Winnie Ama – Artist in Residence

We’re delighted to introduce Winnie Ama as this year’s Artist in ResidenceWinnie is part of a new breed of electronic artists blending conscious lyrics, soulful alternative RnB vocals with dance, house and pop rhythms.

Winnie will be playing the closing night of the festival (8th May) at the Black Box:
Book here:

You can also catch Winnie in support of Altered Images, Sarah McQuaid, Michael Janisch and Dani Larkin.

The Belfast-born-and-raised Northern-Irish-Ghanaian artist has had success with multiple MusicWeek UK Club Chart top 10’s and support from BBC Introducing and BBC Radio Ulster referencing her fresh writing style and distinctive voice.

Winnie Ama’s writing style is inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse. She switched from writing poetry and stories to writing music.

Winnie studied jazz vocals before making her commercial music debut in 2019 writing 3 songs in collaboration with Francis Groove that made the top 10 in MusicWeek’s UK Urban/Black Club Chart – Can’t Wait #1, I Swear #7 and Born to Win #6.

She also appeared in Photo Vogue in 2019. Her solo debut What Are We was in MusicWeek’s Black Club Chart for 6 weeks, peaking at number 11.

Winnie Ama is also a lead data analyst for the Why Not Her? movement which campaigns for gender equality in the music industry and mentors other artists.

In 2022 she has a series of singles starting with electronic pop track Here I Go produced with Simon Le Saint on 25 February and a pop house collaborative track with two New York Producers Genpop and Pommy Awe of You out on 25 March.

Winnie’s full schedule of CQAF shows will be released in the coming weeks.


Winnie Ama – Here I Go (exclusive new track!)

Penguin Cafe + special guest Peter Broderick

Arthur Jeffes much loved collective – Penguin Cafe – are back in 2022 performing their eclectic array of genre-defying evocative pieces mixing Arthur’s beautiful compositions with some iconic PCO classics.

Originally brought together by Arthur to keep alive the music of his late father, Simon Jeffes of the iconic Penguin Cafe Orchestra,

Penguin Cafe have gone on to release four original and critically acclaimed albums; A Matter of Life… in 2011, The Red Book in 2014, The Imperfect Sea 2017 and Handfuls of Night in 2019, the latter two on Erased Tapes Records.

This year sees the Penguins touring extensively in the UK, beginning with a much-awaited show at London’s Barbican, and the special anniversary re-release of their first Penguin Cafe album, A Matter of Life….

We’re delighted that Erased Tapes labelmate Peter Broderick will join Penguin Cafe for this special Festival show.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

We are grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the loan of the Steinway D Piano, for the purpose of this event.


Jesse Dayton + special guest The Sabrejets

Jesse Dayton’s Beaumonster is filled with song interpretations that are part-greaser, a whole lotta twang, and quintessentially outlaw country badass. Beaumonster encapsulates a life filled with adventure and lore featuring some of the greatest musicians this world has ever known.

Now a successful independent act, in the last handful of years Dayton has played guitar on Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan’s latest solo album, launched his own weekly radio show, Dayton’s Badass Country Show, on Gimme Country and licensed more than 50 songs for film and television…not to mention playing over 150 live dates per year throughout Europe and North America while also releasing five albums for Blue Élan Records.

After sneaking into nightclubs to play gigs in his youth, 18-year-old Dayton and his trio began packing clubs and theaters across Houston, Dallas, and Austin. His first solo record—featuring great luminaries like Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Johnny Gimble—hit #1 on the Americana Radio Charts, and then he was off to the races, touring the world as an opener for punk legends Social Distortion, The Supersuckers, and X.

While doing press in Nashville, he caught the attention of Waylon Jennings and was whisked off to Woodland Studios, where he was greeted by none other than Johnny Cash, who tells Dayton: “We’ve been waiting for you.”

Beaumonster finds Dayton performing songs written by the many talented musicians and songwriters featured throughout his memoir of the same name. The album zigs and zags from Waylon Jennings to Social Distortion and Townes Van Zandt to Willie Nelson — all who shared a connection with the storied Beaumont guitar slinger.

While on tour with the Supersuckers in 1994 Dayton found himself “…prayin’ the Devil didn’t steal [his] soul, and that [his] mama wouldn’t find out about [his] evil ways.” On his cover of “Born with a Tail,” Dayton starts off with a driving intro then adds a Spaghetti Western flair and somehow even more slide guitar that does justice to the Supersuckers own, the late Rontrose Heathman.

Story of My Life, a classic Social Distortion song was an easy pick for Dayton, “This song pretty much explains why [Mike Ness’] working class fans love him so much… he’s one of them.” Dayton’s punkabilly drawl cuts through a mix of organ and background vocals to give an entirely new feel to the group’s most iconic song.

Working with Waylon Jennings was a dream come true for Dayton, “[Waylon] put a dangerous cool factor into country music when it really needed it, and playing with him was mind blowin’.” Dayton’s cover of Just to Satisfy You is a tender interpretation of the heartbreak song and showcases a softer side to Dayton’s vocal abilities.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating/Standing

Myles McCormack

Rescheduled from OTL ’22

Myles McCormack is a multi-instrumentalist from Belfast who writes powerful songs with a delicate touch. In 2019 he released his debut solo album with a sold-out show in Belfast’s Duncairn Arts Centre.

It’s a sublime and carefully crafted debut from an artist who effortlessly bridges the gap between ruminative and blissful.

This past year has seen Myles work on a batch of new songs at home. By Demons, the first of this new material to be released, is a great example of his unique song-writing style and atmospheric sound and has been receiving praise across Irish and UK radio.

Myles will be supporting artist for a host of shows across the Out to Lunch festival, details of which will be released in the coming weeks.

“It’s a gossamer and quietly emphatic first gambit from an artist who continues to set himself apart” – THE THIN AIR

“You couldn’t bring yourself to turn away even if you wanted to” – CHORDBLOSSUM

“He carries within his work an effervescent tenure to unravel mysteries and turmoil” – FOLK&LORE

Shit Show Shambles – A Gameshow Extravaganza

All the games you have ever played trapped in your living room with the entire extended family at Christmas.

Travel the board, play the square and hinder the opposing team. Shit Show Shambles is an interactive, hosted board game living through your worst dreams and best nightmares. Join your host Emily and Rule master Ashton for a gameshow extravaganza.

Doors 7.30pm Unreserved Seating


Fishamble: The New Play Company in association with Sunday’s Child presents ‘Mustard’.

When E meets the man of her dreams, a professional cyclist, love hits her in the pubic bone like a train. But when it ends she plummets into a black hole of heartbreak at the speed of a doped up team on the Tour de France. A one-woman show about heartbreak, madness and how condiments are the ultimate coping mechanism, by award-winning playwright & performer Eva O’Connor.

WINNER Scotsman Fringe First Award 2019

WINNER Lustrum Award, Edinburgh 2019

NOMINATED Scottish Mental Health Awards 2019

‘skilful writing elevates this above novelty into a breathless, intense show’ ★★★★★ Ed Fest Mag

‘so scarring and funny, so laden with jealousy and hate and wickedness’★★★★ Scotsman

‘The writing is appealingly spicy and has real poetic momentum’ The Stage

Claire Barclay: Thrum

Claire Barclay is a visual artist recognised for producing large-scale sculptural installations created in response to specific contexts.  Her works are immersive sensory experiences that explore our interactions with materials and functionality, by combining formal elements that evoke thinking around the “psychological relationships between human beings and the objects that we live with and produce.”

In this exhibition Barclay includes a series of tactile sculptural environments, where large-scale forms, made predominantly from fabrics and metals, “suggest textile narratives and explore our complex relationships with cloth.”

Historical connections between the West of Scotland and Northern Ireland have become a focus while evolving the artworks.  More specifically, interactions and migrations of people due to work, trade, religion and colonisation, and how these relationships relate to textile production.  In particular, Ayrshire ‘whitework’ embroidery, linen cloth production, and indigenous dress have informed some of the formal and material choices within the sculptures.

Domestic, industrial and agricultural references are interwoven into ambiguous sculptural forms that explore the nature of human engagement in ‘making’ practices and our cultural and symbolic relationships with materials.

Taking inspiration from a range of reference points, including historical artefacts, museum collections, craft practices, methods and places of production, and anthropological perspectives, the work plays with upsetting conventional hierarchies and assumptions in relation to value and meaning of materials and forms.  Often the works indirectly question present day romanticisation and commodification of craft and heritage and provoke us to question our own relationship to these.

Visit for more details

Skull Drawings

Skull is an ongoing live event that has been running monthly since 2016. The Black Box website describes Skull as, “a night of recorded music and live drawing” and, “an escape” from what is termed, “…the relentless agora.”* “DJs Stuart Watson, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Jeff Doherty and guests develop an aural envelope each evening, whilst illustrator Duncan Ross strives to capture the consciousness of the moment through the inky medium of illustration. Adventurous punters may submit suggestions to Ross for realisation on the eve or, if feeling particularly exploratory, can contribute with the fruits of their own ductus (materials provided).”

For this installation, Ross is presenting two hundred A1 drawings improvised during Skull alongside a new, large scale print work. In conversation with the images, Skull DJs have prepared a variety of sonic interventions that will take place throughout the exhibition, retaining the Geist of Skull as an ephemeral multi-sensory event.

Join us for a CQAF Skull on 28th April at the Black Box. Escape the relentless agora in a nite of recorded music and live drawing. DJs Jeff Doherty and Ryan Fitzsimmons develop an aural envelope each evening, whilst illustrator Duncan Ross strives to capture the consciousness of the moment through the inky medium of illustration. Adventurous clientèle may submit suggestions to Ross for realisation on the eve or, if feeling particularly exploratory, can contribute with the fruits of their own ductus (materials provided).

SWADDLE Dominic McKeown

28/04/22 – 13/05/22. Opening: 5pm – 8pm. Open: Tuesday – Friday 11am – 5pm
Address: 109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1FF

The University of Atypical is delighted to invite you to SWADDLE, a thought provoking new exhibition by Dominic McKeown. Dominic received the University of Atypical’s Graduate Award 2020, with this support Dominic has received mentoring from artists Maud Cotter and Dr Colin Darke in the preparation for his first solo exhibition.

McKeown’s work stems from years of exploration into the relationship between the body, materials and structures that envelop us. SWADDLE explores our physical contact and psychological relationship with materials from our past and present experiences, our public and private spaces.

SWADDLE invites us to consider the material value of not only the architectural space of the gallery, but relationship between the viewer and the sculptural work within it. Devised to activate a self-awareness of our own presence within space and the intimacy of scale.

When we’re born, we are swaddled in cotton wool; protected from the beginning. The combination of concrete paired with woollen textiles creates tension between the materials and what we expect or understand their function to be. This contrast encourages the viewer to reflect on personal security, confront self-awareness and the conditioning of identity. Using found textile materials, the sculptures aim to embody our knowledge of architectural spaces incorporating items associated with protection, feeling safe or sheltered and personal identity expressed through dress.

We understand concrete as a vigorous material, by wrapping it in wool its hard exterior is cushioned protecting its exposed and vulnerable surface. A mask can provide confidence, security and soften external strains.

Dominic McKeown (b.1995, Belfast) studied Textile Design, Art and Fashion at Ulster University graduating in 2014. He has based his research and practice within his hometown of Belfast, completing a Masters in Fine Art at Ulster University in 2020. He is a member of Flax Art Studios and is an active worker within the art community within Belfast. He is a Co-Director of Catalyst Arts alongside working as freelance art technician.
For more information – (instagram)

Open: Tuesday – Friday 11am – 5pm
Address: 109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1FF
T: 028 90239450

Flax Project Space presents ‘Becoming’

Private View: Thursday 28th April, 6pm – 9pm
Exhibition Dates: 28th April – 5th May, 1pm – 6pm
Flax Project Space, 7 North St, BT1 1NH, Belfast.

‘Becoming’ is a group exhibition featuring artists whose work explores how our artistic practices transition and transform over time.

The exhibition offers a range of enquiries into the idea of ‘becoming’, including reflections on how, considering Covid-19, many artists are now emerging from a form of hibernation, their work changed by a sustained period of not being able to share it. Years spent feeding their practices in the dark, to see only now what they have become. Curated by artist and researcher Hattie Godfrey, ‘Becoming’ presents the artist’s practice as a being that holds the possibility of change, a being that is always becoming.

Flax Art Studios Emerging Artist Programme is a satellite project of 34 recent graduate and emerging artists occupying 7 North St, Belfast. To coincide with this programme Flax opened a project space on the ground floor, providing opportunities for the artists involved to curate and programme their own exhibitions and events.

Dress Up Drink And Draw

Bedroom Pop is a colourful installation by Dreambean that explores childhood memories, identity and celebrates queer joy. Dreambean aims to create an inclusive space for everyone, they want the viewers to be curious and explore art through their immersive use of colour and humour.

For the Cathedral Arts Festival Dreambean is hosting a ‘dress up drink and draw’ at Catalyst Arts. The general public will be encouraged to queer the streets of Belfast, dress up as someone or in something that sparks joy, or simply dust off an old halloween costume.

The aim of this ‘dress up drink and draw’ is to allow the participants to become apart of Bedroom Pop and take on the role of the Artist by exploring the gallery space through a different identity.

Dreambean believes that we have missed enough parties over the last few years and wants to take this opportunity to bring the community together through art and celebration!

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.

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