Make your next group outing an ‘eventful visit’
2012 is destined to be one of the most extraordinary years in Northern Ireland’s history. It’s the year we take centre stage with new, iconic visitor attractions, unprecedented events and historic anniversaries.
We have an amazing programme of events planned for 2012 to showcase all that’s great about Northern Ireland. From the opening of Titanic Belfast, one of the most intriguing buildings to ever emerge in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, to the 50th year of the world renowned Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s. Whether its music, theatre, festivals, comedy, tours or exhibitions, there’s going to be something to tickle everyone’s fancy. What better way to experience the celebration of NI2012, than with your group. So, start planning your eventful visit now!
Titanic Belfast Festival 2012
A fusion of international-scale events to mark the centenary of Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage is planned. From the opening of the multi-million pound Titanic Belfast visitor attraction, through to commemoration services on the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking - a range of plays, tours, talks, films and major musical events will position Belfast as the ‘home’ of Titanic.
Titanic Light Show, 7–11 April 2012
A visionary lighting show to showcase the iconic new Titanic Belfast visitor attraction. There will be a spectacular launch event on 7 April followed by an installation over a number of evenings to feature this amazing building.
MTV Music Event, 11 April 2012
MTV will be back in Northern Ireland to deliver a major outdoor music event on the Titanic Slipways. Not to be missed!
Titanic: A Centenary Commemoration, 14 April 2012
A gala commemorative event in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast’s award-winning cultural venue, this will be a showcase of the city’s Titanic story. Narrated by a breathtaking range of the UK’s most well known cultural icons and celebrities, this will be a testament to the ordinary shipbuilders of Belfast who built an extraordinary ship.
Titanic (Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912), 22 April-20 May 2012
A Verbatim Play By Owen McCafferty, A MAC Production
“It was a dark mass that came through the haze...” Reginald E Lee (Lookout)
100 years ago, the British Government ordered a formal inquiry into the loss of RMS Titanic. 36 days, nearly 100 witnesses and over 25,000 questions asked. What happened to the Titanic as seen through the 1912 Inquiry is a human story. A courtroom drama full of intrigue, bravery and human frailty.
“ ...everything was against us.” Charles Lightoller (2nd Officer).
BBC Titanic Proms, 8 September 2012
A large scale voices and music of Belfast performance which will be a stunning celebration of the rich heritage of song and music in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.
For more information on Titanic Belfast Festival visit belfastcitycouncil.gov.uk/events
Peace One Day Concert, 21 June 2012
This music concert will showcase the iconic new event space at the historic Ebrington site in Derry~Londonderry. Peace One Day is an international community headed up by renowned producer Jeremy Gilley, with Jude Law as a key ambassador. Celebrating Olympic Truce, the Peace One Day Concert will be the opening concert of the London 2012 Festival and will attract massive media attention and the biggest names in music.
For more information visit peaceoneday.org
Land of Giants, 30 June 2012
On the night of the 30 June 2012, Land of Giants will present a unique tale to an audience of 20,000 on Belfast’s newest events space, the Titanic Slipways. Commissioned by Legacy Trust UK, Land of Giants will be a highlight of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event takes inspiration from local iconic giants – Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, Finn McCool, Harland and Wolff’s
Samson and Goliath, the Olympic and Titanic ships and the Giant’s Causeway - as well as Northern Ireland people who are giants in ideas, talent and heritage. It involves a cast and crew of 500+ people and combines acrobatics, music and special effects. Land of Giants will play a key role in the lead up to the 2012 Games presenting Northern Ireland on the international stage.
Find out more at landofgiants.info
A Coastal Installation, by Deborah Warner, July 2012
Created by the renowned opera and theatre director Deborah Warner, in collaboration with the actor Fiona Shaw and creative producer Artichoke, this new living artwork has been co-commissioned by Derry~Londonderry Culture Company 2013 for the Cultural Olympiad. Installations will appear simultaneously from dusk til dawn at locations along the UK and Ireland coast. From Northern Ireland to Cornwall, from remote Scottish islands to East Anglia, these artworks are a poignant exploration of love poetry and a celebration of the extraordinary beauty of our coastline.
For more information visit artichoke.uk.com
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Maritime Festival, July 2012
The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race fleet will race across the Atlantic on its homecoming leg from Nova Scotia, arriving in Derry~Londonderry in early July 2012. It will be welcomed by a four day maritime festival to celebrate the visit of the world’s longest race. This is an opportunity to be inspired by the endeavour of the crew and take part in the celebrations to welcome to Northern Ireland yacht crews from around the world. For more information visit derrycity.gov.uk/clipper
Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, September 2012
This is the year the Giant’s Causeway unveils the visitor centre worthy of its giant reputation as a must-see destination. To celebrate this, a large scale installation by a major artist is planned which will be of a scale significant enough to pay tribute to this World Heritage Site.
Further details on this event will be released soon.
50th Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s, 19 October–3 November 2012
The 50th Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s will take place in October and November 2012.
Dance, music, theatre, visual arts, film, classical and world music will all come to life in many forms during this autumnal event. This year promises a world of talent on your doorstep. All we’re asking is for you to open the door, step outside and embrace the cultural experiences awaiting you.
Keep an eye on belfastfestival.com for updates.
And there’s more…
Garden enthusiasts are sure to enjoy a group outing to the Garden Festival at Hillsborough Castle, 18-20 May 2012. Set in the surroundings of the walled garden at Hillsborough Castle the Garden Festival is a gardening extravaganza. Whether you want to find inspiration for your garden, need advice, want to buy plants, flowers or garden equipment, relax and enjoy a wonderful day out with jazz music and good food.
If Literature inspires your group then the Belfast Book Festival, 11-18 June 2012 could offer a stimulating group visit. An exciting programme is planned for 2012 with many of the events taking place in the Linen Hall Library, itself a fascinating venue for a group visit. For more literary inspired visits Aspects Irish Literature Festival, 26-30 Sep 2012 in North Down features the cream of Irish writing talent and promise to deliver an exciting programme of workshops, literary chats, lively debates and of course lots of readings!
The European Heritage Open Days, 8-9 September 2011 are a unique opportunity to visit some of Northern Ireland’s most interesting buildings, many of which are not normally open to the public. So it’s your chance to see inside cottages and castles, mills and mansions, public and private buildings and many more, all for free. Perfect for groups on the heritage hunt!
Music lovers will no doubt love The Ulster Orchestra and they organise a popular programme of lunchtime concerts at the Ulster Hall, Belfast throughout the year. Tickets are reasonably priced at £5 and offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Belfast and a welcome midday opportunity to hear some great music. Find the full programme of lunchtime concerts on ulsterorchestra.com.
For those interested in creative activities, an annual celebration of craft, featuring events and activities that showcase the work of craft makers in Northern Ireland takes place during August Craft Month at various locations across Northern Ireland.
Active groups will enjoy the challenge of a walking festival. The Mourne International Walking Festival, 22-24 June 2012 is the ideal time to discover the delights of the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), there is not only a huge diversity of flora and fauna, but also a wealth of heritage, myths and legends to explore. There are walks to suit all levels of fitness and ability with routes between 10km and 40km at both high and low level. Another walking festival takes places in the heart of the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Sperrins Walking Festival takes place over the weekend 2-5 August 2012 and combines a range of walks to suit all levels of ability.
Many more exciting events to inspire your next group outing will be happening in 2012. Go to discovernorthernireland.com/events for more event information.