Belsonic, Belfast
Belsonic, Belfast
The Limelight, Belfast

Unmissable Music

If you're planning your next break around music then Northern Ireland is the place to visit. With a scene that crosses all genres and tastes, Northern Ireland's music is vibrant, exciting and cutting edge.

Check out a traditional session in the local pub or catch a rock gig at one of our bigger venues. If classical is your thing, then the Ulster Orchestra at the Ulster Hall will be just the ticket.

For clubbers, Northern Ireland plays host to some of the world's best DJs at venues including Shine, and Lush .

Northern Ireland is home to annual festivals in many unique venues. From bluegrass in the Ulster American Folk Park to rock music in the Sperrin Mountains, traditional music in the beautiful forest park at Castlewellan to the best international and local pop music at Belsonic in the centre of Belfast.

While you are here, there are lots of hands-on opportunities to learn about our musical past including the Belfast Music Exhibition and Tour or try your hand at learning a traditional instrument or attending a ceili at Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry/Londonderry.

Members of internationally-acclaimed Derry-based chamber choir, Codetta

City of Derry International Choral Festival

22 October - 26 October, Londonderry/Derry

Folllowing the huge success of the 2013 inaugural City of Derry International Choral Festival, the five-day event is back again this October with an even bigger and better line-up of choirs from around the globe.

21st William Kennedy Piping Festival

21st William Kennedy Piping Festival

13 November - 16 November, Armagh

The William Kennedy Piping Festival celebrates the life and work of William Kennedy, the 18th century piper, pipe maker and inventor who was born in 1768 near Banbridge and died in 1834 in Tandragee, County Armagh. This Festival, originally conceived to bring together pipers from different countries and traditions, was the first of its kind anywhere in Northern Europe. To date the event has brought pipers from Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Belarus, Canada, USA, England, Scotland, and Wales as well as the cream of Irish pipers to Armagh.

Sound of Belfast 2014

Sound of Belfast 2014

07 November - 15 November, Belfast

A special week-long music programme called Sound of Belfast will take place across the city from 7 - 15 November 2014 in association with the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Belfast's flagship music centre has teamed up with a number of leading music ...

kian 2

Halloween Concert headlined by Kian Egan

27 October, Armagh

Come along to see former Westlife star Kian Egan perform alongside support acts ‘The Whistling Donkeys’ and 'Hair O' The Dawg' before the evening ends with a fireworks extravaganza lighting up the night sky.

Imagine Arts Festival

Imagine Arts Festival

05 November, Belfast

Get creative, be inspired and make new friends at Imagine Arts Festival 2014!  This unique event is an opportunity for the over 60s to get creative, be inspired, make new friends and meet up with old ones during a wide variety of captivating ...

The Night Dances (UK & Irish Premiere)

The Night Dances (UK & Irish Premiere)

01 November, Belfast

Explore the subtleties of Benjamin Britten's composition for cello through the lens of the American Poet, Sylvia Plath, considered one of the leading cultivators of confessional poetry.  Actress Charlotte Rampling reads in French and English, and ...

Tamikrest (Irish Premiere)

Tamikrest (Irish Premiere)

30 October, Belfast

Intoxicating Saharan Desert Blues.

I Due Foscari Live from The Royal Opera House London

I Due Foscari Live from The Royal Opera House London

27 October, Belfast

Plácido Domingo returns to give his first London performances of another major Verdi baritone role. I due Foscari is based on a play by Byron set in 15th-century Venice.

Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival

Banks of the Foyle Hallowe'en Carnival

25 October - 03 November, Londonderry/Derry

Ghoulish fun, ghastly frolics and thrilling events, all leading up to the main extravagant suspense. Our world famous spooktacular carnival parade and spine-chilling fireworks cascade.

Roland Pontinen

Roland Pontinen

28 October, Belfast

Since his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in 1981, Roland Pöntinen has made soloist appearances with major orchestras across the globe, such as the Philharmonia Orchestra in Paris and London as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic in ...

L'Elisir D'Amore Livefrom The Royal Opera House London

L'Elisir D'Amore Livefrom The Royal Opera House London

26 November, Belfast

Donizetti's romantic comedy of rural life shines brilliantly in Laurent Pelly's hilarious staging, which matches the piece's perfect blend of sentiment and tomfoolery.

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen

07 April, Belfast

Welsh 4 piece Catfish And The Bottlemen signed to Communion Records (Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, Deap Valley, Half Moon Run) last Spring, following a furious 18 month period which saw them play over 100 live shows both in the UK and abroad- ...

Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's 2014

Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's 2014

16 October - 01 November, Belfast

The annual Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's combines a extensive lineup of music, drama, theatre, talks, film, dance and comedy.

Sleeping Beauty at the Courtyard Theatre

Grainne Duffy

24 January, Co Antrim

Grainne Duffy is a unique talent, raw and powerful, edgy and elegant. Growing up in Co.

The Gloaming - SOLD OUT

The Gloaming - SOLD OUT

01 November, Belfast

*This event is now SOLD OUT*

Festival 2014 will come to a rapturous finish at Music Club with popular Irish American folk band, The Gloaming, connecting the rich Irish folk tradition with the New York contemporary music scene.

Northern Lights Mini Fest - Emma Morwood and Jonathan Fisher

Northern Lights Mini Fest - Emma Morwood and Jonathan Fisher

26 October, Belfast

Emma Morwood, described as 'a radiant Pamina' in Opera Theatre Company's Irish tour of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' (Sunday Times), is one of Belfast's rising operatic stars.  She has performed with leading UK orchestras (RLPO, CBSO, Philharmonia, ...

Breaking Bands #3

Back Track Northern Soul Night

08 November, Belfast

Back, after a wonderful July debut at Oh Yeah.

Hannavas Free Family event

Hannavas Free Family event

25 October - 26 October, Belfast

The African Savannah Comes to Belfast.  Meet Twiga the Giraffe with her daughter Sambah and Tembo the Elephant with her calf Tembito.

The Music Box - Home for Christmas

The Music Box - Home for Christmas

18 December - 20 December, Belfast

With Peter Corry and special guest stars Andrea Begley and Ian McElhinny.  The Music Box returns to the Waterfront following the incredible success of last years critically acclaimed performances with a new production, Home For Christmas.

This ...

The Ulster Orchestra - A Fanfare to Fate

The Ulster Orchestra - A Fanfare to Fate

31 October, Belfast

Bringing together a selection of local musical talent with the Ulster Orchestra, world-renowned pianist Barry Douglas performs Beethoven's lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto whilst the work of local composer Simon Mawhinney (The Pot of Pulgarve), ...

The Beat

The Beat

07 February, Belfast

One of the biggest bands of the 2-Tone movement, The Beat, have announced a return to play the Limelight on Saturday 7th February 2015. The Beat present a wall of sound that transcends time and ska fusion rhythms to ignite a crowd.

Andrea Chenier Live From The Royal Opera House London

Andrea Chenier Live From The Royal Opera House London

29 January, Belfast

Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier (1896) presents a fictionalized account of the last years of the French poet André Chénier, guillotined during the Reign of Terror in 1794.

Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie

Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie

19 March, Belfast

With his emotional and gravel-coated bellow, vocalist/guitarist Chuck Ragan made a name for himself as one-fourth of the much-loved Gainesville post-hardcore outfit Hot Water Music before releasing his first solo album in 2007.

The Northern Ireland Music Prize

The Northern Ireland Music Prize

15 November, Belfast

The Northern Ireland Music Prize honours and celebrates the very best of Northern Irish albums. Successful finalists will be hoping to take home the prize won last year by Bangor's Foy Vance ('Joy of Nothing').

Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie

10 March, Belfast

Since his massive Tuskeegee Tour in 2012 delighted audiences across Europe, today the multi-platinum selling artist Lionel Richie will return for a 31-date tour that will see him perform in 12 different countries early next year including ...

Conleth Kane - All I Want for Christmas

Conleth Kane - All I Want for Christmas

21 December, Belfast

Northern Irish Actor/Singer Conleth Kane makes his Belfast Concert Debut here at the Black Box this Christmas.

Conleth is best known for starring in Ireland's latest cult-musical hit 'Molly Wobbly's T*t Factory' and RTE Television's hit ...

The Big Reunion

The Big Reunion

01 November, Belfast

Following the success of The Big Reunion, ITV has announced The Big Reunion Boy Band Tour. The acts will be heading to UK & Ireland this October & November for a 15 date tour, this time bringing along the seven boy bands from both series...

Queen's Island Victoria Male Choir

The Illegals

21 November, Co Antrim

Every year the Illegals delve deeper into the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac back-catalogues to keep their dynamic live show fresh but familiar to packed venues throughout Ireland.

Cakes and Carols at the Culloden

Cakes and Carols at the Culloden

07 December, Co Down

A fabulously festive event combining the full afternoon tea experience of finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of homemade pastries with a live performance of songs and carols from Bangor Ladies Choir.

Soak

Soak

07 November, Londonderry/Derry

One of Derry's finest musical exports announces a very special hometown performance.

Brit Floyd

Brit Floyd

29 November, Belfast

A spectacular new live production featuring music from all fourteen Pink Floyd studio albums plus a dazzling new light and laser show.

Having performed to over one million fans around the world since it's first show in Liverpool, England in ...

Hey Harley & Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo

Hey Harley & Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo

29 October, Belfast

Award-winning singer-songwriter Lizanne Knott has been captivating audiences, including BBC's Bob Harris with her innate ability to capture those little snapshots of life with vivid imagery and understated music.  Blessed with a warm and unique ...

Dave Gorman

Clean Bandit

01 November, Belfast

Clean Bandit visit The Ulster Hall as part of their biggest tour to date.

Mark Lanegan Band with Special Guests

Mark Lanegan Band with Special Guests

16 January, Belfast

Lanegan began his musical career in 1984, forming the grunge band Screaming Trees. During his time in the band, Lanegan also started a low-key solo career and released his first solo studio album, The Winding Street, in 1990.

Jimmy Buckley In Concert

Jimmy Buckley In Concert

27 November, Co Fermanagh

Jimmy Buckley is certainly living up to his name of ‘Ireland’s top entertainer’. He has toured throughout Ireland and England. One of his greatest memories is working with his idol George Jones with whom he recorded “The Grand Tour” in late 2008 in Nashville.

Raglans

Raglans

23 November, Belfast

Formed in a festival tent in 2010 Dublin based 4 piece band Raglans launched the same year.

X Factor Live Tour 2015

X Factor Live Tour 2015

13 February, Belfast

You've taken the journey with them from the room to the arena, sat on the edge of your sofa during the dramatic six-seat challenge at bootcamp, travelled to judges' houses and will be tuning in to the studio shows; now is your chance to see...

Acoustic Picnic

Acoustic Picnic

04 April, Belfast

You are invited to come along to listen to some great live music for free, over a picnic style lunch.  All ages welcome, and this year there will be the addition of some giant board games for families and groups of friends to enjoy.  Visitors...

Furnace Mountain

Furnace Mountain

06 November, Co Down

The music of Furnace Mountain is the very best of authentic old-time American roots. It is at times lively and raucous, with spirited fiddle melodies weaving in and around the powerful rhythms of the bass and bouzouki.

Festive Swing with James Huish

Festive Swing with James Huish

10 December, Co Down

James Huish has been taking the Northern Ireland Theatre scene by storm over the last few years. Described as a mixture of Harry Connick Jr, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble, James is in much demand throughout Ireland.

Music Ideas & Suggestions

See where guitars are handmade in N.Ireland - www.georgelowden.com

Want to be a star – check out Open Mic Nights in N.Ireland - www.acousticshowcaseni.co.uk/#/acoustic-open-mic-nights/4566981137

Learn to play traditional instruments - http://belfasttrad.com/

Music News

Music Links

Belfast Music - www.belfastmusic.org

Belfast Odyssey Arena - www.odysseyarena.com

Belfast Waterfront Hall - www.waterfront.co.uk

Black Box, Belfast - www.blackboxbelfast.com

Gweedore, Londonderry~Derry - www.peadars-gweedorebar.com

Limelight, Belfast - www.cdcleisure.net

Millennium Forum, Londonderry~Derry - www.millenniumforum.co.uk 

Nerve Centre, Londonderry~Derry - www.nerve-centre.org.uk

Ulster Orchestra - www.ulsterorchestra.com