Belfast International Arts Festival launched

Nicholas McCarthy at the launch of the Belfast International Arts Festival. Picture by Hugh Russell
Jane Hardy

THE first Belfast International Arts Festival to take place since Queen's University ended its long-standing involvement in July was launched yesterday.

Festival director Richard Wakeley introduced a rich programme of events, still sponsored by Ulster Bank, that majors in contemporary dance, exciting theatre (including the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), visual art, talks (James Fenton to Misha Glenny) and all kinds of music.

Underlining the musical feast that festival-goers can expect during October, one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy showed his mastery of what's called the 'left hand alone' repertoire at yesterday's launch in the MAC arts venue that included some beguiling Gershwin.

Pop music fans can look forward to ex-Fleet Foxes' Father John Misty and The Waterboys while Cara Dillon and Andy Irvine are among the pick of the crop for folk fans. The festival runs from October 9 to November 1 (


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