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Culture Night returns to Belfast

The Slow Bike Race at Culture Night in Belfast Picture: Mal McCann

CULTURE Night returns to Belfast today, the annual transformation of the Cathedral Quarter and beyond into a cornucopia of colourful pan-genre happenings.

There are more than 300 different events this year, which will get under way from 1pm and are expected to attract over 100,000 people to various city centre venues and the streets beyond (so don't bother trying to drive in).

Outdoor highlights include the annual Culture Night Parade (Royal Avenue, from 4pm), the always hotly contested Fred Festival Slow Bike Race (Donegall Street, 6pm to 7pm) and Pro Wrestling Ulster live (St Anne's Square, 6.30pm to 9.30pm).

Music fans will be well catered for by Culture Night: there's a Thin Air-curated all-local bill at Oh Yeah from 4pm with Bosco Ramos, Michael Mormecha, Invaderband and Hit The B Button, Half Arsed Half Biscuit will be staging an unplugged tribute to the beloved Birkenhead indie band at 8pm at The Duke of York, while Belfast psychedelic guitar army Documenta team up with like-minded Scottish 'dream noise' unit Delta Mainline at Voodoo from 9pm.

Down on the street, specifically outside Belfast alternative bolthole Fresh Garbage from 6pm, indie rockers Sister Ghost will be part of an all Girls Rock School NI-derived line-up also featuring The Sea, Close By, Vokxen and newcomers Tigers Not Sisters.

Before that, there will be a Ram Alley Records showcase in the alley beside Madden's Bar featuring Blumehaus, The Barbiturates and Horse Tablet from 4pm.

All this plus street food, juggling and Lithuanian folk dancing? Now that's what I call a Culture Night.

:: Full programme details at Culturenightbelfast.com

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