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.

Sound of Belfast 2014

Sound of Belfast 2014

12 November - 16 November, Belfast

A special week-long music programme called Sound of Belfast will take place across the city from 12-16 November 2014 in association with the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

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

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.

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').

UFO & Guests

UFO & Guests

22 April, Belfast

UFO & Guests
 
English heavy metal and hard rock band UFO formed in 1969 and became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

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.

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

07 November, Co Fermanagh

Ballet Ireland is delighted to present a national tour of ‘Swan Lake’, one of the greatest love stories of classical ballet, to 26 theatres throughout Ireland.

This most famous of ballets, combines romantic themes, classical technique and ethereal imagery together with Tchaikovsky’s majestic score, to ensure this masterpiece’s immortality.

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.

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 ...

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 Carol Ship on Strangford Lough

The Carol Ship of Portaferry and Strangford

12 December - 13 December, Co Down

For two nights only the Strangford Ferry will be transformed into a magical carol ship on which choirs and musicians will herald the Christmas season.

Band of Friends - Celebration of the Music of Rory Gallagher

Band of Friends - Celebration of the Music of Rory Gallagher

24 October, Belfast

The Band of Friends is not a tribute to Rory Gallagher, more a celebration of his life and music.

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.

Der Fliegende Hollander Live From The Royal Opera House London

Der Fliegende Hollander Live From The Royal Opera House London

24 February, Belfast

Wagner's first masterpiece explores the themes of damnation and redemption that would fascinate the composer throughout his career.

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...

Cara Dillon with special guest Dan Tyminski

Chris Rea

07 December, Belfast

Chris Rea, one of the UK`s foremost singer songwriters returns to the Waterfront, following his 46 date sell-out UK & European tour in 2012.

The forthcoming tour is in support of a new album to be released in September.

Chris Rea is the man ...

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- ...

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.

Soak

Soak

07 November, Londonderry/Derry

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

Tamikrest (Irish Premiere)

Tamikrest (Irish Premiere)

30 October, Belfast

Intoxicating Saharan Desert Blues.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (Northern Irish Premiere)

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (Northern Irish Premiere)

25 October, Belfast

For over a decade, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have travelled the world, blowing minds with their explosive live funk and soul performances.

Using only original instruments from the 60s and 70s and recording in analogue, they eschew any ...

Flash Harry

Flash Harry

19 December, Co Fermanagh

Queen formed in 1971 and their music has rocked the world across every continent since then. When it comes to a night of rock defining entertainment, there is no better tribute than ‘Flash Harry’.

Cara Dillon with special guest Dan Tyminski

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 ...

Ronnie Greer Band

Ronnie Greer Band

24 October, Belfast

One of the justifiable legends of the Northern Ireland music scene, Ronnie Greer is also one of its favourite performers.

Sam Lee

Sam Lee

26 November, Belfast

Mercury Prize nominee, fRoots Album Of The Year and BBC Folk Awards Winner, Sam Lee, is fast becoming accepted as a new pioneer, defining the sound, sight and texture of folksong today.

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 ...

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.

Harlem Gospel Choir

Harlem Gospel Choir

28 November, Co Fermanagh

The world famous Harlem Gospel Choir was formed in 1988 and made its highly successful debut at New York’s legendary Cotton Club the same year. The Choir draws its core singers from various black churches in the Harlem community, who share the common aim of bringing about a better understanding of African/American culture.

Babar The Little Elephant

Babar The Little Elephant 13th Nov

13 November, Co Down

An interactive concert for younger children and their families.
There is so much to tell about how Babar escapes a hunter in the Great Forest and goes to live with the Old Lady in the town, before returning to his fellow elephants and a wonderful surprise.

Let's hope there are some good dancers, singers and actors in the audience to help Frances and Mark with the story. They will need to become camels, birds, rabbits, alligators and of course – elephants!

Neil Cowley Trio

Neil Cowley Trio

28 October, Co Fermanagh

In 2006, Neil Cowley Trio burst onto the scene with a debut that turned the concept of piano trio on its head. Fizzing with energy, their rip-roaring riffs and hook laden tunes sat side by side with heart shattering musical whisperings while their dynamic shows marked them as one of UK’s most exciting live bands.

Dianne Reeves (Northern Irish Premiere)

Dianne Reeves (Northern Irish Premiere)

26 October, Belfast

Dianne Reeves is a four time Grammy award-winning Jazz vocalist and is one of the most pre-eminent jazz vocalists in the world.

Sophisticated and deeply soulful, the skilled scat singer is a superior interpreter with a powerful, purposeful and ...

The Logues

The Logues

30 October, Co Fermanagh

Castlederg folk rock band The Logues will be coming to the Ardhowen Theatre to “lift the roof off the place!” singer Logan McCool promises.

Petunia & Nathan Godfrey

Petunia & Nathan Godfrey

29 November, Belfast

If ever there was a dream meant-to-be pairing it was when the colourful frontman of Petunia & The Vipers hooked up with renowned American old-time picker Nathan Godfrey.

The pair mine for nuggets from the US roots music back catalogue and ...

Hudson Taylor & Guests

Hudson Taylor & Guests

21 February, Belfast

Hudson Taylor are two brothers from the outskirts of Dublin who make captivating folk-pop songs. Harry, 21, and Alfie, 19, have amassed a huge underground following and their YouTube videos have had over three million views.

Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters

Belfast Beer and Cider Festival 2014

13 November - 15 November, Belfast

With over 100 beers and ciders available in a range of styles, the Belfast Beer and Cider Festival returns to create the biggest bar in Ireland, with traditional pub games, tutored beer tastings and live music.

Over 18s only, except Saturday ...

Raglans

Raglans

23 November, Belfast

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

Queen's Island Victoria Male Choir

Grease & Dirty Dancing

12 November, Co Antrim

Showcasing songs from these two favourite of stage and screen, this all singing, all dancing show will have you out of your seat from start to finish.  Performed by a cast of four talented singers and dancers from London's West End and supported ...

Elvis Tribute Concert

Elvis Tribute Concert

28 November, Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol proudly presents 'Jailhouse Rock' with Elvis and his band.

Nosferatu

Nosferatu

30 October, Co Down

Ghost Symbols perform their original soundtrack to Nosferatu totally live in the atmospheric surroundings of Kiltonga Hall.

PLAY (World Premiere)

PLAY (World Premiere)

24 October - 25 October, Belfast

Sounds of squash. Music played as a game. Game played as music.  Imagine a trumpet, a tuba, and a trombone in a squash court.

PLAY is a multilayered performance that unravels what these things have in common.

Queen's Island Victoria Male Choir

Carmen by Bizet

01 November, Co Antrim

Richard Eyre's mesmerizing production of Bizet's steamy melodrama returns with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress.

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