Northern Ireland

Hit the North: World famous street artists set to add splash of colour to Belfast during major art festival

This year’s festival, which runs from May 2-5, will welcome more than 60 renowned artists

Hit the North
Street artist Danni Simpson pictured at the launch of this year’s Hit The North’ street art festival, which runs from May 2-5

Some of the world’s most celebrated street artists are set to add a splash of colour to Belfast next month as part of a major art festival.

For the past decade, the ‘Hit The North’ (HTN) street art festival has been transforming public spaces across Belfast with contemporary murals.

Hit the North
Street artist Ed Hicks is pictured bringing his vision to life at last year’s festival

And this year’s festival will welcome over 60 renowned artists from South America, Asia, Middle East, North America, Africa, Australia, Europe and the UK, as well as supporting well-established and aspiring artists from Northern Ireland

Organised by Seedhead Arts, the festival runs from May 2-5 and will include street art workshops, exhibition, sketching sessions and a ‘block party’ where artists will be live painting on Kent Street in Belfast.

Initially established in 2013 as part of rejuvenation efforts in the North Street area of Belfast, the ‘Hit the North’ festival’s influence and impact has grown significantly since then.

Hit the North
Adam Turkington from Seedhead Arts and Matt Vernon from Beat Carnival are pictured with street artists Danni Simpson and FGB

It is now credited for nurturing and developing Northern Ireland’s street art industry locally and over the past 10 years has welcomed over 400 artists from all over the world.

Adam Turkington, director of Seedhead Arts, said the growing global interest in the festival illustrates how Northern Ireland is “well and truly at the centre of the street art world stage”.

“Over the last decade, HTN has cultivated a strong reputation for spotting and nurturing talent, giving artists a platform from which to grow,” he said.

“Many of the artists who’ve returned to paint landmark pieces in our city such as Irony, Nomad Clan, Dan Kitchener and Peachzz, had their first introduction to Belfast through our festival.

“The festival is where they fell in love with Belfast and we fell in love with them.

“This year, we’re proud to welcome a new batch of artists to fall in love with, alongside some old flames we haven’t seen for a while.

“We’re hosting more international guests than ever before, all bringing buckets of originality and creativity to the streets of Belfast.”