crumbling paint of the bungalow where they lived for much of 1968 writing what would become, Let it Be.


Declan O’Rourke + guest Niall McNamee

Award-winning Irish singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke  returns after 2 years with his Paul Weller-produced Arrivals, the most emotionally raw and affecting album of his career.

Arrivals sees Declan O’Rourke present his art in a different yet wholly distinctive manner. The sound is stripped back to Declan’s soulful and resonant voice, the virtuosic guitar playing for which he’s renowned and only the occasional sparse arrangement of strings and late night drums bringing colour and light to the LP’s 10 songs.

Weller, a fan of Declan’s songwriting for some years, also adds his multi-instrumental abilities to the recordings, including a beautiful piano accompaniment to the closing track.

Marked out as a major talent with the release of 2004’s debut Since Kyabram, Declan has produced possibly his finest work to date and this will be a very unique and special show as part of this year’s festival.

‘A masterful lyricist and staggering guitarist’    4**** MOJO

 Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

The Michael Janisch Band

Michael Janisch is a US-native who has lived in London for 17 years and in that time has established himself as a first-call electric & double bassist to the stars, a MOBO-Award nominated solo artist, an in-demand producer, and founder of Whirlwind Recordings, one of the premiere indie labels in jazz and related music.

His latest release Worlds Collide is an electro-acoustic joyride of original material recorded at Abbey Road Studios, combining contemporary jazz alongside free improvisations and soaring melodies over multi – metered grooves and swing.

Paying homage to artists as diverse as Ornette Coleman, Fela Kuti & Afro-Beat to the electronic music pioneer Aphex Twin, the album has been a hit on streaming sites with well over 1,000,000 global plays to date as well as one of the year’s most talked about and covered releases.

Janisch has performed with everyone from Joe Lovano to Claire Martin OBE to Kurt Rosenwinkel to Shirley Horn and Wynton Marsalis, not to mention the “who’s who” players of his generation ranging from Walter Smith III to Melissa Aldana and Soweto Kinch.

Joining Janisch (on basses) for this date to play new music, selections from Worlds Collide and a few gems from his last five albums is Slovenian artist Jure Pukl on tenor saxophone (Greg Hutchinson, Esperanza Spalding), Nathaniel Face on alto sax (Empirical, Gary Crosby), Rick Simpson on piano/keys (Christian Scott, Leo Richardson), and Shane Forbes on drums (Emperical, Jean Toussaint).

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved seating

Rory Nellis – ‘Written & Underlined’ Album Launch

Rescheduled from OTL 22

Rory Nellis launches his brand new album, Written & Underlined, with a full band show at McHughs in Belfast.

Rory is a singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Belfast. Producing a mix of folk-pop and indie-rock stemming from musings on life, death, relationships and politics he is a natural fit for fans of Wilco, Villagers and Duke Special.

Rory has been writing and performing since he was a teenager, gaining support from the likes of BBC Radio Ulster, RTE 2FM and Hot Press Magazine. Rory has toured all around Ireland and beyond – playing festivals and venues such as The Limelight, The Atlantic Sessions, Other Voices (Dingle), Whelan’s (Dublin) and The Bluebird Cafe (Nashville).

Nellis’s second album, There Are Enough Songs in the World, was widely acclaimed, seeing him being heralded as “One of Ireland’s most naturally gifted songsmiths” by The Thin Air. As Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody put it at the time: “the music is sweeping. There’s magic in it”.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Grace Petrie

‘She’s the urgent, pulsing, compassionate talent this world desperately needs.  The Observer

Protest singer Grace Petrie has an army of loyal fans across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes.

She’s toured to arenas with Frank Turner, has supported comedian Hannah Gadsby, toured with comedy phenomenon The Guilty Feminist, has done a prestigious live session on the BBC Radio 2 Jo Whiley Show and reached the top 40 in the UK album charts in autumn 2021 with her new album Connectivity.

Festival appearances have included The Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival in Australia and Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada among many more.

Grace will be accompanied on stage by long-time music collaborator, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Moss.

‘She writes the sort of songs you want to pin the lyrics of on your bedroom wall, or on the office door, to remind you and everyone else who might read them what is important and true’ Buzz Magazine

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

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