Northern Ireland news

Belfast International Arts Festival promises to be 'ultimate gathering of world class artists'

Dervish help launch the Belfast International Arts Festival 2021 ahead of their headline festival performance at the Grand Opera House on Thursday, October 21
Marie Louise McConville

This year's Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) promises to be the "ultimate gathering of world class artists from home and abroad".

The event, which will take place from October 6 until November 7, includes more than 200 events featuring dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and discussion.

The events will be hosted across the city as the festival welcomes the return of live, in-person arts events for 2021 though there will also be a number of special digital events to enjoy from home.

BIAF21 will open with the premiere of The Border Game - a reflection on 100 years of the border and how it has impacted those who live along it - at The Lyric.

Other highlights include Epilogue: A Dancer Dies Twice, a stunning film that will be projected onto the façade of The MAC, Cahoots NI’s The Grimm Hotel, an immersive spin on Grimms’ Fairy Tales featuring close-up magic and high-tech illusions, and performances by Dervish, English indie folk trio, The Staves and Billy Bragg.

Richard Wakely, Festival Artistic Director, said: "Whether you want to see work in person or from the comfort of your own homes, there is plenty on offer in this year’s programme".

For more information is available at

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