Later this month the Cathedral Quarter is set to play host to an array of musicians and blues fans alike for the Belfast City Blues Festival.
The festival, which is in its 11th year, will run from the June 28-30 and promises to bring a variety of events to suit all tastes. Whether that be for a family day out or an evening on the town, it’s certainly not one to be missed.
The event, sponsored by American Holidays and Visit The USA, is set to host 50% of its’ gigs in the Cathedral Quarter BID area, and will bring an influx of eager fans to the area to eat, drink and sing the blues.
Here are the 9 Cathedral Quarter venues which are hosting gigs as part of the festival:
2 Taps Wine Bar
42 Waring Street Cotton Court, Belfast, BT1 2ED
Serving traditional Spanish cuisine paired with fine wine, 2 Taps is the perfect place to relax and listen to some blues whilst enjoying a meal and a drink. The restaurant will host a respective gig on each night of the festival. With Ludes Blues kicking things off on the Friday, Frank ‘Bluesman’ Carberry bringing the Saturday entertainment and Mark ‘Beesting’ Braidner closing things on the Sunday evening.
Blues on the Boat
Unit 5 Obel Tower, 66 Donegall Quay, Belfast, BT1 3AL
The world famous Belfast City Blues Festival event returns for another year. The cruises boast one of the most popular events of the weekend, as fans can set sail aboard ‘The Mona’ whilst enjoying some great food and complimentary drinks. Passengers will be entertained by big names in blues from The Red Hot Roosters, Rab McCullough and The Rev Doc, Tony Villiers and Doc Doherty or Lee Hedley across the weekend. Tickets can be purchased from www.visitbelfast.com orwww.laganboatcompany.com
The Black Box
18-22 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter The Black Box hosts 4 not to be missed gigs as part of the blues festival. Rob Strong and his band will headline the Friday evening show with support from Tony Villiers and the Villains. Followed by The Annual Rory Gallagher Day beginning at 1pm on Saturday and featuring The Pat McManus Band, The Willie Byrne Band
and Blackwood. Mirenda Rosenberg will headline the Saturday evening with support from The Lee Hedley Blues Band. Last but certainly not least Creedence Clearwater Review will headline the Sunday evening show. Tickets for these events can be purchased at: www.visitbelfast.com
The Ulster Sports Club
98 High Street, Belfast, BT1 2BG
After its’ recent relaunch the new and improved Ulster Sports Club plays host to 3 blues gigs, as Belfast’s ‘retro music venue’. Kick the Bucket will ‘kick’ things off with their gig on the Friday followed by DD & The Delta Boys on the Saturday and Ian Sands & The Blues Katz on the Sunday.
The Dirty Onion
3 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Situated right at the entrance to the Cathedral Quarter, the Dirty Onion is a traditional pub house with a modern twist and one of the biggest beer gardens in Belfast proving to be the perfect venue to enjoy some blues. You can see Freedom 35 on the Friday, Crow Black Chicken on the Saturday or The Rab McCullough Blues Band on the Sunday Afternoon.
The Harp Bar
35 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 4EF
One of Cathedral Quarter’s biggest and liveliest bar’s it’s no surprise that the Harp Bar will host 2 gigs for the Belfast City Blues festival. You can catch Kick the Bucket Blues Band during the day on Saturday or DD & The Delta Boys on the Sunday, with free admission to both gigs.
The John Hewitt
51 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2FH
This Traditional pub in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter will host 4 big names in blues as part of the festival. Friday night will see The Robin Bibi Band play. Whilst on Saturday you can catch DD & The Delta Boys during the day and The Speedy Mullan Blues Band in the evening. The Red Hot Roosters will play their final Belfast gig of the festival here on Sunday.
The Northern Whig
2-10 Bridge Street, Belfast, BT1 1LU
At the classical and stylish Northern Whig you can enjoy an array of food and drinks whilst listening to a variety of blues performers. On the bill is Alison McGrath and The Soultanicals who will be performing on the Friday. Followed by Cari Q on the Saturday evening. Finishing with a packed Sunday lineup including Mark Graham, Alice LA and the Robin Bibi Band.
Ramada by Wyndham
20 Talbot Street, Belfast, BT2LD
The newly refurbished Ramada by Wyndham will open its doors to two blues legends on Saturday 29th June in the form of Rab McCullough and the Rev Doc. It’s the chance to check out the new hotel as well as listen to some blues, all with free admission.
With a huge variety of gigs, The Belfast City Blues Festival is set to be an exciting weekend for music lovers across the city. You don’t have to be a blues expert to check out on of the fantastic free gigs on offer and take advantage of some of the great city culture.
For more information, please visit: https://belfastcityblues.com
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