Belfast Noir Walking Tour

Belfast Noir is the innovative walking tour that explores both Belfast’s influence, and its rich history in Film, TV and Literature. The tour guide Simon Maltman, is a local Crime Fiction writer and will introduce you to the bizarre and ‘noir’ side of Belfast. Featured on UTV Life and Good Morning Ulster, Belfast Noir will give you a tour like no other.

We are pleased that a bespoke version of the tour is being put on for the Out To Lunch Festival. You will visit locations from Film and T.V featuring amongst others Line of Duty, Odd Man Out and The Fall.

The tour also features locations from our rich literature heritage. As an Ulster Noir author himself, Simon will discuss the boom in the genre with the beginnings from the likes of Colin Bateman, leading onto the international success from many local writers such as Adrian McKinty, Steve Cavanagh and Stuart Neville.

After various stops in the centre of Belfast, Simon will guide you to one of our most picturesque and historic parts of Belfast; Queens University and Botanic Gardens, as you explore the quirky and strange that our city has to offer. As Lee Child has said, “Belfast is the most noir place on earth.”

This tour begins at the Visit Belfast centre (opposite City Hall) and finishes at the legendary No Alibis Bookstore.

All walking tours will take on current and relevant Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.


Covid protocol – CQAF small venues*

CQAF is committed to facilitating the return of live entertainment and the gradual reopening of events. We are making every effort to provide a safe environment for our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff.

Current conditions of entry are:

·Temperature check on arrival at the venue.

·Please wear a mask while queuing for indoor events and if you have to leave your seat to move around the venue. No masks necessary when seated.

·Visitors to the venues will be allocated seats as per their booking. (Please email us if there’s someone you’d like to sit with.

·1m physical distancing in line with government guideline.

·Please do not come to the event if you’re displaying any of the symptoms of Covid 19. Email us at and we’ll happily refund your tickets.

We hope you enjoy the festival. We will review these conditions of entry if COVID-19 guidelines are updated prior to the event.

* This applies to The Black Box, Oh Yeah Music Centre, The Sunflower, Deer’s Head Music Hall, The American Bar, Ulster Sports Club, 1st Presbyterian Church, The Dark Horse

Joshua Burnside

Experimental folk artist Joshua Burnside is something of an anomaly. With a brooding, powerful sound echoing artists of places afar and time long gone, his enthralling craft strives towards an aesthetic as much as visual as it is sonic.

Balanced with a diverse palette of sounds, Burnside deftly blends alt-folk and elements of the Irish folk song tradition with South American rhythms and Eastern European influences, whilst introducing synthetic and found-sounds, synths loops and crunching beats to create a stormy world that shifts and swirls perspective like a lingering lucid dream.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

Dea Matrona

Dea Matrona are a rock trio from Belfast who formed in 2018, their mutual love of classic rock and bands such as Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, sparked a musical chemistry between the three that continues to blossom into their own originals.

They recently played a three day stint at The Cavern Club in Liverpool to packed out audiences and have also put on headline shows in Dublin) and in Belfast which both sold out.

They have played the main stage at Dalriada Festival, Harmony Live, Sunflowerfest and Culture Night Belfast.

Footage of the girls performing went viral on Twitter and received praise from figures such as Imelda May, Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan. The girls have reached over half a million views on Facebook videos a number of times.

The band consists of sisters Mollie McGinn and Mamie McGinn as well as life long friend Orláith Forsythe. The youthful energy combined with their technical ability beyond their years is what continues to win over audiences.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

Jordan Adetunji

Jordan Adetunji is a hugely exciting 21-year-old hip-hop artist and songwriter from Belfast. His dynamic style and stage presence bring a feel-good vibe to each live performance. Jordan and his amazing band have been pushing the boundaries with experimental sounds, digital lighting effects and a large catalogue of original music.

Jordan’s sing-along tracks get everyone involved as he spits bars around rhythmic, bold instrumentation, switching from rap to earthy singsong at any given time.

Recent singles WOKEUP! and Around were trending on major Spotify playlists such Rap UK, New Music Friday, Colours, among International artists such as BurnaBoy and Grammy Award winner Koffee.

Jordan has featured on the BBC Art Show Ones to Watch, BBC’s Stendhal Live, and was recently shortlisted for the  Northern Ireland Music Prize …..

By mixing genres bringing together funk, rap, soul, dancehall, afro-fusion with elements of pop-punk; the Belfast rapper is starting to make national and international waves.

Duke Special’s Gramophone Club (Live Stream)

This will be an event that turns the normal gig format on its head.  Think The Goon Show meets Tom Waits taming lions in a Victorian parlour.

Join Duke Special and Temperance Society Chip Bailey as they perform songs from the extensive Duke Special back catalogue as well as introducing the audience to features such as Chip’s Tintinnabulations, exploring old sheet music, unearthing and dancing along to hidden gems of the 7RPM world and introducing newly written songs.

Expect to laugh, cry, wonder, question the meaning of life and above all, be entertained.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

Will Self In Conversation

A sharp-eyed, merciless commentator on modern times and modern mores, from the sublime to the ridiculous – no one writes quite like Will Self. Join us for a conversation with the cult author, broadcaster and critic about his recent memoir Will.

A prolific and celebrated journalist and author of both nonfiction and fiction, his previous books include Umbrella (shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize), Shark, and The Book of Dave.

Hosted by Hugh Odling Smee.

‘Darkly angelic prose… a joy to read, with the final part in particular recalling David Foster Wallace at his best’ Alex Preston, Observer

‘Self’s writing has the same technicolour velocity, malign comedy as his best novels’ Evening Standard

Begins 7.30pm

Our favourite independent bookstore, No Alibis, are offering 10% discount so you can
buy ‘Will’ for £8.99 and support local traders at the same time!

Edward Carson’s Last Stand

In his acclaimed one-man show Edward Carson’s Last StandPaddy Scully depicts Carson in the London studio of the Belfast-born painter Sir John Lavery, waiting to sit for his portrait.

The show provides a valuable insight into the life and times of one of the most controversial Irishman before, during and after the turmoil of changing events of 1912.

Edward Carson’s was the first signature on the Ulster Covenant and it would have profound effects on the life of the island of Ireland.

Paddy Scully is a founding member of Belfast Theatre Company and an award-winning actor and director.

‘Edward Carson’s Last Stand is engaging, amusing and moving and puts some real flesh on the bones of this most misunderstood of Irishmen. Paddy Scully brings to bear in some of Carson’s quieter moments here, a sadness at his own lot, an almost unwilling agent of history, driven as much by what he couldn’t stand, Irish Home Rule, as what he could.’
Culture Northern IrelandDoors 12.45pm | Unreserved Seating

History of Illusion – A Faculty Lecture with Caolan McBride – Webinar

Magic has seen a huge resurgence over the past few years. Stars such as David Blaine, Dynamo and Derren Brown have brought Magic to the Masses.

Combined with highly successful T.V. shows such as Penn and Teller: Fool Us and Britain’s Got Talent (in which there were 5 magicians in the final stages in 2020), it could be argued that Magic has never had so much exposure.

The skills and secrets of these modern conjurors go back hundreds of years and even further.  In this engaging lecture Professional Magician Caolan Mc Bride takes you through the exciting and esoteric world of Illusion. With Plenty of Magic thrown in, Caolan talks about where Magic has come from and where it has been to how it fits in with today’s modern world.

Natalie Haynes – Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths


Online (free)  

In traditional retellings of the Greek myths, the focus is invariably on gods and men, but in Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek MythsNatalie Haynes refocuses our gaze on the remarkable women at the centre of these ancient stories.
Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from Jason and the Argonauts to the wars of Troy. Today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men and have rarely shown interest in telling women’s stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil.
Taking Pandora and her jar as the starting point, Haynes puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus, Odysseus or Oedipus, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.

Natalie Haynes is the author of five books. A Thousand Ships, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020. Her earlier books include: The Children of Jocasta (2017), The Amber Fury (2014), and The Ancient Guide to Modern Life (2010). She has written and recorded six series of Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics for BBC Radio 4. Natalie has written for The Times, The Independent, The Guardian and The Observe

Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of… but read on!” – Margaret Atwood.

“The forgotten women are vividly brought to life in this moving, intelligent and witty book” – Martha Kearney, BBC Radio 4.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.


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Prophets, Makers and Risk Takers: A Showcase of Writing from Northern Ireland

Curated by Jan Carson, this year’s Writers’ Symposium aims to bring together leading voices in writing from Northern Ireland to discuss how our writers are approaching global issues and themes; how they are revisiting ideas associated with the history and politics of N.I. but finding new ways to tell the stories; what opportunities exist outside N.I. and how best they might promote their work internationally and finally, what makes writing from Northern Ireland so distinctive.

Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado will deliver the keynote address and participants throughout the day will include writers Nandi Jola, Mícheál McCann, Susan McKay, Darran Anderson, Michelle Gallen and Paul McVeigh in conversation with Emma Warnock (No Alibis Press), Peggy Hughes (National Centre for Writing), Nora Hickey M’Sichili (Centre Culturel Irlandais), Jim Hinks (British Council), Damian Smyth (Arts Council N.I.) and Cathy Brown (Seamus Heaney HomePlace).

The symposium will show the breadth of talent that Northern Ireland has to offer and will give representatives from UK and international literary organisations and festivals an opportunity to sit at the table and take note. Presented by EastSide Arts with support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


SPUD is a topical 2 woman punk circus from Belfast, performed by award winning performers Angelique Reckless Ross and Mish Mash Thoburn.

The show includes partner acrobatics, acro-dance, tumbling, juggling, bottle walking, mini bikes, comedy, movement and household appliances.

Stop being hijacked by the consumer culture, SPUD is a circus car crash into your white picket fence, challenging complacency and activating audiences. Spoken word, text and voice-overs are mixed with the physical work to tell stories.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

Alison Spittle

Alison Spittle is an award-winning writer and comedian who can regularly be heard on The Guilty Feminist and BBC Radio 4’s Grownup Land. She is the creator and star of the television series Nowhere Fast, which aired on RTÉ2 to great critical acclaim. She can currently be seen on screen in the film Extra Ordinary, in cinemas now. She also featured in RTÉ’s Celebrity Globetrotters.

Alison was a regular contributor to the RTÉ series Republic of Telly where she wrote and performed her own segment, A Guide to Mullingar. She was team captain on the panel show Choose or Lose for RTÉ 2 and also presented their coverage of Electric Picnic. She wrote and starred in Alison Spittle in Ireland, a short film produced by Baby Cow Productions for Sky Arts.

Alison’s chat show style podcast, The Alison Spittle Show has amassed a huge following with guests such as Sharon Horgan, Adam Hills and Kevin McGahern. She performs at podcast festivals across Ireland and the UK.

Alison’s stand up shows have enjoyed several sold out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival and First Fortnight, among others. Her first play Starlet premiered to great acclaim, garnering five stars from The Sunday Times.

She has performed at numerous festivals including the Vodafone Comedy Festival at the Iveagh Gardens, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and Kilkenny Cat Laughs as well as headlining her own show at Vicar Street.

“Whether character or citizen, Spittle comes across as a kind of genius” **** IRISH TIMES

“A real alchemist turning the mundane and absurd alike into comedy gold with her phrasing” **** ONE4REVIEW

“Spectacular in a beautifully surreal way” IRISH INDEPENDENT

Doors 7.30pm | Seated, socially distanced show


Over the last few years Malojian has released four critically acclaimed albums (the last three of which have been nominated for the Northern Ireland Music Prize) and has collaborated with the likes of Steve Albini (Shellac, Nirvana, Low, Pixies), Joey Waronker (R.E.M., Beck, Roger Waters, Thom Yorke/Atoms for Peace) and Gerry Love (Teenage Fanclub, Lightships).

Having recently released album No. 5 Humm, a collaboration with Jason Lytle of Californian-indie- heroes Grandaddy, the world is finally waking up to one of Ireland’s most prolific and interesting artists.

“evokes such rich emotions”8/10 MOJO Magazine

“Absolutely love that…a masterpiece with a strong element of Beatles ’67…that kind of slightly woozy psychedelia…beautiful…” Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster

“I love your music” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

“I’m completely obsessed” Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol)

“achingly beautiful” Q Magazine“beautiful stuff” Stuart Bailie, NME, BBC Radio Ulster

“the North’s best songwriter over the last half decade” Hot Press Magazine

“beautiful” Cerys Matthews, BBC 6 Music, The Guardian

“I really and truly believe we’ve unearthed a star here and I can’t urge you strongly enough to seek out this wonderful album.” Maverick Magazine

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live peformance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

When I Get to Heaven – A John Prine Afternoon

When John Prine lost his fight against COVID-19 in April this year, music fans around the world were bereft at the passing of a truly great song-writing genius.

The musical legacy of the former postman from Illinois will endure for generations however in the beautiful simplicity of songs like Sam StoneLake Marie and Paradise.

Today we celebrate that legacy in the company of Illegal Smile, Ireland’s foremost interpreters of Prine’s work featuring Barry Johnston, Davy Neill, Michael ConwaySam Davidsonand Ali Mooney.

Pour yourself a Handsome Johnny – John’s favourite (Vodka, Ginger Ale, lime) and settle down for an afternoon of great music.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

Amanda St John & Band (Live Stream)

“If Dusty Springfield were alive she’d say ‘that’s my girl’” – Grammy winning US producer Jon Tiven)

Amanda St John is a powerhouse singer and songwriter who is heavily inspired by soul, R&B and gospel music. Following in the footsteps of her idols Aretha Franklin and Etta James, Amanda (along with co-writer/guitarist Paul Tierney and co-writer/drummer/producer Michael Mormecha) travelled to the USA in May 2018 and made history by becoming the first independent Irish artist to record in the legendary FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals.

Gaining substantial interest in Ireland and the UK including extensive airplay on the BBC and RTE Radio 1 as well as reviews in Hot Press and The Irish Times, Amanda is known for her passionate and powerful live performances and is fast establishing herself as one of Ireland’s leading vocalists.

This gig is to celebrate the full digital and vinyl launch of the album The Muscle Shoals Sessions which has been receiving excellent press reviews:

‘What a voice! Powerful!’RTE RADIO 1

‘Amanda’s the real deal….a hugely engaging performer’ –  DAILY MIRROR

‘Feisty and fresh soul infused vocals…a must listen!’ – Hot Press

‘On the verge of stardom….(her) outstanding voice stretches across octaves…it’s glorious!’ – FOLK AND TUMBLE

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

Brìghde Chaimbeul

Brìghde Chaimbeul (Solo)

Winner of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, and 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards ‘Up and Coming’ nominee, Skye musician and piper Brìghde Chaimbeul is one of Scotland’s fastest rising stars.

A native Gaelic speaker, her style is rooted in her indigenous language and culture, but draws inspiration from a variety of piping traditions such as from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland.

Brìghde launched her debut album The Reeling on River Lea Records at a special concert at Celtic Connections 2019. The record is inspired by old tunes from the gaelic song traditions, as well as global piping traditions that have been of significant influence to Brìghde’s music.

It is performed entirely on smallpipes in C, and features acclaimed fiddler Aidan O Rourke (Lau), the legendary Rona MacDonald Lightfoot of South Uist, and the amazing Radie Peat (Lankum) on concertina.

Working closely with Aidan O’Rourke, Brìghde has devised a completely new way of arranging for pipe music that emphasises the rich textural drones of the smallpipes; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like quality in the tunes. This will be very special.

“Simultaneously ancient and modern, profound and direct.”
Folk Album of the Month – The Guardian

“A unique, exciting and forward-looking album that sets the bar for 2019 very high indeed.”
– The Quietus

“Exciting, unusual and gorgeous.”
– Songlines

“Pure, vital energy… exceptional playing.”
– Folk Radio

Ciaran Lavery

Ciaran Lavery’s Plz Stay, bb was born out of a period of personal and professional turmoil. Ciaran was nearing the end of delivering his last album, 2018’s Sweet Decay, and it had been a difficult process. It was then that he started to write again, and the beguiling single October, with its dreamy electronica and soft vocals, was the song to kick start his new album.

“I came out the other side feeling quite raw and a little bit empty,” he says. “I really lost my way.”

The title itself, Plz Stay, bb, was a note that Ciaran had written to himself, as a message of self care. But this is not the maudlin album of a sensitive singer-songwriter. Among autobiographical themes, he bravely tackles the competitiveness of the music industry, laying bare his jealousy of other seemingly more successful artists with witty honesty in Oh Fuck, and in the desperation of the urgent Bella Union, on which the vocal groove and funky bassline add a trip-hop vibe to repeated lyrics “Now I’m hungry again, I’ve got to get it together”. It shimmers with subtle electronica, warm vocals and driving rhythms – and lyrics that tell it just how it is, with plenty of self-motivation thrown in.

Having grown up in Aghagallon in County Antrim, Ciaran wanted to break free from the preconceptions surrounding Irish singer-songwriters. With Plz Stay, bb he pushed himself, while retaining the distinctive warm vocals and finger-picked guitar of his previous releases that have been nominated for and won the Northern Ireland Music Prize (2016’s Let Bad In).

Ciaran listened to Thom Yorke’s The Eraser, Mitski’s Be The Cowboy, Bjork’s Debut, and that 90s-defining hip-hop album by the Beastie Boys, Ill Communication – and his music sees a heightened energy, as percussion is brought to the forefront.

Ciaran counts Zane Lowe as a fan, and in 2016 he was one of 30 artists hand-selected by Willie Nelson to play at his Luck ranch in Texas. With well over 120,000,000 plays on Spotify and 30,000 followers, the plaudits keep coming Ciaran’s way.

A Taste of Belfast and Brussels

Since 2012, the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels has worked with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to present a Culture Night showcase of the best of Northern Irish arts and culture, bringing a host of musicians, writers and performers to Brussels and introducing their work to an appreciative international audience.

Over the years the programme has featured acclaimed NI talent including Joshua Burnside and Grainne Holland and the event has now become a highlight of the Brussels cultural calendar.

For obvious reasons, the 2020 edition has had to be reimagined for the post-COVID world and, as a result, we are delighted to present this online version of the event featuring some of the artists who have taken part in previous years.

An enticing taster, this programme features a selection of established artists and up-and-coming talent, all specially recorded performing in the historic Rosemary Street Church.

The Artists:

Singer-songwriter Anthony Toner is a gifted guitarist and one of Northern Ireland’s most popular live acts, with a wonderfully warm and lyrical style.

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and comedienne Ursula Burns has been smashing the stereo-typical image of the harp for 25 years by performing and touring the world with her music through Song writing, Theatre, Circus and Comedy. Having played everywhere from the Albert Hall to the boot of her Tardis Imaginarium,

Stephen Connolly is a writer and publisher who runs The Lifeboat Press. He edited New Poets from the North of Ireland with Sinéad Morrissey for Blackstaff Press and his poems have appeared in Poetry (Chicago) and Poetry Ireland Review. He is currently writing a book about running.

Northern Irish singer songwriter Ciara O’Neill has received international attention and acclaim over the last 6 years working with some of the greats in Nashville

This year Ciara has already recorded a socially distanced performance for a short film created with Tourism Ireland and Distant Sky. She will release a new EP early 2021 and is working on her third album.

The event is presented with the support of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels and Arts Council NI.

Wild Winter Food – A Faculty Lecture with Clare McQuillan – Webinar

When we cosy up in our homes during the winter months it might look like everything in nature has gone to sleep but there are short lived, ephemeral and evergreen wild edible plants to find if you wrap up, head out and discover them.

Join foraging guide Clare McQuillan of Feasting on Weeds for a guide to a wild winter forage from the comfort of your own home. This video will run alongside a webinar Q&A session with Clare.

Frederick Douglass, Belfast, Ireland and Anti-slavery

Frederick Douglass was one of the most famous people of the 19th century. An escaped slave he became one of the most powerful anti-slavery advocates in the world. In 1845, partly to elude slave-catchers who wished to return him into bondage, he travelled to Ireland and Britain where he was hosted by the vibrant anti-slavery movement in these islands, which included figures such as Daniel O’Connell, and Belfast’s Issac Nelson and Mary Anne McCracken.

This talk will explore Frederick Douglass’ life and times and the continuing relevance of his lessons. It will pay particular attention to his time in Belfast and Ireland, and the role of the Irish anti-slavery movement when “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” were united in one of history’s great human rights struggles.

Dr Aidan McQuade is an independent consultant on human rights and humanitarian response. He was CEO of Anti-Slavery International from 2006 to 2017, and prior to that worked extensively in development and humanitarian operations for 13 years.

He is an experienced researcher on business and human rights, with a PhD on the subject of ethical choice-making in professional practice. He is also an acknowledged expert on slavery and forced labour, having work that has exposed caste and gender aspects of modern slavery, and, particularly in Myanmar and Bangladesh, on slavery as a development and humanitarian issue. He is the author of The Undiscovered Country, described by Claire Hanna, MP for South Belfast, as, “A cracker read about morality and ethics in a time of conflict . . . A really accessible way of getting into complex stuff on nation-building and justice.”

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Brian Moore @ 100 – Roundtable Event (Online)

A novelist and screenwriter of huge International distinction, Brian Moore was born in Belfast in 1921 and in a long literary career produced classics such as The Lonely Passion of Judith HearneThe Feast of Lupercal and Black Robe.

Join us for a roundtable discussion of Brian Moore’s work with some of his most enthusiastic readers:

Scott Bradfield, novelist, short story writer and critic. Author of (most recently) Dazzle Resplendent: Adventures of a Misanthropic Dog (2017) and former student of Brian Moore’s at UCLA.

Jan Carson, writer and community arts facilitator. Author of (most recently) The Fire Starters (2019).

Patricia Craig, writer, anthologist and literary critic. Author of Brian Moore: A Biography (2002).

Eamonn Hughes, writer and literary critic. Co-editor (most recently), with Van Morrison, of Keep ‘Er Lit: Selected Lyrics of Van Morrison (2020).


This event will take place online via Zoom. To register


Brian Moore at 100 is a project run by Prof. Sinead Moynihan (University of Exeter and Dr. Alison Garden (Queen’s University Belfast), with the generous support of the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust

Twitter: @brianmoore100

This will be a live streamed discussion that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets.

Laura Bates – Men Who Hate Women

In her new urgent and ground-breaking book, Laura Bates, bestselling author and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, goes undercover to expose vast misogynist networks and communities. It’s a deep dive into the worldwide extremism nobody talks about.

Interviews with former members of these groups and the people fighting against them give unique insights on how this movement operates. Ideas are spread from the darkest corners of the internet – via trolls, media and celebrities – to schools, workplaces and the corridors of power, becoming a part of our collective consciousness.

Uncensored, and sometimes both shocking and terrifying – this is the uncomfortable truth about the world we live in. And what we must do to change it.

Laura Bates studied English at Cambridge University and went on to be a freelance journalist. She has written for the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, Red Magazine and Grazia among others. She is also contributor at Women Under Siege, a New-York based organisation working to combat the use of sexual violence as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide.

“Laura Bates has done it again. From bantz to outright brutality, she exposes the landscape of misogyny. Passionate and forensic, Bates produces a powerful feminist clarion call. The world needs to take notice. Things must change” – Anita Anand.

The Ulster Quartet

“Amazing”, “Mind Blowing”, “Fabulous” – Just some of the words used to describe The Ulster String Quartet – who have been wowing audiences across Northern Ireland and beyond for the last 10 years since they formed in 2010.

Currently members of the Ulster Orchestra – Danny, Sian, Thomas and Nicholas forged their friendship through their love of music long before having all studied together at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Well known for their wide-ranging repertoire, when USQ perform you can be sure there will be something for everyone to enjoy – from Mozart, Debussy & Mascagni to The Beach Boys, Elbow and Billy Joel!

Also known for their collection of quartet arrangements of iconic film music scores, USQ have made numerous appearances at film festivals across NI – most notably presenting their specially created Film Music journey at both the Belfast and Foyle Film Festivals.

This will be a pre-recorded performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

New Pagans, Cherym & Mel Bradley

Belfast band New Pagans latest single Yellow Room was released August 2020 and went on to become Steve Lamacq’s ‘Record Of The Week’ on his BBC 6 Music show. The track takes inspiration from the novel The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which is celebrated as an important piece of early American feminist literature.

The band use their creative influence to challenge past and present issues surrounding relationships, equality, history, and gender, all wrapped up in their alternative, post-punk, indie rock style.

New Pagans are one of the most exciting and interesting rising acts, both sonically and visually. The band’s name is a reference to the Latin paganus, originally meaning villager or outsider, reflecting their mission to stay removed from the city rules and the orthodox.

One of the band’s first releases – in September 2016 – was Lily Yeats, a tribute to the sister of poet William Butler Yeats and the artist Jack Butler Yeats, influenced by singer Lyndsey’s study of Women’s History in Ireland.

Skip to pre-pandemic 2020, the band toured the UK in support of  Glacial Erratic – a 6-track EP, which featured the singles it’s Darker, NI Music Prize 2020 ‘Best Single’ nominee ‘Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint’ and Admire.  The EP has saw a wave of support for the band from BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 1 by the likes of Chris Hawkins, Daniel P Carter, Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders as well as  BBC Introducing, Kerrang Radio, Amazing Radio and more. They went on to win ‘Best Live Act’ at the 2020 Northern Ireland Music Prize.

The New Pagans voice is a loud and important one, with much more still to come for 2020 and beyond. We’re delighted to welcome them to Out to Lunch.


Serving up their own unique recipe of pop-rock, Cherym are a three-piece from Derry. The trio’s identity was born of a joint love of Garage Rock, Pop Punk and a desire to be the biggest band in the world.

Their self-released debut EP Mouthbreatherz racked up over 20,000 organic streams and garnered them fans all over Ireland, earning them slots at a number of prominent festivals and support roles for notable bands such as local legends And So I Watch You From Afar and Fangclub. Cherym won the ‘Oh Yeah Contender’ award at the NI Music prize in 2019, which was sponsored by BBC Introducing.

The band released their latest singles ‘Abigail // Weird Ones  in May 2020, which has been their most successful release yet, with support from both DSP editorial play-listing and National radio. Abigail has received support from BBC Introducing, where it debuted on Huw Stephens’ show. In February 2020, the band embarked on a series of dates with Yonaka, including sold-out shows in Dublin and Belfast. In August 2020, Abigail was nominated for best single at the NI Music Prize.

Mel Bradley

Mel Bradley is a spoken word artist, writer, theatre-maker, multimedia artist and actor. She is an ACNI and DCSDC supported outspoken queer feminist performer with an unhealthy obsession with the Virgin Mary.

Mel has performed at various festivals and venues from the Royal Albert Hall to Body & Soul and Edinburgh Fringe. She is the writer of Proud To Be – Beyond the Labels of Me commissioned by the Playhouse Theatre, a play examining the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people living in Northern Ireland. Her show Ms Noir’s Seven Deadly Sins was livestreamed as part of the Derry Halloween online programme.

The Henry Girls (Live Stream)

Sisters Karen, Lorna and Joleen McLaughlin, collectively known as The Henry Girls, make music that will give you goosebumps. The harmonising, lilting, melting voices imbue their music with overwhelming romanticism, although the very classic and traditional folk sound is given an edge with Americana, bluegrass and blues sounds.

Recent album Far Beyond the Stars has won massive praise, not least for the sister’s knack of creating authentic original material rich in traditional values. Their tight three-part harmonies are matched by soulful musicianship across a range of instruments including harp, fiddle, accordion, ukulele, piano and a few more in-between.

In our view there are few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

No Oil Paintings

No Oil Paintings are an alternative-folk band from Belfast who use typical folk instrumentation and four-part harmonies to produce music that’s a little wilder than is often associated with the genre.

The band switch and share vocal leads, each member playing to their own strengths and bringing their own style to the songs they shepherd. Expect to hear everything from swampy blues rock to straight-up country waltzes.

During their career they have had many notable successes, some of which include headlining stages atSunflower Festival, Stendhal Festival and Open House Festival.

Other live accomplishments include playing the prestigious Mandela Hall supportingThe Emerald Armada, a sold-out launch on the Belfast Barge for their debut release, and more recently being chosen by Hannah Peel to partake in the online Mix the City project joining 95 musicians and curators in 12 locations to create a creative platform representing Belfast.

‘Think less Earl Scruggs and more Jack White.’ – Our Back Yard Festival.

‘For serious fans of country and folk music, No Oil Paintings are a must-see.’ – Folk & Tumble.

‘Too Close to the Sun is a must-hear EP for anyone attracted to folk music and vocal harmony.’ – Chordblossum.

Villiers and the Villains

Not long ago, on the third Saturday afternoon of every month, an air of decadence would descend as the jet black blinds of an upstairs room of the American Bar in Sailortown were pulled down and fans settled in for two hours of original music by Villiers and The Villains.

For the price of a couple of pints in the no-frills Belfast bar you could hear a band that appeared at Electric Picnic, were played on BBC Radio Scotland by Ricky Ross, featured on RTE music programmes, admired by Fiachna Ó Braonáin of Hothouse Flowers and championed by long-time supporter Ralph McLean of BBC Radio Ulster.

Their alt-country blues sound, akin to Dylan or Prine, has attracted a discerning audience and solid following with gigs at Kilkenny Roots FestivalWhelan’s and a plethora of shows and festivals across the country.

Off the road for last nine months, Tony Villiers, the band’s singer and songwriter, has continued writing and has recently produced a lockdown song to remind us all that one day the good times will return. Hear the new song live for the first time during Out To Lunch on January 23rd.

“Villiers and The Villains would blow away any roots music audience anywhere” Trevor Hodgett, R&R Magazine

One of the best bands in the country… storming sets… quite magical” / “Superb songwriting rooted in a great tradition.” Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster

“…frantic, dirty blues sounds of the 60’s Reeperbahn. Other more tender moments drip with an ‘Astral Weeks’ like sweet cherry wine” Folk & Tumble

“Dylan and The Band in The Big Pink basement, after a couple of bottles of red” R2 Magazine

“You want your support to be good…but not this good!” Mark Kermode, BBC / The Dodge Brothers

Jim ‘The King’ Brown

The Good Lord giveth and the Good Lord taketh away. Sadly, Villiers and the Villains had to cancel tonight due to COVID-19 but Jim ‘The King’ Brown was able to step into the breach and perform for our Out to Lunch audience.

Born in Belfast and married with five children, the young King was reluctantly hauled on stage at a works karaoke. When the crowd went berserk he realised he might be on to something. He took a two-year sabbatical from his job at the Post Office and headed out on the road.

Swiftly picked up by EMI, he released the Gravelands album to rave reviews. It was a marvel. The King stamped the indelible mark of Elvis across the songs of the latest and the greatest, belting out tunes like Nirvana’s Come As You Are and Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart as if they were written for the boy Presley himself.

The King takes the Elvis legend and builds on it. Where jobbing impersonators merely mirror Elvis, The King becomes him. Every gesture, every smirk, every vocal nuance is the purest Presley, but at the same time he’s so natural you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching the great man himself.

Join us on Saturday night for an hour of pure entertainment.

Matt McGinn & Guests – Lessons of War

Matt McGinn is an Irish songwriter like no other. It’s obvious by now that with the release of his 4th album Lessons of War, Matt does not follow any blueprint in any genre. Although the sentiment of his lyrics are forged in folk music, the sonic landscape he creates can really transcend most genres.

His 2018 album The End of the Common Man won praise far and wide – AMERICANA UK called it ‘an outstanding blend of soulful passion and melody that will haunt and inspire.’

Early critical acclaim is already coming in for Lessons of War with Line of Best Fit declaring it ‘a plaintive and devastating reassessment of the futilities of war, its horrors, effects and after-effects’. The lead single Bubblegum featuring Ciara O’Neill has been labelled as “one of the best singles you will hear this year” by HOT PRESS magazine.

Matt’s work is filled with tension and emotion, adding some ointment to the disparaging current affairs of today. This album was Matt’s own way of coming to terms with the world’s mistreatment of decent people over this last few years.

Teaming up with leading Irish songwriters like Mick Flannery, Ciaran Lavery and Ben Glover, the album tackles the huge subject of war and its affects. At the same time he sought out musicians from areas of conflict across the world to play their part on this important work.

In this unique festival event, Matt will be joined by his very special guests Ciara O’Neill and Ria Maguire, who both feature heavily on Lessons of War. Also on stage will be Matt’s incredible touring band that includes Nicky Scott and piano virtuoso, John McCullough.

‘Well isn’t that just extraordinary?…A tune that jumps out of the speakers and shakes hands with your ears’ –  TOM ROBINSON, 6MUSIC

‘A track that puts goosebumps on your goosebumps’ –  HOT PRESS

‘Fantastic…stops you in your tracks.’ – LYNETTE FAY, BBC RADIO ULSTER

 ‘It just keeps getting better and better with every listen.’ –  RALPH MCLEAN, BBC RADIO ULSTER

Doors 1:30pm | Unreserved Seating


Preserving for the Apocalypse – A Faculty Lecture

There is little in life more satisfying (and reassuring) than a well-stocked larder with rows of gleaming jars each filled to the brim with homemade jams, jellies, sauces and ferments.

With Brexit shortages and pandemic panics there has never been a better time to learn a few essential preserving techniques. Let Erin, from The Edible Flower, guide you through four essential preserves – a jam, a chutney, a ketchup and sauerkraut – providing a master recipe for each that can be adapted to a myriad of different fruits, vegetables and spices.

Then you can merrily go forth preserving, safe in the knowledge that whatever 2021 brings you will have plenty of jam!

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

A Rabbie Burns Lunch (Live Stream)

Today is all about celebrating the poet and Scottish hero Robert Burns. And what better way to do so than by reading and sharing some of the great man’s most famous works.

Scotland’s favourite son Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns was known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire or simply The Bard. Burns was born on January 25, 1759 and Burns celebrations have been held in his honour on this date for over 200 years.

We’ll be having a special Burns celebration complete with a piper, toasts, a bit of poetry and some famous Burns songs led by singer songwriter Hugh Jordan.

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;But we hae meat, and we can eat
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation. 

The Minotaur Speaks – A Faculty Lecture

If you’ve spent time in Belfast City Centre over the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed something very different taking place in the Entries off High Street and Corn Market.

Artists from across the UK and Ireland have helped transformed these previously dank and neglected spaces through vivid, playful pieces of contemporary street art.

The language of street art echoes the edgier, complex, almost covert character of the Entries. And street art is a language the population of Belfast understand, it is a tradition with a long and colourful history that continues to grow and evolve with each new generation of artists

Gemma Reid and Adam Turkington from Daisy Chain Inc, who researched and programmed this scheme will take you through the rich history of this area of Belfast and explain the process, the challenges and the hidden meanings of this new body of work.

They’ll also consider what role there is for creatives in rebuilding our civic centres as retail continues to collapse.

Emer Maguire – Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine? – A Faculty Lecture

We’re probably finding it a little harder to laugh these days with everything that’s going on in the world…but when we do find something hilarious, there’s no better feeling than those joyful, laugh out loud moments.

But why do we laugh? Why do we all find different things funny? Is there a recipe for a good joke? Are comedians born and not made? Does humour affect our health, and does laughter make us live longer?

Musical comedian and science communicator Emer Maguire explores these questions for us through a lighthearted lens, and hopefully makes us laugh along the way.

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Richard Herring – The Problem with Men – Webinar

For the past decade, Richard Herring has been answering sexist trolls on International Women’s Day when they ask ‘when is International Men’s Day?’ in the mistaken belief there isn’t one.

If only the trolls had learned to use Google they would realise that there is an International Men’s Day – it’s on November 19th.

In The Problem with Men Richard expands on his Twitter discussions and tackles some of the big questions surrounding the problems of toxic masculinity – for women, but also for men – including:

– Should men fear feminism?

– Is society sexist against men?

– Could you win a point against Serena Williams?

*spoiler* The answer to all of these is no.

With Richard’s signature humour and insight, The Problem with Men is a book for anyone striving for an equal society, all year round.

‘The problem with The Problem with Men is that I do believe men will have less trouble with it than the title suggests as it is actually a glorious, funny book written by a glorious funny man‘ AISLING BEA

‘This is a great book but I think the last thing it needs is a quote by yet another man’ JAMES ACASTER

Martin Lynch – Live podcast

Out to Lunch join forces with the Best of Belfast podcast for a livestreamed conversation with one’s of Belfast’s most celebrated playwrights and a genuine force of nature – Martin Lynch.

Born and brought up in the Docks area of Belfast, Martin started out in Community Theatre at Turf Lodge in the heart of West Belfast. He was soon appointed Resident Playwright at the Lyric Theatre where his early plays of strong political and social themes had a huge impact, attracting large audiences.

His recent election to Aosdána is a fitting culmination of a 35 year writing career which has seen Martin’s work produced in many parts of the world including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brighton Festival, the USA, Romania, Russia, Canada and Australia.

He has also written many plays for BBC Radio 3 and 4. He co-wrote the screenplay for the Sam Goldwyn film, A Prayer For The Dying starring Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins and Liam Neeson.

Music in the Glen

Music In The Glen are an exciting trio performing the very best of Irish traditional music. 

Featuring the combined talents of Brendan Mulholland (flute) and founding Réalta members Conor Lamb (uilleann pipes, whistles) and Deirdre Galway (guitar), these musicians deliver the infectious rhythm and soul which are the hallmarks of Irish music.

Forged from a relationship of 20 years playing music together, Conor and Brendan have joined forces with Deirdre on accompaniment to create a sound that draws upon a long-developed bond and mutual musical understanding.

Each musician is a respected artist in their own field. Through different projects they have performed across the globe from Belfast to Washington, Moscow and Seoul in venues ranging from your local folk club to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Milwaukee Irish Festival Main Stage.

Individually they have featured on a dozen albums and have performed with a variety of international acts including Réalta, Gráinne Holland, Craobh Rua, Micky McCluskey and Mary Dillon. Collectively they are one of the finest trios on the Irish music scene today.

Music In The Glen’s debut album was released in January 2018 and the launch concert in the Black Box was a truly memorable, sold out show. Tonight’s show promises to be no less memorable. 

Teresa Livingstone – Class

Teresa Livingstone is a classy lady, at least she tries to be despite everything being a 40-something Northern Irish woman throws at her.

She spent her thirties being delighted by the success of others and her ever-fluctuating weight but her forties are here and there’s no time like the present to rewrite the rules.

As seen on BBC’s The Blame Game, Soft Border Patrol and Late Licence.

“One of the few Belfast acts moving away from traditional stand up” The Guardian 

“With hilarious songs like “Cake and Wine” and “Nice Ladies”, no one escapes Teresa’s commentary.” Belfast Live 

This will be a live streamed performance that you will be able to view online for free, with a capped number of tickets, and the option to make a donation.

Should official public health regulations change prior to the date to allow us to offer a live performance for a limited, socially distanced audience, we will offer a strictly limited number of tickets for sale closer to the time.

The Linley Hamilton/Matt Curran Quartet

Dr Linley Hamilton, in his guise as Music Lecturer at Ulster University (Magee), has uncovered some rare talent in the college with mature students joining the degree course to further their jazz career.

Matt Curran, a recent 1st Class Masters graduate, has had a stellar career on the Country circuit and as a session musician and now he and Linley have come together to explore common musical ground.

John Hodge (bass) is no stranger to the music scene in Ireland and is one of the few electric bass players to occupy the genre in Ireland.

The band is completed by young derry drummer John Goodman, a multi-faceted musician drawn to fusion and modern jazz.

The repertoire for the night will come from Linley’s 4 albums as well as some spicy new arrangements that will feature the whole of this exciting new Quartet.

The 4 of Us

We’re finishing this year’s Out to Lunch with a livestreamed show by perennial festival favourites, The 4 of Us.

Thirty years of playing together, and, as new album Heaven and Earth demonstrates, the creativity of brothers, Brendan and Declan Murphy, shows no sign of abating.

The pair have forged a unique musical identity, producing original and award-winning recordings and building a loyal fan base along the way.

With an enviable catalogue of timeless songs including Mary, Washington Down, She Hits Me, Sunlight and Sugar Island, expect some beautiful songs, stunning interplay and great stories from the road.

The 4 Of Us have been a steadfast part of Irish music for three decades and gained some glowing reviews along the way.

Fix yourself a drink and join us for the finale of a very different Out to Lunch this year.

‘Never before have I been to a gig where the atmosphere has been so electric’ – THE IRISH NEWS

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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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Northern Whig House
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