Imagine Belfast 'festival of ideas' returns with packed programme for 2019

Author Lionel Shriver will be among the guests at next year's Imagine Belfast Festival

IMAGINE Belfast will return in 2019 with its biggest ever programme. From March 25 to 31, the annual 'festival of ideas' will invite the public to engage with big issues relating to culture and politics.

During a year which will bring local government elections, the implementation of Brexit and a number of key commemorations, the eclectic Imagine Belfast programme will present over 100 events at venues across the city with talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, films, exhibitions and more.

Confirmed guests include renowned author Lionel Shriver, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner George Monbiot, one of Ireland's most distinguished former politicians Mary Harney, a major exhibition by Rita Duffy, equality champion Richard Wilkinson, legendary journalist Vincent Browne and comedian Shazia Mirza.

Imagine will also host a special Democracy Day programme looking at aspects of civic activism and the potential fallout from Brexit on March 29, organised in conjunction with Building Change Trust and the leading global media platform Open Democracy.

Members of the public will also be asked to produce sculptures and artefacts using wood pellets in a 'satirical craftivism' project examining the RHI scandal.

"The festival provides a unique opportunity for people to engage with some of the big issues of our time in a fun and dynamic way," says Peter O'Neill, founder and festival director.

"Over 300 speakers and performers will stimulate debate and discussion of new ideas relating to politics, culture and activism, and many of the events are free.

"There's something for everyone in our programme and we are particularly keen to involve people who are traditionally not involved in political debates.

"So join us in preparing for a better tomorrow."

:: See for tickets and latest line-up additions, follow Imagine Belfast on Facebook ( and Twitter (@ImagineBelfast #ImagineBelfast) for regular updates.

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